20 November 2013

CHILD (For Universal Children's day)

Guest Writer: Lekh Raj
(Image Credit: worldfotographyart)
When first approached to contribute something to mark ‘Universal children’s day’, I found myself in a quandary and made use of internet connectivity which has numerous information, virtually at your fingertips. It is there to remind us of the disparity of conditions between children growing up all over the world. Of how no child deserves to be without the necessities of food, shelter, medical care and schooling. You can find out more about this observance by clicking here. (http://www.un.org/en/events/childrenday/)

In the poem I wish to present, there are two main characters: myself, and a child between 3-5 years of age. The interaction that takes place reflects the fact that we are different: One (myself) being of Asian origin and the child from an English family. The boy had most likely had converse with his parents regarding the differences. Then there is the problem of my hearing, (I am virtually deaf without my hearing aid, and even then I often have to ask people to repeat what they had just said.) but regardless, the dialogue continues. The poem marks a learning curve in a safe and loving environment. It is an environment, which every child growing up in this world, needs; but even before that is the need for freedom from hunger and disease. On this day, let us all be part of the human race, and bear others less fortunate in mind and give what we can through charities like ‘Save the Children’ - which I support, that are doing some very good workout there; also, bear in mind that the politicians need reminding every so often. They tend to forget about things in-between fiddling their expense accounts.

(Image credit: dhgate)


Carry me you said, “Up on high”
I hoisted you onto my shoulders.
We traveled someway up ahead,
and then set-off again, on foot.

“Everybody in the world are cousins,” you said.
“Yes variably so, by nature of creed and kinship.”
“You always had problems with hearing,” you asked.
“No, it was only by accident of chance, not birth.”
“Lots of people in the world like this” you said.
     “Yes, one must be careful not to get hurt.”

Then you got rolled by your playfully affectionate sisters.
Onto your back upon wet grass, cowpat stains on jacket.
“You’re a big-boy now,” I said.
And off you went racing down to the stream.
“Be careful”, I shouted.
“I know what I’m doing” you said,
and jumped across it.

I watched over you anxiously:
Playfully expeditious in your child’s world.
“Come on”, I urged.
You followed along from the other side.
At fenced barrier squeezed through gap.
The stream widened flowing over jutting rocks.
You paused with thoughts of crossing over.
I said, don’t!  They’re too jagged and slimy,
          come over at the road bridge.
You hesitated, stared, then reconsidered and
          came safely across at the bridge.

Lekh Raj has a B.A Hons certificate in creative writing, and has spent most of his life working in factories and on building sites. Find him on Facebook here

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