Thursday, May 29, 2014

An Exquisite Sampling from our Festschrift Poetry Offerings

Up at Khandroling

I’d heard about the sacred land, about Buckland,
and heard about the Master’s dreams,
Dakinis dancing, something about a treasure
he’d received right there, right where the teachings
were to happen, up on a mountain, under a big tent --
not so easy for my wife whose back was hurt
though she was set on going and said she needed me.  

I wasn’t looking for another teacher. 
I was curious but hesitant -- then Rinpoche
appeared in a dream, singing the Song of the Vajra. 
His eyes were my father’s eyes, his voice
held me firmly while I stood with him  
outside my home at the foot of a garden.

I remember on the shuttle bus to teachings every day
reciting silently, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.
I remember watching in a meadow, grazing in the hock-high grass
a single horse, and holding to my practice, the light
I trusted to illuminate my way.

At the end, in mud I found a jewel: 
asking from the spirits of the place
a token for remembrance, in the dark
I picked up from the road a stone,
a slice of granite larger than I would have thought,
half a moon, hand-size, glittering.

Years later, I dreamt of riding bareback
to the top of Khandroling, told Rinpoche about
a garden where a fruit was given me:
“It’s a good dream,” he said, smiling. 
At home, I put that piece of granite near the Buddha
Amitayus on an altar -- the first I saw its edge
was sharply knapped just like a Vajra chopper.

Peter Fortunato, 2014

Peter Fortunato, poet and artist, lives in Ithaca, New York. A member of Tsegyalgar East, he has been a student of Rinpoche’s for many years. His most recent book is Late Morning: New and Selected Poems.

Khandroling Paper Cooperative in honor of Tsegyalgar’s 30th Anniversary and the presence of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu in North America is creating a “Festschrift”  or “Celebration Writing” with original art, photography and writings from the International Dzogchen Community.  To view more about this project, visit here

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