The Snake Charmer and the Hamadryad


The Snake Charmer and the Hamadryad

For J. C. Alldridge

Piccolo and been-throated pibroch
Dilating dimpled hood
Spreading photometric darkroom eyes
Waxing waxing matching
Venomous lip to music's piping lip

O Queen of stung dragon-mouthed Po
Dancing girl of nuanceless ancient reliefs
The apotheosis Brahman curling on the neck
Must you now sink sink
         Dread watched
                   Spineless
Into the winding womb wickerwork
Watching watching pipe-eyed watching
           Until you slip
Over the sill of the pipe and the lip

Anathema! 
   Amorphous piteous anathema!
       Amulet of Siva!
Licking the boneless air companionless
Then slithering to lie on the trodden path
Must you have this one last lick
A lick that
     Stills the
          Unheeding
               Child astray
Or ripple tailless
In the reedy gust
To the squat charmer's
Hypnotical pibroch

 ©: T. Wignesan - Paris, 1957 (from Tracks of a Tramp. Kuala Lumpur-Singapore: 1961; first pub. in "Forum Academicum", University of Heidelberg, 1957)

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