Friday, January 23, 2015

devotion--By David J. Kelly--Ireland


Each Monday he climbs the same unforgiving hill,
parang* in hand. Each time it takes a little longer.

The tropical heat, the monsoon rain, the broken road,
stifle momentum, challenge resolve,
but his small steps do not falter.

He narrates his progress in an old language
the children do not understand;
they think him mad ... or senile.

Half a mile beyond the hill’s crest, still sweating, but
breathing more steadily, he pauses by a narrow path.

He lifts the parang and meticulously
clears a few new weeds from the verges.

Stooping in front of the home-made tomb
he whispers, “The way between us
is clear again.”

* A parang is a large knife, similar to a machete, traditionally used by farmers in Indonesia and Malaysia.

David J. Kelly is an animal ecologist based in Dublin, Ireland. While his day job revolves around science writing, his light poetry and Japanese verse forms (haiku, tanka, haibun and haiga) have been published in a number of journals and anthologies. He aspires to publish a book of poetry one day, when he has enough suitable material. David is a member of The British Haiku Society and Haiku Ireland.


  1. Well done, David. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  2. Fascinating account of this journey.

  3. David, I could feel the love this man had for his sweetheart in clearing the pathway to her tomb, one weekly endeavor to keep his love light alive. No doubt his darling watches from above.

    How much love and strength one must have to continually clear the weeds of negativity that can quickly grow in the pathway of life, keeping us from reaching our goal of loving even until death. I have learned I cannot do it alone. Thanks for the wonderful poem that brought all these thoughts to my mind.

  4. David: the journey of the man in the poem was worthwhile to him just as reading your poem was worthwhile to me. The dedication of a man to keep the path between himself and his love prepared -- not only out of love and respect, but it seems to me, also to make sure it was ready for his own journey when the day came. Thank you.