Chess Players By the Ganges

Chess players by the Ganges (Benares)

By Robert Cole

These are the men who
discovered zero
now they move pawns,
have time to replay the
in scorpion formation
they play in the dust
in dhotis, dematerialize
by a self-styled fidelity
the waters reflect a swirling
the chessmen deployed
Krishna eagles from nowhere
stippling the sun,
sandalwood chessmen,
smoke from the ghats,
the chandals guard the sacred
shadows of pepal trees.

Robert Cole is a Freelance writer at Ambit magazine / sundry lit zines/ and Observer, London.

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