Meeting a Blind Man with Sleeping Escort, Traveling from Lubichan by Rail
Oh, believe what you will, sir. I did not ask you to share my place. We leave one place and go to the next, such as ever has it. This morning we were in Lubichan, back down the track bed, amid the unbelievable flowers, and cherry blossoms raising havoc with all that’s holy in life, and the restraint such blossoms have on the heart, as if all cannot be believed, goodness being what it is. You know what goodness is, beneficence. The snowfall of them is illustrious, memorable, God himself frozen upon air, hanging out with the boughs and blossoms, oh resplendent in replacement each year. You think it not so, but do not wake this tired one to ask his version, his mind’s eye of the sights there; to ask what is the life of the bee as humble as his drone, yet see his architecture, his marvels, close your eyes and remember what he of little wings has done and great fear it might not get done. They are African bees, you know, fiery hearts come with near phantom wings taking up palace in spots where sweetness lingers, waits. Oh, sir, they are leopards at what they do. He knows his bees well, calls them leopards of the air.
Later we will be in Qat me Dere where the onions are and dark grapes sucking beauty out of earth and pouring it back. At the end of the valley beside a small house sits a remnant palm yielding a handful of dates each year, fearing also to let go its long grasp. Don’t wake him to ask what the fields of Qat me Dere look like, though it is a gift he brings to all places; how fields lay out like a woman her lover looks down upon in the new breath of dawn, how a river at evening collects all the silver coin a day has left hanging for the last legs of its miracle, how a smile takes a mouth from one place to another so bright the moon asks how.
I beg you, do not jostle him, do not jostle him. Ask no questions of him; he tires in his quick pursuit, so far reaching, so rich the details he brings dazzle you. Do not cough again like that, sir. It does not become you, trying trickery. Ruses be off! Let him be. Let him rest. Let his eyes, those glorious orbs, those rooted measurers of beauty and of beast, let them rest, have their short moments of peace, oh recoup their benefaction. Let him be until his call comes; he knows the where and when, and he tells me what scans the horizon and the smallest alley. Even now I know you move in the light or against the light, your shadow moves there, but he tells me what lingers there in the heart of a shadow. He sees what I do not but shares his gift with me. Oh, sir, do not rouse him yet. I beg of you, not yet.
by Tom Sheehan
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(modified by Dave)