Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

air plèana a tha mar chorrag a’ comharrachadh ris a’ ghealaich

by Caoimhin MacNèill

air plèana a tha mar chorrag a’ comharrachadh ris a’ ghealaich

I am but a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t look at me; look at the moon. – Traditional Zen teaching
All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by mind. - The Buddha Shakyamuni
 
tha am plèana seo cho mìorbhaileach ri sutra,
a' fàgail tagharlaich an t-saoghail
 
a' togail ar trom dhinn, agus eadhan
gar togail fhinn dhan h-iarmailt falamh
 
tha am plèana seo mar a' chorrag ainmeil ud
a' comharrachadh ris a' ghealaich…
 
dùisg a-nis - agus sin i, soilleir, àlainn, àraid
a' ghealach a' deàrrsadh os cionn Beinn Fuji,
 
mar ìomhaigh anns an sutra mhac-meanmnach
eu-comasach anns a bheil sinn beo
 
a-màireach, bheir mi a' ghealach dhachaigh -
oir rugadh air thalamh i - agus seallaidh mi dhi
 
gun deach ar corragan a chruthachadh
a stuth nan reultan, agus nam b' urrainn
 
dha na speuran ar smuaintean a leughadh
gun tuigeadh iad gu bheil sinn uile fhathast
 
a' deàrrsadh  - can, os cionn Beinn Fuji - neo-realta
agus fior, mar am mac-meanmna a chur air dòigh
 
an aon sgeulachd anns a bheil sinn a' gabhail pàirt, sinne
a tha uaireannan fuar mar a' ghealach, neo mar ìomhaigh dhinn
 
ann an sgàthan nach fhaicear, sinne a tha uaireannan eile
teth mar an t-seann sradag a chruthaich sinn 's a bhoillsgeas
 
a-rithist annainn nuair a chi sinn nach eil sinn
a' coimhead air a' chorrag idir neo air a' ghealach fhèin
ach air mac-meanmna siubhlach, fiosaigeach, neo-chrìochnach, mar a' chruinne-cè


this plane is as marvellous as a sutra,
rising above the turmoil of the world
 
relieving us of our burden,
lifting us into the empty firmament
 
this plane is like the famous finger
pointing at the moon…
 
wake up - there she is, clear, stunning,
the moon shining over Mount Fuji
 
like an image in the fantastical
impossible sutra in which we live
 
tomorrow i shall bring the moon home -
for she was born on earth - and I'll show her
 
our fingers are formed of star-stuff, and if
the stars could read our thoughts they'd see
 
that we all still shine - over Mount Fuji, let's say - unreal
and true, like the imagination that initiated
 
the one story in which we all take part, we who
are sometimes cold, like the moon or like an image
 
of us in an invisible mirror, we who are sometimes hot
like the ancient spark that formed that us and that
 
reappears inside us when we see we are not
looking at the finger nor even at the moon but
at an imagination, fleeting, physical, boundless, as the universe