English: Termites in a mound, Perinet, Madagascar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Please refer to my post @ https://ifeelshadows.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/my-idyllic-village-experience/ for a background to the story.
Original(O): “A very long day it feels like;
And long before the night is over;”
Explained(E): When sleep doesn’t come after my kind of easy day, the day really feels long. Also, a sleepless night is not any better.
O: “When the guarantee for a goodnight’s sleep is expired,
Because it was not refrigerated.”
E: Dim the lights (given there was hardly electricity supply to my cottage hospital lodge) and make the weather chilly, leaving me alone on my king-size bed, and it’s guaranteed I’ll sleep soundly. But, I wrote this during the hot season.
O: “And now I have to drink lukewarm water,
Before my thoughts run dry
And I fall asleep.
Thankful I am not falling through space in a dream!”
E: I would have to console myself and go with what was afforded me.
Sleep would eventually come. Good I almost always end up with more interesting dreams than falling through blank space. There was a time I dreamt I was cooking a meal so delicious -and aromatic -a big rat came along intending to eat the food right off the fire. My dog beside me then drew close to the rat, sniffing and acknowledging to me that the rat smelled quite good. (The rat was completely unaware of the dog, lost in the world of the pot). I nodded, with a grin, in agreement. There I woke up.
O: “Why should I go to work tomorrow,
When my wages have not been paid?”
E: Once or twice they(at the government) attempted to fiddle with my wages. It was corrected eventually. I never did miss a day of work, though I contemplated it. I knew they would have to succumb, as I was the only doctor in the whole district. However, I do remember actively supporting the peaceful demonstration by the other workers at the general workers” lodge. It was also on account of skipped wages. I should repeat with emphasis: it was a completely peaceful demonstration and both parties concerned aired their complaints and responses.
O: “Why should the termites go to work tomorrow,
When their queen was roasted
And resting in peace in my belly?
Does that make me cruel?”
E: Almost anyone who has been in a tropical countryside during the rains has been guilty of eating roasted termites which swarm lit areas at night. The queens are much bigger, their abdomens swollen with eggs with which to start a new colony. Permit me to stop here by saying the roasted termites tasted like tenderized honey.
A young female of White-fronted Capuchi Monkey (Cebus albifrons). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Please, refer to my post @ https://ifeelshadows.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/my-idyllic-village-experience/ for the backgroung to the story.
Original(O): “Why did I have to grow up to become burdened with a life of minimum wage.”
Explained(E): In the country then, the minimum wage scheme was meant to make workers’ lives easier by stating a minimum salary that must be paid to the worker. Unfortunately, the set level was so low that it became a “punishment” to the workers. A hard life!
O: “To be deceived by cassanovas and vixens.”
E: I needn’t state the horrors suffered from a heartbreak, need I?! I have tried to be gender-fair -cassanovas being the male players/heartbreakers, vixens the females.
O: “To be sold into a life of rents, mortgages and bankruptcy.
To die of broken hearts.”
E: Meant as written
O: “Wouldn’t cancer have been a better deal or ordeal?”
E: I am a medical doctor and absolutely do not mean any slight or indifference by my reference to cancer. I do wonder though which hurts more -the pain of terminal cancer or the grief from a bad break-up? And my heart goes out to that person who has suffered a heartbreak and is in the terminal cancer stage now.
O: “Why can’t I grow young?
To become burdened with gifts and food.
To be sold into a life of toys and overfeeding.”
E: This is in contrast to what I am facing now. Can’t I be heavy with food, and not debts? Can’t I be crowded with toys and not troubles? I am not asking to look young and fresh-skinned again. Just to enjoy the simple joys and pleasures of childhood!
O: “To be deceived by mum and dad.”
E: At least mum and dad only deceived me about questions and answers -issues of sex, how babies came to be,etc. They did truly care for me and didn’t break my love.
O: “To die of paediatric delinquency.”
E: Oh the insane things I did as a kid: crossing busy streets carelessly just to boast to friends, picking left-over cigarettes, jumping from crazy heights just for the thrill, etc.
O: “Wouldn’t a child-soldier‘s death be more honourable?”
E: (permit to confess that I have temporarily lost the will and wits to explain this line, just thinking about the lives and fates of children-soldiers!) Hmm!!!
O: “And now I am even being deceived by some semblance of orderliness to my thoughts.
When my torch is failing.”
E: Anyone who has read “The Mad Village Poet 1” will notice that it is less sensible than this. I wrote both in one night; and by the time I was writing this, my battery-powered torch was already failing; alone in my dark room, in my cottage hospital lodge!
O: “I might as well set my house on fire tonight, so I can see clearly.”
E: And be guilty of arson? I’ll take a rain-check, thanks!
O: “Is the life of a poet graceful? Does not the monkey display mastery of the arts?
What makes humans better?”
E: I have been impressed with the psychology of a monkey at work. And I have got to say, the monkey does have arts too. Is it to be compared with the artistic display of man? Well, art is no man’s and every man’s land.
In another sense, the monkey is quite a comical creature and I have come to like that comic quality; so much I sometimes poetically liken myself to a monkey. Hehehehe!
O: “I like monkey soup though. Little wonder I think and write like one.
At least I should have a fulfilling life in the pot. And brace myself for the fire that will try me.”
E: From liking a monkey, to likening myself to one, to actually becoming the monkey in the pot of soup.
Anyway, we all shall be tried by fire in life.
O: “God help me if the cook should doze off.”
Posted in free verse, insane rantings, life
Tagged Cancer, Cottage hospital, God, Human, Military use of children, Minimum wage, Monkey, narrative, poem