Timbre Land

 

snow leopards … two
pace the Himalayan timberline
chuff their breaths to crystalline
on a ledge above a Bhutan valley
threaded by a glacial river

where prayer flags flutter snap
in this neither Shangri-La
nor Shambhala invention

for here is a real world nation
with a mission statement
Gross National Happiness
this is true … it is written

a whole country
with happiness ideals
mandated to official
for its sense of being

a formal charge for happy
though not always … mostly
for happy isn’t always

might be the last few minutes
tread of footsteps on pine stairs
and the timbre in his voice
calling out her name

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Ilka Gedo