“Sunset,” Arkhip Kuindzhi, WikiArt.

Of age to make hillside pilgrimage, prayers
And prostrations, my family watched from
Afar, evening descended, sun setting behind
Dark-silhouetted peaks, first stars, planets
Rising-emerged, night of celestial solitude.

Distant eastern peaks, wide band of stars
Gave rise, elders say, “Celestial River,”
Where time-illuminated gods reside. How
Soul-touching light cascaded over me,
Youthful mortal bowed to Ancients.

Following custom, mother had advised,
“Give something of yourself, find something
To remember.” Color-entwined yarn-stick
Doll, I placed amongst stones. Heavenward
Peering, she remained with starry skies.

All night I followed divine river to horizon’s
Edge. Last glimmer, egg-shaped stone found,
White band encircling. My remembrance,
Breast-clutched, dark hair unbound, wind-
Flowing free, within kindled rivulet of light.

Thanks for reading this Tenzing poem.

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