“Song for the Soul of Tibet” by Philo Ikonya

After meeting the poet, novelist and human rights activist Philo Ikonya at the Bjornson Literature Festival a few months ago in Norway, I’ve become a really huge fan! Her own story is remarkable as is her commitment to freedom of expression, for everyone.

I’m also really moved at her continued interest in and support for Tibet. Below is Philo’s creative and moving response to the self-immolation of 20 year old nomad Tsering Kyi, as posted on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=398067366936009&id=112797722129643

“Song for the Soul of Tibet” 

By Philo Ikonya

I was not here on the promised tomorrow
But I was in presence of mind

It was my own hands that stopped my writing
My spirit stood up in question 
in examination of why some of us write
What others bleed and why some read
Why some are touched and harden
What the children say, what the Tibetan
Child says when the day dawns and 
a beautiful mother such as I saw
A wonderful girl such as Tsering Kyi
is gone and is not playing any more
gone for freedom search in spirit
Gone and never to be seen
Her brief visit to the world
dousing with paraffin and dying at 20
Being a harsh judgement on what is precious
Why Tsering Kyi is no more if she so loved
to play with her cousins and so often
to sleep outside under the stars and sing to freedom.