Mongolia

Mongolia Monday: Two Poems

I haven’t posted any poetry for awhile, so here are two that I rather like. They are from “Modern Mongolian Poetry”, which was published by The State Publishing House in 1986. This was before the “changeover” from socialism, which started in 1990. So there will be 20th anniversary celebrations in Mongolia next year. Both photos were taken by me on my July trip to Mongolia.

Steppe

AUTUMN ON THE STEPPE

The boundless and spacious wasteland

Spreads yellow; and full-grown grasses sway

Grasshoppers, the world is completely silent,

Only the cranes soar the sky.

From the brown-yellow surface of the golden world

A scent rises, pleasant but strange,

And on the stone-mans’ forehead

Hoar-frost melts like beads of sweat.

B. Rinchen

Three

IT’S AN HONOUR TO BE HUMAN

“I am a human being.” These simple words

Have a ring of dignity and pride.

That’s why

I think that it is the highest honour

To be a human being

In body and soul.

I do not like it, I hate

To be flame in the heat,

Ice in the cold.

But to warm the one freezing to death,

To cool the one gasping in the heat-wave,

Not to flatter the powerful,

Not to insult the weak,

To lend a helping hand to those who stumble,

To encourage those who suffer-

That is how to be a human being.

If you’ve carried dignity and worth

As a banner of struggle,

If you’ve never compromised with cunning and baseness,

If you haven’t feared death.

In the cause of truth and freedom,

Be proud of yourself and say:

“I’ve been a human being!”

L. Khuushaan

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