Tuesday, July 20

In Simple Silence They Sat

Quickly now! They shouted
The Guest will be here soon
There is so little time to prepare
Oh! Make ready the house
Surely the guest will seek us out
With the all the plans we have made
What banquets, Grand Pujas
And fine discussions we will have!
 
Away from the commotion
At the edge of town She sweeps
Every day sweeping
The barely visible path to Her dwelling
The well-tended late morning fire
Burns bright from Her devotion
Her voice is soft and gentle
Today I sweep for Thee she whispers.
 
Her body is ancient
She has seen the great mountains in their youth
The towering redwoods and giant sequoias
She cared for as saplings
On the edge of the great forest
Her house, open on one side is ever filled
There is grand delight in their faces
Children smile from the stories She tells
 
You there, old woman
Don’t you know the Guest is coming
The learned and important say
As they confront her in her sweeping
Cease this useless and endless sweeping
Surely you can plainly see
The Guest will never come to a mere hut
Such as this with only three walls
 
Please take no offense of my house or me
Simplicity is a blessing
My needs are few and I am well provided for
Sweeping is my life work
The house I sweep is ever open to the Divine
As all are welcome here
I am glad for your excitement about our Guest
Please I entreat thee stay and sweep
 
Woman, old and decrepit, end this foolishness!
The Guest will be here soon.
Have you become blind now too?
Are you not aware of whom you are speaking to?
We are the learned and important
Highly educated and prosperous we are
There is nothing to eat and nowhere to sit
What would the guest want to hear from you!
 
Fine pillows of linen and silk
Newly made for our Guest
Oxcarts and wagons overflow
Only the ripest fruit
Succulent and moist
The Guest has chosen
The peak of the harvest
A most auspicious time
 
If you expect to see the Guest
You will have to come with us
How excellently we have prepared
How hard we have labored
Hours we have spent preparing the topics
The Guest will spend long hours
Enraptured by all we have learned
The highest teachings the Guest will share
 
The dust begins to settle
Gently She sweeps the path
The Night sky begins to glow
The fire She tends burns brightly now
She lives each day in this moment
The constant devotion of Her Sweeping
The ever-present Guest now luminescent
Beloved Sister, please sit with Me and sweep
 
 
Copyright © 2004 William A. York.
All rights reserved.

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