Money, money; always drifting
into the wrong pockets
and sailing away
to secret ports. And the latest arrest
of a terrorist suspected
in the attack that held the world’s breath
comes with a caution
that it may only hurry another.
Every day
bad news tells about governments
and wealth crossing borders
closed to the poor. Politics, politics;
excuses being made while fighting
continues in multiple languages,
and the Dalai Lama says in halting English
there should be more contact and respect
between religions.
When the interviewer
brings up China putting pressure on Britain
to forget about Tibet, he has to ask
about its moral obligation.
The Dalai Lama smiles his answer
about the rich new friend.
Is he disappointed?
Oh, no, he says, leaning back:
in our world power political and military
sometimes is more important than truth,
and in his red and yellow robe,
with his right hand held so loose
it could never be a fist
he laughs and looks
so much at ease in knowing
exactly what the word represents.

David Chorlton is a longtime resident of the desert zone in the Southwest, a landscape he is very attached to. Before Arizona he lived in England and Austria, and he has finally seen publication of a book decades in the making: The Long White Glove from New Meridian Arts. Nothing to do with poetry, rather a true crime story from 1960s Vienna. Read other articles by David.