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Poems and paintings of the Princess of Snow

Karma Wangchuk in mountains of Bhutan, a keen conservationist, teacher, poet and artist.

Karma Wangchuk from Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan “Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon” sent me some beautiful paintings and poems about snow leopards.

Karma teaches English at the College of Education in Paro, one of Bhutan’s main towns. He’s a keen nature lover and loves cooking, trekking, travelling, drama, dance, gardening and music. He has contributed paintings for the book “The Mammals of Bhutan.”

I was really impressed with Karma’s enthusiasm for his country’s environment and the endangered snow leopards there. As a teacher I’m sure he’ll be able to have a powerful influence over the way his country’s younger generation respond to wildlife like snow leopards in the coming years.

Karma’s interest in snow leopards was inspired by George Schaller’s very first pictures of snow leopard in the wild in the National Geographic magazine and like many of us, reading that wonderful book by Peter Matthiessen “The Snow Leopard”.

Karma's beautiful painting of a snow leopard. He travelled to India many times to see snow leopards in a Zoo there to do this lovely work.

As he’s never seen a snow leopard in the wild in Bhutan (neither have most people), Karma went all the way to a zoo in northern India, eight times, to see the snow leopard he’s painted in these lovely works. True dedication.

Bhutan (and the world) needs people like Karma!

The Emblem of Bhutan, tiny kingdom in the Himalayas and home to snow leopards

Karma’s Poems
I am a leopard of the snow
When the summer is high my spots glow.
Beware! It is a fatal force.
I am as silent as spirit
And as swift as the wind,
I am ever watching you
Though you do not see me,
You try to trace me
But I cannot be,
I live a lofty life
Where the snow meet the space
And where cold is second death.
I am the leopard of the snow
And when you steal my glow
You humans!
It will perhaps be my last glow.


Higher! Higher still
Than the tricky towering peaks,
Challenging the prowess
Of this awe-inspiring denizen;
In the land of Yeti,
With its jagged rocks
And abyss of death.
Vast, virgin snow
Numbly awaiting gloom
In its unseen clutch.
But the spirit sneaks up undeterred,
Nonchalant stare, shunning vertigo,
Humbling every pass and peak.

Rejoice in this feline face!
Pass the tidings of its regal grace!
Always there and always aware,
Princess of snow,
Princess less known
To this dreary world of restless souls.

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Brenton H March 18, 2010, 3:58 am

    Wonderful blog Sibylle. The book mentioned is available. Here is the link.
    Supports the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Education.

  • Brenton H March 18, 2010, 3:59 am

    I meant ‘Environmental Conservation’

  • Deborah Peters March 18, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Very nice article & tribute to the Snow Leopard. :)

  • Sibylle March 18, 2010, 6:31 am

    Thanks Brenton and you are a wonderful reader and supporter! I have made a link in the post to the Mammals book – great that you found it!
    When r u coming to Melbourne?

  • Sibylle March 18, 2010, 11:24 pm

    thanks for the support Deborah, I’m sure Karma will be motivated by your beautiful work.

  • Brenton H March 20, 2010, 3:48 am

    Hi Sibylle,
    I like to research things, especially about books. My partner and I will be coming to Melbourne in the first week of August. Will email you with details in due course. It would be great to meet.

  • Sibylle March 21, 2010, 12:12 am

    Brenton, would be great to meet you, let me know closer to time

  • nima May 15, 2010, 12:48 am

    i enjoyed going through your beautifull poem. keep it up

  • Dechen Ugyen June 7, 2010, 4:34 pm

    The pictures and the poem is just amazing- actualy superb. Looking forwad to read and go through your next post. have a nice day.

  • ugyen tsheriing August 31, 2010, 12:36 am

    you are wonderful as well as talented person that i have never seen in bhutan

  • tashi tshering September 1, 2010, 1:11 am

    the painting and the poems were great…loking forward to read more…bye…la

  • phurba lhamo September 2, 2010, 8:24 pm

    you have done a great job and you are such a amazing person with great talent….hoping to read more of your poems..

  • dechen September 3, 2010, 8:02 pm

    u r 1 of the unique person in bhutan.i appreciate u and really like ur talent,especially the paintings.so pray 4 ur further achievement.

  • tshering zangmo January 25, 2011, 9:19 pm

    i enjoyed reading thou poem. i appreciate the way thee live n lov nature. i kno everything about u sir. i wud lov to c u face to face. looking 4ward 2 read more la….tak care n i lov ur work la.

  • Sancha bdr rai April 24, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Dear sir.
    I really enjoyed reading ur poem and i appreciate ur life style n love to nature n mother earth…ur work is alys appreciated by me n all over the world

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