where have you gone now?
What country are you off to now?
No one will ever you see you again.
But there were many who loved you.
You said you were going to cross the
mountains of rain, defying the border police, arriving
like a secret into Nepal. You said you would hike around
the uncharted valleys for weeks, and then fly into Guatemala
and take down La Policia Nacional. Swedish
brother, donde esta? Para el beneficio de los humanos de la Tierra,
hable una explicación, por favor. Para mi corazón, especialmente. You weren’t that interested in
Tibetan (though you stayed in Rumtek for two months amidst hordes of rainbow-
body droppings and blazings relics), but I’ll say it that way
too: Khyerang kawar yoe? Dzambuling kyi mimang la p’henpa’i chey du, drelshay chik sung roh nang. Migsel
gyi, nga’i nying la p’hen pa’i chey du…
I wish I knew how to say it in
I cried for you yesterday
and today. I looked out over the misty
mountains that you said you were going to cross
You said that the Swedish were so much
like the Japanese.
A samurai opens the sliding rice-paper door
and sees his clan-brother lying there
— blood-puddles —
… NAZE KA…?
There was something to be ashamed of
something to hide from the world.
If this were Japan, the priests
would be chanting at yr. funeral:
Form is emptiness,
Emptiness is form…”
(SHARISHI SHIKI FU I KU KU FU I SHIKI…)
I wish that I could give you a proper
and send you off into twilight
where the rosy-fingered Guatamalan sun
meets the horizon of the rio.
When I first came back from Kathmandu
I saw you at Sonam’s Kitchen
and we talked for about four hours.
I was cold,
You gave me your jacket.
You could talk about everything
and it was all so interesting.
You were kind to everyone
but not kind to yourself.
You learned English from an Irishman
and always said: “…as wull..” (“as well”). You had
an Irish-Swedish accent.
I can’t sleep tonight.
You gave all your money to the pretty
smiling girl at Sonam’s Kitchen, for her schooling.
Sonam gave you a beautiful khatag
before you were “heading off to the
mountains”: it was green, and from a “big lama”, she said.
You cried, and held her for a long time.
I translated something yesterday
and I offer it to you now.
If bodhichitta comes to birth, then in a single instant,
One who’s exhausted in the dungeons of cyclic existence
Is called an heir of the Bliss-Gone Sugatas,
And becomes an object of veneration for the gods and men of the universe.
-Entering into the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas (Bodhicharyavatara), Chapter One, The Benefits of Bodhichitta
“O son of spiritual heritage!…”
O son! My Swedish brother.
“You should know all my teachings as being like a raft…”
(“not to mention non-teachings”)
I could see the angles in your Viking face
OM MANI PADME HUM.
May all the buddhas and bodhisattvas
guide you safely
to the other shore.