Alexandra David-Neel

She edits her life from a room made dark

against a desert dropping summer sun.

A daring traveling Parisian adventurer

ultimate princess turning toad with age-

snow drops of white in her hair, tiny fingers

thumb joints osteoarthritis

corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,

pours over what she wrote

scribbles notes directed to the future,

applies for a new passport.

With this mount of macular degeneration,

near, monster of writers’ approach.

She wears no spectacles.

Her mind teeters between Himalayas,

distant Gobi Desert, but subjectively warm.

Running reason through her head for living,

yet dancing with the youthful word of Cinderella,

she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,

trekking across snow covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.

Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack

into the nest, those quiet villages below

tasting that reality beyond all her years’

vastness of dreams.

by Michael Lee Johnson

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