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A blind man came up to me the other day,
tap, tap, tap, with a stick in one hand,
a seeing-eye dog harness in the other.
Asked me if I'd seen his dog.
"No." I said.
"Well, I haven't either," he said.

He appeared to be tired and somewhat winded.
I invited him to my porch to sit a spell in my chaise lounge.
He obliged while I sat on my concrete steps.
Lemonades later, he had relaxed.
He began to speak, words gushing out of him in a mindfully slow manner.

"They tell me he is a black lab, a black labrador retriever.
I guess he is black, but then again, since birth,
everything is black to me.
They told me there are colours for everything,
green for grass, blue for sky, yellow for sun, white for lies.
But I wouldn't know, couldn't know, couldn't know know, could I? Even black is abstract to me, don't you see?
My dog, he is real, but what if he isn't really a dog, what if he is something else named a dog? What a cruel trick they play. I should not be blind, not like this."

"How long has your dog been gone, lost?" I asked.

"I don't know, for days, I guess.
Longer maybe. Maybe only today.
We were walking along this road, lots of intersections, you know.
I didn't believe him when he stopped, when he started, when he pulled, when he slacked.
I hit him with my stick, hit him again, again and again.
How can you be a realist if you can't see? How can you love something you don't believe in?
Somehow he slipped his harness, slipped right out of it. It was no small trick.
Funny thing, he never howled when I hit him, never whined or whimpered, he just left like a puff of air, left a lingering trace of smell, his smell behind. I remember his aroma, it is still in my nostrils, but I guess he is long gone.
How I wish he were here, back with me, he is the only one I ever really thought I could trust and didn't. If only he would come back, do you hear me? Do you?"

"No, I don't, I don't, can't hear you. I'm deaf, I only read lips, been deaf since birth." I said.

"Then you must know what I mean, I mean, don't you?
How do you know a bird sings if you can't hear it?"

"When I touch a bird, I feel his vibrations, and I know, then I know."

The man got up to leave and thanked me for the lemonade. Tap, tap, tap, away he went.

I said to him a little loud, louder than I wanted, louder than I meant to. "Maybe if you throw your stick away, your dog will come back."

He stopped, turned a little, said, "I guess, but what would I do without my stick?"


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Comments

The following comments are for "Blind Man's Stick"
by williamhill

wow
that was really great, thanks

( Posted by: ilichvladikov [Member] On: October 2, 2005 )

ilich~stick
Thanks a lot for reading and commenting. Thanks to you too for the rate, chapter1. Take care all.

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: October 2, 2005 )

Lovely!
You write this so enviably naturally. It seems to simply flow out, lilting and lyrical, thoughtful and tactile, insightful without pretension. The first stanza made me laugh and the last made me cry. Oh very nice. Very nice indeed.

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: October 2, 2005 )

Blind man's stick
This was really good Charlie... I don't know why but I made me think of that old movie from 1976 ...Murder by Death ...in which there was a blind butler and a deaf maid...he would scream at her and she would be signing like crazy at him...and neither could communicate with the other...It was hysterical...Kacee

( Posted by: Nitz Kitty [Member] On: October 6, 2005 )

MobiusSoul, Blind Stick
Thanks for your kind words on this attempt at allegorical poetry. Everything that you have said was the effect I wished to elicit. I have read much of your work and am impressed with your use and your depth of vocabulary. It is refreshing to see other poets with your ability here. I am a little in awe. (I don't quite know how to comment on your work. I have yet to find anything that I wouldn't be proud of. I just thought you should know.

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: October 6, 2005 )

Kacee
Thanks for your comment. I had hoped it had enough humour to carry it a little, and enough simple hubris (I think that's the right word) to make people think. I have been in a mad dash to move and haven't had much time to read or comment. It will be a couple of weeks before I get back to the computer.

Later,

charlie

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: October 6, 2005 )

really good, Charlie

you show that someone can be blind in more than one way - EXCELLENT poem, well written -

john

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: November 16, 2005 )





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