Raj Arumugam


The Bird Sings To The Mendicant - Poem by Raj Arumugam

The mendicant hears a bird singing. He comes to the grove.
The bird is high up on a bamboo branch.
The bamboo branch sways in the wind and the bird sings.

The mendicant sits on the ground.
He eats some dry bread and drinks some water from the pond.
And he sits in the shade listening to the bird in the grove.

‘Precious bird in the grove, ’ says the mendicant. ‘Sing a song for me, if you will.’

The bird comes down to a branch nearer the ground. The bird takes a bow and chirps and shakes its head sideways as if to clear its throat.

And the bird sings for the mendicant:

simple mendicant
who has bread and water
who starts his day
in basic needs and
goes to bed below the stars;
you and I live thus
in carefree ways
and we will meet again
in nature’s embrace
when our days are over


The mendicant laughs. And he bows. And he says:
‘Thank you for your song, precious bird. I will go now, and sing these lines in the next town, and perhaps earn myself some more bread.’


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, February 9, 2010



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