The epiclet: Apsara Canto six

Apsara, we know, was her name
The blacksmith’s son’s name is lost to history.
One twilit eve Mr Smith looked out through the window
After polishing his black shoes again and making them shine
Till he could see his bleached face in them
And saw Apasara and her young man walk by
Something in the curve of her walk
reminded him of the curves of the sweet Thames’ little wavelets
that ran softly as if in song
be the song long or be the song lorn
Come, let me with this Amaryllis in the shade sport
and have some dalliance, he thought idly
That it may not be said I did not enjoy foreign furlough
Mrs Smith being too oft engaged in some other sport
He called the young man and her over
Asked them amiably what there was to visit
In the quiet vicinity
In halting English, they said
We go to the temple
May I too, he asked
Exchanging glances
Unsure, puzzled
As to how to explain that they themselves had to stand
far away from the temple and bow
they half-heartedly said, yes
and then the three fared on
When they reached the banyan tree
They asked him to wait
He did without demur
They went and came back
Then he asked them about the blue light
Even from afar it could be seen glimmering
They tried to explain about the gemstone to him
He had come to survey about the railways lines
criss-crossing the entire land
and its feasibility for their place, he said.
At parting, he let his eyes remain only on her
She felt confused and hers, hers fell down.
The nameless young man watched, troubled at something
he fathomed and did not. The advent of more travail.

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Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored or co-authored seven or eight books of poetry, theory and criticism. He is an editor and anthologist. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically Samuel Beckett's poems in English. He was a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry in 2012 and his book Art of Poetry was selected as Best Reads 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee. He has been editor's pick on Camel Saloon thrice and poet of the month thrice in Destiny Poets UK besides often having his poems appear in the highly selected category. Has other international awards, diplomas and certificates to his credit too.

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