Saturday, October 20, 2007


My poem in honor of the Dalai Lama receiving the Congressional medal of honor on November 17, 2007.


Above the din of Amy’s café
in the backroom overlooking the river
loud words drift over to our table,
Did the Dalai Lama ever have a job
like shinning shoes?
The old Vermonter
leans towards his wife who's eating a croissant
looking away from him.

I want to reach across the room
and tell him “yes” about my dream
of the Dalai Lama in a glass airport tower
directing traffic on the runway
of life and death and that his question
isn’t so ridiculous as his wife’s response suggests.

I want to tell him that the monk once held my left hand
at a reception while he massaged my palm
looking into my eyes talking of nothing much
as he rearranged my subtle energies,
my right hand gripping
the glass of white wine until I jumped
in recognition of what was happening.
So strange, so intimate, so wonderous--
the shock of his kind gesture in passing,
as loud as the man’s words in the café.

by Jacqueline Gens