Poem of the Kids Kingdom

from the distance I saw nothingness
yet I heard cry of a child
is this a gift or is this a curse
to be freed into the wild

sorrow indescribable by word
a deep grief through day and night
peril my life just to walk forward
brave the battle turn the tide

masticate flesh of the innocent
bite of the venomless snake
how could someone be so impudent
what is mine you shall not take

mortify desire to linger
I sigh with a broken heart
to be separated from mother
why life have to be this hard


So recently I have this friend, Januar, posting haiku on facebook. His struggle with his thesis makes him turn to literature to elaborate his meaningless worldly achievement in Engineering. I guess writing the haiku is a spiritual experience for him. So I googled and read a Haiku article in wikipedia. I am amazed by the limitation of the syllables pattern, 5-7-5 for haiku.

In Bahasa Indonesia literature, we have pantun. The distinguished pattern is on the rhyme ending each line. While each pantun verse contain four lines with a-b-a-b rhyme pattern, pantun does not have restriction on number of syllables pattern.

Above is my humble attempt on contemporary form of poetry, i tried to keep the syllables in 9-7-9-7 pattern while conforming to pantun a-b-a-b rhyme. Generally this is what I imagine going through inside Evangeline’s head every morning we drop her in school. This is what the poem written by a literature prodigy whose mind trapped inside the body of languageless toddler.

Verse 1 tells the story of Angel in front of the Childcare door. Normally we can’t see what’s inside because of the building layout. But we can vaguely hear the kids screaming, playing, and some music from inside sometime. While Angel generally love to play with Papa and Mama, sometime she prefer to go to school and ask us to leave quickly, dragging her own school bag to go in. Till to date, we are still unaware of the parameter that decide whether we should go and let her go, or, we should stay longer and console her. So far it’s random with 80%+ chance she will go in without crying. Angel cries in front of the childcare door 99% of the Monday. She hates Monday. Like we do.

Verse 2 imagines the conflict within her heart. While the teachers and laoshis will try to keep up, sometime the toddlers are too fast. And for this age (1 to 2 year old) they don’t really have ways to communicate effectively with language. So they do it with action. What I mean is, when kids don’t like you, they just bitch slap you right in your face without thinking the consequences. My daughter is not the angelic forgiving type, she will hold her ground for what she believes is right. No matter whether she is actually right. Any classmate slaps her, better get prepared to meet your demise. We had an event where the teacher told us that Angel’s classmate bit and scratched her face and leave a nasty marks. Before we could enquire which kid does that, the laoshi told us that Angel retaliate out of proportion, pouncing and sucker punching the poor fella to the wall, grappling and tumbling to perform a chokehold pinning the classmate to the floor and sitting on the almost motionless body. The laoshi called us to ask what we’ve been teaching her at home. Ninjitsu, of course. I’m not sure what I’m feeling. Am I supposed to be worry, proud, or confused?

Verse 3 is related to verse 2. After the scratching versus pouncing incident we told her that she’s not supposed to wrestle her classmate to oblivion like that. It’s dangerous for both party because kids this age still can’t control their power. It might be harmless intention, but could result in severe effect. The teacher feedback to us Angel is behaving well. Never start a fight and generally a good kid in sharing with friends and playing in a team. Until one day the teacher tell us someone bit her wrist, and she just said “no!” and avoid this kid. But this kid continue to follow Angel and bit her again before the teacher manage to stop him. So Angel cried standing for very long, and there were two bite marks, left my daughter’s wrist swollen and ¬†suffered laceration. I remembered I almost cried when I saw the bite marks. She didn’t retaliate, and she told the teacher because Papa said it’s wrong to hit your friend. If only we don’t teach Angel this, she could have change the perpetrator status to victim shortly after the first bite.

Verse 4 is the standard procedure before Mama leaving. Angel will ask Mama to squat down. She will hug her for as long as she wants. And said “Mama go.” to signal that the Mother could leave. It could be few seconds or as long as two minutes hugging. But this is ritual. All the teacher and laoshi knows it. Except one. One day this new teacher, who knows nothing about this ritual, peeled of the hugging Angel, startled the Mother, and face the wrath of both. I wish her best of luck taming the awakened dragon.

And for the concerned readers, I do not teach my daughter to brawl.¬†In Kids Kingdom, it’s survival skill.