Jack Ross Knutson

Calcutta , West Bengal Summer 2004

Cacophonous symphony, chattering hordes of sun-painted uniformed school children
Tuxedoed white collared crows laughing like winged husky throated black bullocks
Circumspect lean dingo dogs at home with the street and heat
Language of car-horn mayhem, insistent rain of bicycle bells
Drumbeat voices
Raging sea of humanity
River of life
Ganges gold ore of souls
Cripples and gutter-side deformities
Sidewalk dwelling families
Meek hungry women cavernous eyes caress little babies
Clever lean street children too old for their years
Small dirty hands relentlessly clasp your lost hands in seductive smiling beseeching
Flowering vine of humanity 
More dogs testing their bark
Cries and more chatter of the dark school children
Their white eyes shine with black pearl souls
Women bearing huge lumpy burdens head-top
Turbans and pebble-tossed sand-filled jewelry stores 
Khakied soldiers with long flintlock, matchlock rifles 
Manned with warm lazy hands
In the hundred percent humid air vice of breath-taking prison
Muddy streets 
Hot sweet milky sidewalk tea hand brewed in vast tin pots
Pottery cups and searing sun
Smash them in the basket when you’re done
White pith helmet traffic cops 
Sweat soaked dirty white shirts and whirlwind whistle
Yellow school buses, drab dusty commuter buses and infinite 1940’s vintage Ambassador yellow taxis
Black plumes of hellish soiled smoke
Handsome men
Handsome Tahitian dressed women
Sweet chocolate skin
Aztec colors
Grimy stone buildings
Acrid leaden air
Hand painted downtown sign, big, bold, bounteous bids
“America, Think Why the World Hates You”
Stings my fast-food American soul
Finally falls the three-starred cherry picked through-a-glass darkly night sky
Its hand painted van Gogh orange pumpkin smile moon
Lights the way for the cigarette throat of my thirsty Jesus-washed feet