The Dark Man

by Aidan Andrew Dun

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An old blind man was sitting on a busy street corner in the rush-hour begging for money. On a cardboard sign, next to an empty tin cup, he had written: ‘Blind – Please help’. No-one was giving him any money. A young advertising writer walked past and saw the blind man with his sign and empty cup, and also saw the many people passing by completely unmoved, let alone stopping to give money.

The advertising writer took a thick marker-pen from her pocket, turned the cardboard sheet back-to-front, and re-wrote the sign, then went on her way. Immediately, people began putting money into the tin cup. After a while, when the cup was overflowing, the blind man asked a stranger to tell him what the sign now said. “It says,” said the stranger, “‘It’s a beautiful day. You can see it. I cannot.’” Maria Eugenia Fernandez

i

Mystery encroaches
on the dark man

Sensing shadows
supernatural objects

Other pedestrians
hidden from sight.

The dark man
somewhere walks free

Visible wavebands
non-distracting

Tactile soundfields
telling more, saying much

His streets, experiments
in tangential progress

Finding the straightforward
turned into the labyrinthine

That which is familiar
somehow invisible

Seeing the occult
suddenly becoming known.

ii

Here is the question:
participation, but in what?

Have you ever climbed
hilltops blindfolded

Panic and ascension
side-by-side

Like a drug
not to be untaken?

Children know
such dangerous games

Typhlotic edges
radar-flirtation

Look at Milton:
sighted largely political

Sightless utterly visionary
the garden opening.

iii

Apocalypse of looking
via our bat-senses

Revelation of spectra
beyond survivor-filters

Childhood’s sensorium
raw perfumes again

An empty country-church
as shaded flower of eternity

The tunnel at Notting Hill
after the West Indies

Primordial with special fog
perfectly remembered

Shocking after ten years:
the stale air fresh.

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