A penumbra of vision
by Vijaya Gowrisankar

I step onto the stage in my favorite red attire
Absorb the expectations of the esteemed audience
They inspect the handkerchief and the dough
Confirm they can’t see through this combination

One after the other, varied hands write numbers
Chalk scrapes and my mind’s eye deciphers them
Next is the language — English and international
I answer the queries, replicate the lines in speed

Completing simple lines to pictures evoke gasps
As natural as next breath, I continue with swift strokes
Is it the practice, the technique or art in my blood?
My passion takes over, I conclude with my pictorial signature

I remove the black cloth that numbs external sensation
I open the firm knots and the dough stuck like second skin
Drenched in sweat, I struggle to open my eyes to see the world
Step out of my magical sphere to expressions of awe and accolades

PHOTO: P.C. Sorcar, Jr., performs his trademark X-ray Eyes trick in India. (Photo by Sanat Kumar Sinha, All Rights Reserved).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: P.C. Sorcar, Jr., is known for his X-ray Eyes trick. His father P.C. Sorcar had also perfected this magic. This poem is a tribute to this fascinating act — the last trick of his magic show that I attended as a child. For a long time, I was in awe of this act. Even today, when I close my eyes, I can see it as a vivid memory. See for yourself on youtube.


Vijaya Gowrisankar released her second book of poems Reflect in December 2015. Her first book, Inspire, published in December 2014, reached bestseller status. She was announced as one of the winners of Inspire by Gandhi competition, organized by Sampad, a UK organization. She has been announced as the Winner of AZsacra International Poetry Award (Dec. 2015). Her submissions have been published in Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Taj Mahal Review, along with Silver Birch Press.