(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
Dubliner Mave O’Sullivan’s poetry and haiku have been widely published, anthologised and translated.
Her four collections are Elsewhere (2017); Initial Response, An A-Z of haiku moments (2011); Vocal Chords (2014); and Double Rainbow (2005) all available at Alba Publishing
Maeve is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry competition for a single poem, and conducts haiku workshops with adults and children.
A lecturer in Media Studies, she lives in Dublin
Maeve’s new collection of poetry, Elsewhere is available from Alba Publishing.