In the North of the Sky

A Poem by Trungpa Rinpoche

Photo by James Gimian


In the north of the sky there is a great and dark cloud
Just about to release a hailstorm.
Mind, children,
Mind, young puppies and kittens,
That your heads are not injured.
Yet these hailstorms are merely pellets of ice.

There were hundreds of magicians
Who tried to prevent storm and hail.
In the course of time
All the ritual hats, altars and ritual garments
Have been blown away by the force of the hailstorms.

Here comes Chögyam disguised as a hailstorm.
No one can confront him.
It is too proud to say Chögyam is invincible,
But it is true to say he cannot be defeated.
Chögyam is a tiger with whiskers and a confident smile.
This is not a poem of pride
Nor of self-glorification:
But he is what he is.
He escaped from the jaw of the lion.

“Clear away,” says the commander,
“You are standing on no-man’s land.
We do not want to shoot innocent people.”
We cannot alter the path of the shell.
Once the bomb is released it knows its duty;
It has to descend.
Chögyam knows the course of his action.
He could be described as a skillful pilot;
He can travel faster than sound,
Faster than thoughts.
He is like a sharp bamboo dagger
That can exterminate pterodactyls
Or fact moving boa constrictors.

I am not interested in playing games.
But what is a game?
It is a game when you shoot pheasants and deer.
You might say this is the game of the politicians,
Rather like the game of mah-jongg
Or that of chess.
Devoid of these games
I will sail straight through
Like a ship sailing through icebergs.
No one can change Chögyam’s course,
His great odyssey.

The world waits,
Squirrels in the forest
And those of the moon
Listening in silence
Amidst gently moving clouds.
There is a force of silence
With energy
Which can never be interrupted.
With conviction and energy
I send my love to you.
I love you.

From Timely Rain, Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa, © 2017 by Diana J. Mukpo. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.