The Copper Bowl

8 Nov

by Mani G. Iyer

If it weren’t for the stumps
of his hands,
occasionally swatting those
irritable flies, and
the copper bowl
in the center
of his squatted presence,
you could easily mistake him, for
a heap of dead human flesh. 
The creased bowl was always filled
with the grace of
human beings, and
he acknowledged them
with a twitch of a smile,
perhaps painful,
due to unrelenting nerves, and
his hands, that failed to meet,
raised in gratitude. 
You could never see his legs
beyond the cracked bowl, for
he had none, and
you wondered how
he conducted life’s daily rituals
on a roller board, and
appear like clockwork
for years, at the same
latitude and longitude. 
Nobody knows what became of him
when his abode of the street corner
near a temple,
was disinfected, and
there was no sign
of his defiance, nor
his  life-sustaining bowl, and
the once stubborn flies
left, no tombstone. 

Mani G. Iyer was born and raised in Bombay, India and has lived in the United States since 1985.  He is deaf-blind due to Usher Syndrome Type 2.  He became deaf by the age of 4, night-blind by the age of 12, and now has very little usable vision.  Writing poetry has been a creative outlet for him since the age of 18.

(Every so often, I like to re-post one of my favorite pieces submitted to Vision Through Words.  We have been lucky to have so many talented writers contribute t the blog.  Thank you!)


4 Responses to “The Copper Bowl”

  1. Mani G. Iyer November 8, 2012 at 10:32 AM #

    Hello Stella: Thanks a lot. I have a feeling that you decided to publish this after reading ‘A Fine Balance’. 🙂

    I am sorry I didn’t answer your question earlier, but I have read all of Rohinton Mistry’s books. I like him a lot. He should have won the Booker Prize a long time ago.

    Did you go for the Obama victory celebration? When I saw that on TV, I so badly wanted to be there. I am so glad he won again.

    It snowed yesterday and it is cold today.

    Take care, mani

  2. Maggie Fleming November 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM #

    This is so beautiful. I particularly love the lines
    “there was no sign
    of his defiance, nor
    his life-sustaining bowl, and
    the once stubborn flies
    left, no tombstone.”
    The details you choose to include in this piece really deliver a pitiful and despairing view of the human condition, without plainly stating it. Stunning. Thank you!

    • visionthroughwords November 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM #

      Thank you, Maggie. We keep trying to tell Mani how amazing he is but he is too humble to believe it.

      • Maggie Fleming November 8, 2012 at 2:44 PM #

        Well, that’s a gift too! 🙂

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