The whistler

Some say of the singer

He can really carry a tune

But the whistler, he is carried by the tunes.

On them, he depends.

Akin to birdsong, he utters unconsciously,

And without effort,

The warbling melodies.

They stave off sullenness.

They are linear, lonely, lyrical.

In company, or in solitude they flow.

A precision of the tongue and breath.

Not learned, but somehow innate.

Unwilling are some of his listeners.

Glowering glances they give.

Others are drawn, staying close but feigning indifference.

Furtive but friendly.

Embarrassed by the spell.

Then there are those who openly lavish praise.

They ask for more, and tug their friends over.

The Whistler has unwittingly woven this spell,

And is surprised, abashed, taken aback.

Suddenly silenced.

The kind and blameless people look away.

Perhaps they know what they have asked of him.

Like one who would look over the shoulder of a painter transfixed,

And say “Continue. Continue.”

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