(for Dónal C.)
The leaves: I’m sweeping them but still they fall
upon the steps and all along the path –
I wonder if I’ll reach the boundary wall.
The storm last night increased my brush’s haul,
though for this rain they will say dhanyavaad,
I’m sweeping up the leaves and still they fall.
How fine to hear the dark blue song thrush call
while smaller birds enjoy their dusty bath –
they’re sure to reach and pass the boundary wall.
Sometimes I think I’ll never clear them all –
Like Milarepa fearing Marpa’s wrath –
so still I’m sweeping leaves and still they fall.
From here in Sikkim via West Bengal,
my pilgrimage goes on into Sarnath,
I plan to make it inside Deer Park’s wall.
I hope this spell in detail I’ll recall,
once I progress into its aftermath.
Meanwhile I’m sweeping leaves but still they fall,
I don’t know if I’ll reach the boundary wall.
Reprinted with the kind permission of Maeve O’Sullivan.
From Elswhere p.85 Alba Publishing