David Leo

He told me
a monk he from Tibet
he met,
together they walked the miles of his life
in quiet contemplation of a strife
the monk, not he, understood -
for he was fighting,
not knowing what he fought,
seeking, not knowing what he sought
till at journey's end
a piece of paper
parched, wrinkled with starch
the monk offered as a parting gift:
with my hands this I made
that I may write
my life's pilgrimage,
but this paper is worthy of
a better story than mine.

And thus began for him a voyage
for which at some stage
someone will have
a better story to tell.

Published in One Journey, Many Rivers (1997)

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature David Leo