Author: Paul House

Poetry: The Blind Man And His Guide

I am in the street waiting for you,

a blind man calling out the lottery

beside me, his white stick clutching

vaguely at the wall, bunched tickets slung

about his neck and held there with a pin.

We don’t speak. We listen to the steps

of the passing crowd, feet definitely

pacing with purpose and direction.


A couple of stagnant hours later

he will listlessly stagger off,

bent almost double over his stick

as though crushed by the weight of tickets

hung from his collar like a sign.

He will shape a map from the swept streets,

moulding it to a city, blowing life

into his smudged replica of the town.


Nearing the kiosk where his friend sits,

also blind and selling the lottery,

his flimsy map may again dissolve

into an insolent nothing, a blank

page starving for the tiniest detail.

Returned shouts will create a destination

and, like the pulsing beam of a lighthouse,

the blind will successfully lead the blind.


I am in the street waiting for you.

Sample Chapters

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Poem for Anna •  Mandelstam and Mayakovsky •  The Lighted Window  •  Alone with the Years •  The Poet Tires •  Something there is •  La Madrugada •  Postcard of a Golden Retriever •  Shellfish •  Miguel Hernandez •  At the Edge of the Ebro •  Gone •  Playing Cards •  That's Where I Belong •  An Abstract Perfection •  Pearls in a Glass •  Poem for Susie •  Mornings in Malasaña •  Leo •  A Garbled Message •  Gnome •  Old Friends •  More About Penguins •  Ghosts •  Poem for Nelly •  Good Friday in Salamanca •  T.L.P. •  What It Is About •  The Blind Man And His Guide •  The Smell Of Winter •  For No Other Reason •  Poem for Linda