Dakini with Flute at Ugyen Choling

by Kim Stafford


Ancient painted on the wall
she offers a bowl with the fisted
honey of trees. She brings the conch
smoking with fragrant words.

Turn the right foot wide,
lift the left high, place lips
to the whistle cave and kiss
what is vivid to the blind.

Where music spills, her flute
carves a tunnel through sorrow f
or joy, lit by the fire
of wish-fulfilling jewels.

Only a withered fool would deny
scarves on her ankles, crown
of flowers teaching the mind
by feeding on fragrance to taste wisdom.

With her we look past trouble
to a place people in haste
can’t see, where a silk rope
billows the wind a river.

Taste song from the mouth of this
Dakini on the temple wall,
for even our ancient ones
tremble when spring quickens,

and old bones dance.