Raj Arumugam

Ha Ha Boy And Girl Child In Grim Land - Poem by Raj Arumugam

Ha Ha boy and girl Child arrive at the gates of Grim Land.

Ha Ha boy and girl Child walk into Grim Land.
The people do not smile.
The people do not laugh.

Suddenly all the people stand still. The King is in his carriage with his entourage.
The girl Child runs towards the King.

Sir! shouts the girl Child.
Ha Ha boy follows.
Sir! he shouts.

The soldiers circle the children. They point spears at them.
The King, dressed in somber clothes, and looking rather unhappy, glares at the children.

He says: Bring the children here!

The soldiers drag the children to the King. The King looks grim and sad.
Who are you? the King roars.

Sir, says the girl, we have come for the bird in the grove. Mother Chrysanthemum says Desirer might have captured the bird and brought it to you for a reward.

The bird is with me, says the King. I paid the Desirer a reward to bring the bird to me for the Desirer said that it sings and it dances. I wanted it so I could learn to be happy listening to its songs and my people would learn to smile again.
But it has all been in vain.
I have given the bird a golden home and yet it does not sing. I give it the best food and yet it does not dance. And so my people and I continue in our grim and angry ways. It is a lie that the bird sings.

Oh no, Sir, says the girl Child. The bird sings for joy and delight and it delights all hearts that are open. Listen, Sir, to a song it sang for me:

The moon is in the sky
and the fish in the pond;
the creatures are at rest
and the water flows;
love them all
gentle beings
feel them all in your very being
and your love shall be the peace
your love shall be the calm

And the King cries as he listens to this song. And he learns to love in that instant.

And listen, Sir, says Ha Ha boy. And listen all good people, he says turning to the somber people in the streets. Listen to another song the bird sang us in the grove:

Listen, sweet ones,
listen to the growth of the earth
the growth of the creeper
and the birth of buds
and the flowers

Listen sweet ones
to the descent of the dew
and the quiet push of the roots

Listen sweet ones
listen to the growth of the earth

And the people cry as they listen to this song. And they learn to love in that instant.

And the soldiers too cry as they listen to this song.

And from that day Grim City is known as Bright City for the King and the people learned to love this day.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 15, 2010

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