I am a child of nomadic Mongolia.  We would move at the break of dawn. As a child I used to sit in a basket on the loaded cart, greeting the morning sunshine at the even pace of the plodding camel; perhaps it was then that I felt the rhythm of my future poems. When we reached our new camp, everything – the blue cranes, the small trace of white fog, the cluster of boulders, the variegated hills – would seem new to me.

My father would sit me on his lap and hold his fiddle in front of me, then play a long clear melody – the “Jaakhan Sharga” of the Dariganga Mongols – and, as this song came neighing and whinnying out at me, the local mountains would be prouder, the water clearer, the song of the birds more melodious. . . .Thus my little body became the instrument and my father played on me. My poetry was tuned to the melody of the Morin Khuur across the sacred space of the steppe.

The nomadic child likes to watch things in the distance. When he sees a nomadic family on the move, in the midst of the blue mirage running along the horizon, he tells his mother. My mother and I greet the moving nomads, carrying a pot of tea and a plate full of clotted cream and dried curds. In my childhood I saw the appreciation of those who were thirsty from their long journey, and understood the sense of extending a hand to those who live worshipping the earth and who depend upon one another. I think this was absorbed into the essence of my future poems. 

The hearth of the nomadic home is always like the center of the world. The Morin Khuur rests next to the altar, and then the “long song”. A horse neighs at the hitching post; a young camel bellows around the stake; the wind plays like a flute in the grass… A legend by the fire, and the big Dipper arcing above the smoke-hole of the yurt… 

It seems as though an unknown force descends through me, down from the heavens to the earth. Or else a gentle melody rises up from the earth and floats off towards the  heavens. Like the stone man, standing alone in the middle of the steppe, contemplating the great centuries-long history of our nomadic ancestors. Even the immobile stone man travels with us into the next millennium, following the course of time… Nomadism is movement. 

The beginning of the nomadic journey towards the horizon where the sky and the earth join together seems tiresome, but what of distance in this indefatigable desire to know the “long song”, the deep thought, and the lyrical life? I migrated here for the sake of knowledge. The years of my life spent as a nomad in town also seem to me like nomadism. I move in search of my nomadic origins in the sacred lines of books and verses, dreaming from the misty ivory tower in the city, longing for the steppe with its mirages. The basic nature of the nomad is slow, uninterrupted movement, the distant, streaming harmony, searching, presentiment, a curious character with a gentle and melodious heart that looks on everything from its good side. 

I have long been absorbed by the fundamental nature of my nomadic ancestors, believing in them, favoring and cherishing their quiet, gentle melody. The gentle melody is the nature of my poetry. The wheels of the wooden cart which turn without harming the grass, the quiet character of the elders who avoid stepping on the flowers, the trust of the nomads who have no locks on their doors . . . it seems that the short road to purity lies here.

A nomad is coming . . . the living sacred images of childhood and the old folk together with the carts of the nomadic journey become clearer, the sacred epics that have become blurred over the course of time awaken, the blue birds of thought that entered the mind and were once forgotten, are now flying to me again.