(When someone is born deaf and blind, life is analogous to living in a sensory deprivation tank.)

All motion dissolves in the blackness

That his eyes have taken eternally.

He lies in that forlorn tank, his body covered

With a thin layer of salt, then and now,

Released from water.

Carson waits for a touch on his

Shoulder that signals the arrival of

Women from Sunday church at Shiloh.

He feels the subtle vibrations that

Diffuse into and run the length

Of his bones: preteen belles playing

Just beyond in the stark room where

Tea is served formally in paper cups,

And high heels stomp on hardwood floors;

The blood-pumping heart of the

English Springer that curls nearby and

Dreams of chasing in a wild frenzy the

Scent of the elusive rabbit through all

Woods of Tennessee.

Blackness is a selfish thief who gives

Nothing up easily. But something wonderful

Comes from blackened eyes, banged out

With his fists, those puckish shapes that

Flash across the cold nakedness of his

Shuttered eyelids. He counts each with a

Relentless clicking of his teeth: jagged stars,

Concentric circles, and the two-sided irregular

Forms that merge and burst once and forever.

Carson floats in the mute and seamless

Mix of serene seas. His tongue and lips

Crave the acidic juices of oranges and lemons;

His throat desires a sweet drop of water.

His body seeks an anchor, the arms

An embrace. That unavoidable dependency

Of the senses breached, thus his mind drifts

Above like an exhausted sailor in the wake

Of his body. He contemplates in his own

Odd assembled language the morphing

Images that were not those once traced

By his fingers. But how could he imagine

The Iris bloom or the ancient ruins of Mycenae? 

Perhaps, he might beat his eyes ignoring

The pain, striking until that strange intense

Light bursts through those white-knuckled

Clinched hands. Climbing from the stygian tank,

He would filter the brilliancy through slit-

Spaced fingers as it forms the taupe sofa, the

Walnut stained table, and the soft blue

Walls. He might feel the subtle changes

Of warmth among the reds, indigos and

Violets. He would stare at solemn grays of

The recent full moon, and the flames that dart

In the fireplace like those irregular forms beaten

Out in his eyes. He would greet the different

Timbre of the sonata and walk complete in his

Regal presence in the holy balanced air. Stunned

By his reflection in the cracked mirror, the

Scarred forehead and hair just graying, he

Would understand those indecipherable

Vibrations, kneel, hug the Springer, and

Smother it with southern vigilance. 

Soon they would be chasing the elusive rabbit

Across the small streams, through rustling leaves,

And the briars where the stuporous possum hides,

Ignoring his bluish-black shins and blood matted

Arms lately scratched, and beneath the tree where

The Great Horned Owl waits patiently for a

Midnight kill.

But until then he would mimic the sounds of rain

And wind. The softness of his skin gone, he would

Brush the salt away, speak in the cadence of children,

Absorb and assimilate the messages from each ray

Of light, and waltz in the aroma of sweet potato pie.

Want to try your hand at poetry? Email me at

Featured image credits to Prettysleepy from Pixabay

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