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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2017 - Vol. 14, Issue 3

"The Blind Flute Player"

written by

Amit Parmessur

"Better to light a candle than
to curse the darkness." — Chinese proverb


Who is this valiant girl? Why is she sitting alone and

so erect on the wild rocks in twilight? Why is she playing so

mournfully today? Listening to her, my soul loses its soul.

She must be la fille aveugle, the one with feline fingers shepherding

melodies eternally new out of her silvery flute, her alter ego.

She must be the far-sighted carpenter poised

to transform this cruel world into a baby-swing,

adorned with beautiful pearls, jewels, gems and gold.

I can see mute music in her eyes;

I can feel her zealous eyes in the music.

There are so many wild dreams tangling and tangoing

Round the lucky embouchure, waiting to breathe real reality.

There’s an improvised bow tie on her talented bosom,

With tunes that may unravel life’s most complex knots.

Her multilingual throat, like a bejeweled pillar,

Shelters poetic winds of future charms,

And her fragrant lips change allure so dexterously that

They can enchant that Edenic snake and revive any

River reed, any day. Fill eveugle, how do you always hold

The right keys and break the fake chains while

You open and close over the tone holes so unconsciously?

You’re incredible. Maybe

We come from the same impoverished slice of paradise,

The same hollow banyan leaf, so let me hear you a bit tonight

Before I go away. Remember, many a gentleman would love

To smell the fire of the wet creepers around your tender and

Lush body. The day someone gives you the wheel of

His life, he’ll realize that he’s been driving blindfolded.

You are the lotus-eyed deity who takes

Foul air in and blows out miracles with your flawless flute;

it’s a pity I’ve just sold the pair

of unused bansuris from my kitchen drawer, or else—

Amit Parmessur is a poet and teacher. He has been published in several print and online journals. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web nominee, he lives in one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Mauritius.

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