Treasure Island

Vinaya Joseph

(05/10/1979 / Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh)

Reed Notes (The Flute Player)

On my way to work,
As I walked along the
Tiled and cemented pavement,
On the busy MG Road

I saw a man,
Holding a box
Full of flutes,
Bamboo-brown ones,
Waiting patiently and relentlessly,
For someone to show mercy,
And buy his reeds

With no roof on his head,
And a few notes in his pocket,
Waiting to earn his bread,
I heard him play the brute,
With a passion,
That could put
Even Lord Krishna to squirm

His fingers moved rhythmically,
On the tiny little holes,
With his lips kissing the edge,
And I saw him effortlessly blowing air
Slowly into the hollow pipe,
Thereafter, the music began to flow
Like a river from his reed

The notes,
Kept rising and falling,
Though I admit,
I could not recognize it all,
And filled the cold and lifeless city air,
Sans birds, beasts or butterflies
With the warmth of music

Alas, as time rolled by
The sound from his magical reed
Slowly got drowned
By the snarls and brawls,
And the humdrum,
Of traffic-laden
Mad city life

And, as I walked past
This busy life,
I thanked God,
For some of us,
Could make a living
Out of air!

Submitted: Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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Topic(s): free verse

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Notes: I saw a young man selling flute while I was on my way to office on Monday. This was in front of Chennai Silks on MG Road. I was also reading on how to write notes for books. It was a strange coincidence. Here, however, the reed refers to grass-like plants used for making a flute. So, I clubbed both the incidents together to write a few lines…

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