A poem by Madhuri.
Long ago there was a wizard
Who tried to calm a wild blizzard.
He spun and yelled and hopped a lot
But none of that could help a jot –
The snow it whirled and wailed like doom
Around that little humble room.
The shaman called his trusty lizard
And tried this spell: “Upon God’s gizzard!
Let the snow refuse to fall!
As if it doth disdain us all!”
(The lizard’s job was just to seize
The fleas about their little knees
And drag them back like tender birds
Whilst acting like he heard a word.)
With spells and wrangling arguments
Wiz battled with the firmament
While on it poured its tons of ice
Riotous raging frozen rice –
Wind hugged the house and held it low
And flew about like vertigo
Snow packed itself up to the chin
Of that poor dwelling they crouched in.
No word, no call, no cantenation
Made the slightest indentation
On the fury of the storm.
The wizard leapt till he grew warm!
Then – settled back, and sighed chagrin
– Then, chanced to snatch his violin
From its place upon a chair –
And, quite defeated, sawed an air.
He played a melancholy tune
While all outside was tempest ruin –
He plucked a bit, he wobbled some
And, strings a-wail, began to hum.
He played and played, that wizard great
Who thought he’d lost his Wizard state –
He threw his hat onto the floor
And stomped around its pointed tor.
He played like wild shreds of sleet
He played a beggar on the street
He played a maiden standing shy
While gentlemen and lords walked by.
He played the things a young man sees
When half a moon is in the trees.
He played a ship upon the main
When Mr. Sun lies down in flame
And sailors stop their every chore
To gaze upon him and adore.
He played the way the stars mix up
When no-one’s looking – then fix up
Positions right, like tidy gems
As soon as someone looks at them.
He played the wind upon the foam
Which hurls the beating surf a-moan
And throws the sea at drunken land
And yanks the spindrift back again.
He played the Dervish in the night
Whirling, furling, private light
Illuminating all his face –
Eyes trained upon his hand upraised.
He played a heart which knows the sound
Of bagpipe, lute, and banjo round
Which knows the secret of the dance
Where arms thrust up in heaven’s glance.
He played like brooks who taste the stones
(Champagne can taste the jeroboam)
He played like frogs who leap ten yards
Balletic stretching hurtling bards –
And then the wind upon the wall
Slowed down – to hear the music’s call.
She listened better – tuned her ear
And answered – like a friend is near.
She picked it up, that skirling sound
And danced again – but curling round
The little house, she tickled doors
And tried to enter – with creaks and snores.
The snow still fell the chimney down
The fire spluttered, but was sound
The wizard heard the blizzard’s bleat
And played the harder, on the beat!
And so they came into accord –
The wizard wild, the blizzard lower’d
But only just – and both did wail
And felt like kin – within the gale.
And in that house each chamber soared
The mice came dancing on the boards
The lizard wiggled with the wind –
Till all fell still – at peace again.
October ‘10, Weston
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