A Small Thing of Great Value: Poem

John Kolyav By John Kolyav, 11th Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

‘Old age has its honor and its toil’, it is true. But, sometimes old people require help. This simple poem illustrates how the attitude of a Principal could brighten the dark world of a family

Inspiring friend

I was slightly homesick, and my mind was full
Of my boyhood days in Kerala that I spent
Among the paddy fields and coconut trees.

As the past life with my parents bubbled up
From the vague ocean of oblivion
I began to pluck grasses and throw idly
And glanced the wind licks them downhill.
The small huts in the village were visible
Two miles away, like match boxes.

Almost five-thousand feet above the sea level
Was our school, on an emerald hill in Lhuentse. Very clear
Were the far, snowy peaks that border Tibet and Bhutan.

Suddenly my conditioned reflex came to a halt;
Something other than grass my fingers felt!
My thoughts interrupted, I turned my head;
A very small herb, attired in tiny yellow flowers
Inconspicuous, congested among the grasses,
Yet in a dignified manner was displaying its beauty:
Its leaves were lively, as if it was proud
And satisfied of its being, challenging my will.
Though struggling hard to survive, it smiled;

I felt ashamed of my depression and sprang up.

Helping hands

The next day we had a staff meeting
On ‘World Food Day’ that was approaching
We had to discuss thoroughly ‘how to celebrate?’
It is Food Day after all! The stomach should vibrate!
‘Seminar’, ‘exhibition’, ‘grand dinner’, one by one
There exploded many a ‘Small Bang’ suggestion.
Before winding it up, our kind Principal
Enquired, ‘dear expatriates, have you any proposal?
A God-given chance! I stood up:
‘Dear Sirs, man is not living only with bread
But with words of God also; yet, the poor can’t eat
Seminars or dramas, they need rice or wheat;
Let me be brief: in the village down
There are two old peasants, helpless and suffering
I’ve limitations…”

The Principal, very wise, asked me to stop
Before completing. ‘I’m aware, and I hope,’
He continued, ‘most of the Bhutanese teachers also
Know them. His name is Tenzin Jamtsho
His wife is Deki Wangmo, cataract afflicted
Both are over seventy-five, no children to care them.
We’ll see if we could do memorable something;
Thank you Mr. John, for reminding this thing!’

Shower of blessing

On 16th October
Tenzin Jamtsho was invited to the school.
A sac full of rice
Another sac of potato,
Some vegetables and cooking oil
Were offered respectfully
And he was assured to be helped every now and then.

Tears of gratitude ran down through his wrinkled cheeks
And those sanctified the school all the more.



Bhutan, Cataract, God, Himalaya, Kerala, Lhuentse, Nostalgia, Peasant, Poverty, School, Tibet

Meet the author

author avatar John Kolyav
Born in 1963, Postgraduated in 1986. Six novels and four poetry books published. Got three state- level awards for literary works. More details at www.johnsonpj.com

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
11th Oct 2012 (#)

Great poetry.

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author avatar John Kolyav
11th Oct 2012 (#)

Thanks dear Rathnashikamani for your appreciation.

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