no dates of birth or surname
ensured their migration papers were rejected

asked to help, unsure of my ability
we invented dates of birth and a common surname

in their two metre square paper-mache room
papers completed to bureaucrats satisfaction

migration papers were accepted

d’Verse, paper quadrille, De Jackson

Hiking in the Himalaya’s ensured that I met many Tibetan refugees and Sherpa’s. We had a rough idea of their year of birth from their lunar calendar but some would be a year out. The actual birth dates, month and day, were totally fabricated as they had no idea. It’s not important in their culture.

Their first name acknowledged their spiritual guide, their second name was chosen to match their ability and used as their common name.   So a surname that illustrated they were one family, parents and two young children, was essential for the Canadian authorities.

And yes they were residing in the tiniest paper-mache room with no facilities or possessions, they needed to be gone before monsoon.

lark from pexels


  1. This kind of kindness is heart-melting. They are so true to their Earth origin in what they choose to give significance to, and how they identify themselves. So much is needed to prove everything otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read this over and over…I think of a high-flying bird as the one you have depicted in your photo. A bird can sail through the world and does not need any ‘flying’ papers. It does not work that way for people crossing borders. When we help another ‘fly’, we change their world. We open the windows, all those papers tossed into the universe. It is true those papers must land where they set one free to travel on…how kind that you offered to make that migration for a family possible.

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  3. This is so wonderful, SweetKate! I got teary-eyed. Thank you for helping! Such beautiful compassion and smart practical helping is the solution so much of the time. And ’tis never forgotten. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️
    PS…perfect photo to duet with your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One step ahead, in India pensionist (imagine the number of years they have lived in the same place) need to prove their identity and that they are still alive from time to time. The greed of powerfules have made life miserable for many.

    A lovely shot. Birds are free to roam but not us humans.

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  5. We are really limited in our lives by the need for all these unimportant “identities”. Such is the nature of borders and nations–they must keep track of who and where and why. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are so unaware of the trials and tribulations others accept as the norm. This simple poem shines the brightest light on the truth

    Liked by 1 person

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