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Sunday, March 15, 2015


by Howard Winn

Chinese Communist Party leaders are afraid that the Dalai Lama will not have an afterlife. Worried enough that this week, officials repeatedly warned that he must reincarnate, and on their terms. Tensions over what will happen when the 14th Dalai Lama, who is 79, dies, and particularly over who decides who will succeed him as the most prominent leader in Tibetan Buddhism, have ignited at the annual gathering of China’s legislators in Beijing. . . . Party functionaries were incensed by the exiled Dalai Lama’s recent speculation that he might end his spiritual lineage and not reincarnate. That would confound the Chinese government’s plans to engineer a succession that would produce a putative 15th Dalai Lama who accepts China’s presence and policies in Tibet. --New York Times, March 11, 2015

The train has reached the
station and will be taken
out of further service.
All passengers please
proceed to the platform.
It is reported as possible
that the Dalia Lama may not
choose reincarnation bringing
to a close the ageless reign
of his timeless essence in order
to thwart the Red Capitalists
now milking crony connections
to make the nouveau riche of
the modern China connected
to the high end real estate
of London, Paris, and New York
and who desperately still need
their own dogma for the Tibetan
region the Chinese covet as
also prime real estate where
they can park the excess
Chinese now filling their
historical land and deposit their
young like money laundering
shady deals in the best Ivies
and yet they desire Shangri La
as their very own and this
is what the 14th Dalai Lama
will short circuit if his spirit
says no more and no return
in the new body of some
favored infant for number 15
no matter what the descendants
of Mao wish they can only pretend.

Howard Winn's poetry and fiction has been published recently in Dalhousie Review, Galway Review, Taj Mahal Review, Descant (Canada), Antigonish Review, Southern Humanities Review, Chaffin Review, Evansville Review, and Blueline. He has a B. A. from Vassar College and an M. A. from the Stanford University Writing Program.