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Waterfall of Youth
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Manoa 12.2 (2000) 9-13



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Waterfall of Youth

Dhondup Gyal


The clear blue sky,
The warmth of the sun,
The fragrant flowers,
The majestic mountains--

Ai ma!

But even more beautiful than these,
a cascading waterfall
before a steep cliff,

Look!

Brilliant rays, pure white, spread like a
peacock's feathers,
parrot's plumage,
patterns on silk brocade,

Listen!

The sound of the gushing water, clear and pleasing,
The music of the angels,
unblemished melody,
music of the gods,
pure in origin,

Kyi!

This is not an ordinary waterfall--
It possesses a majestic quality,
a fearless heart
incomparable in its pride,
a strong body
adorned in finest jewels,
most melodious music,

This! [End Page 9]

The torrential waterfall,
the glorious young people of the Land of Snows,

This!

In the year 1980,
the heartfelt power and creativity of the youth of Bo,
The dignifying struggle,
the music of youthfulness,

Kyi! Kyi!

Youthful waterfall,
waterfall of youth,

Where did you obtain
the fearless heart,
immeasurable confidence,
unbending pride,
limitless strength?

Yes!

The rainfall during the three months of spring,
the new growth during the three months of summer,
the nourishment of hail and storm during the three months of autumn,
the ice and snow of three months of winter,

And more!

Water from the snowy mountains, meadows, valleys, ravines,

In short!

Water of auspiciousness,
water of prosperity,
water of fulfillment,
water of perfection
possessing the Eight Purities of water,

The hundreds and thousands of different qualities of water,

You are the water of friendship,
daring to leap from the ferocious cliff--
you are the water of the universe,
Courageously leaping into the valley below,
Proud to take on what is new [End Page 10]

You have an open mind, strong body, and majestic appearance,
without arrogance or defilement,
your origins are deep,
having cast aside all impurities,
you have an unblemished mind, a splendor in your youthfulness,

Waterfall!

You are witness to history,
the way of the future--
the breathing and lifting of the snow land are written
on every droplet,
the rise and development of the Land of Snows
shine in each of your rays,

Without you!

Where can we whet the sword of language?
Where can we sharpen the sword of our skills,

Without you!

The tree of medicine cannot bloom,
philosophy and Buddhism will not bear fruit,

Possibly!

Lingering in your crystal mind
may be wounds of history,
scars of old battles fought,
lesions of ignorance,
the clotting of conservatism--
these are not possible,

The reason is!

You possess pride, majesty, and strength of youth,
will never let the winter ice stop you or
numb your mind--
a hundred slashes from a wrathful sword
cannot halt your flow,

The reason is!

The waterfall's source lies in the deep snows,
its end is joined with the vast ocean--
your history is long,
it generates pride and dignity,
how melodious your chorus of time,
our inspiration and potency,

Have you heard? Waterfall! [End Page 11]

The questions of the youth of the Land of Snows,

How can you let a poet's horse suffer from thirst?
How can you let composition's elephant suffer from heat?
How can you let metaphor's snow lion be covered in dirt?
How can you not nurture the orphan of dance and music?
Who will preserve the heritage of astrology?
Who will welcome the groom of science?
Who will wed the bride of technology?

Alas! Waterfall!

Your clear, bright, and harmonious answers will reach our ears,
they are incised in our minds as a carving on a rock,

In truth!

The thousand brilliant accomplishments of the past
cannot serve today's purpose,
yesterday's salty water cannot quench today's thirsts,
the withered body of history is lifeless
without the soul of today,
the pulse of progress will not beat,
the blood of progress will not flow,
and a forward step cannot be taken,

Kyi! Waterfall!

Your gentle ripples,
droplets from your splashing water,

You symbolize the strength of the new generation of the Land of Snows,
your torrent and thunderous sounds,

Ours!

You show the hopes...