The Leaf Sweeper

At dawn I tramp to clusters rich;
with carpets of spindles, slick
with dew. I twitch and flick
in piles and piles that stalk
like shadows, lengthening. Winds catch
peaks, twirl them up then set them down,
apart. Rains too – like so much else –
corrupt and spoil my rings
of fire, my emerald isles.
I sweep again.

Low status mine, under coolie hat;
no morning nod or welcome smile –
young eyes won’t see me, true.
Just gnarled and bowed – a ghostly
sight – my bamboo youth
forgotten.
I sweep some more.

Cluster: an Indonesian term for a secure housing estate.

(This was one of the poems for the third assignment of my creative writing course).

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Categories: Just Poetry

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1 reply

  1. This is my favourite. Not only because I know the people you are speaking about. But you have said everything that needs to be said with the exact amount of words neccessary. Immense Sall. I love “corrupt and spoil my rings of fire, my emerald isles. I sweep again.” I used to watch them in the mornings and think to myself, do they know anything other than to just go and sweep the same road everyday. Amazing people.

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