2 poems by Shelly Bhoil


My last rites


Art by Alfredo Zalce, Woman and Child

Nothing to Fear

(for Amogh)


There is nothing to fear, my little one –

everything comes around from water

to dust, betrayal to trust

you have to recognize the small alphabet a and distinguish it

from the capital A observing the pressure on the fingers that write

trace you must contours on the bark you lean on to

and it will all come to you


Do not look for us when we are not around for we are the moon quivering

upon the night’s lake and the puppet shadows appearing disappearing

beyond us

we are the trees that long for the roots as much yearn the high sky


Sleep you must, my child

under the warm blanket of your skin kissing the air deep

And wake up with arms open like sunrays

taking the world in your warm embrace




Shelly Bhoil is an Indian writer and scholar on Tibet. She has published two poetry books An Ember from Her Pyre (Writers Workshop, 2016) and Preposição de Entendimento (Urutau, Brazil, forthcoming); edited the reference book New Narratives of ExilTibet (Lexington Books, 2020), and co-edited Tibetan Subjectivities on the Global Stage (Lexington Books, 2018); and edited two journals Tibetan Writings in India for Muse India (2014) and Tibetan Exile Poetry in Brazilian-Portuguese translation for Cadernos (University of Sao Paulo, forthcoming). Shelly lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Read an interview with her on Kitaab.