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14.4k · Oct 2014
weekend with my parrot
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
so  it was the weekend
and I had no dates
nobody invited me over
(I suppose because
I never invite anyone over)
and so I stayed home
and by Sunday night
my parrot was telling me:
"Shut up, you
****** parrot!
Shut up, you
****** parrot!"

*Oh shut up, you ****** parrot!
2nd in my series of poems on my imaginary parrot pet
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
so I brought my writer wife
(prominently pregnant)
to the hospital
and on her bed, she screamed:
"weren't" "hasn't" "couldn't" "shan't"
"aint" "hadn't" "you're" "isn't"
"aren't" "didn't" "wasn't"
"who's?" "what's?" "he's" "she's"

The doctors were confounded
and they turned to me and they said:
"What the hell is she doing?"

And I replied with double speed
and a violent sense of urgency:
*"Don't you know?
She's having contractions -
she's a writer"
11.3k · Oct 2014
training my parrot, again
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
so I tried again
to train my parrot,
this time more emphatically:
"Why don't you just
say what I say?
What, they never taught you
Repetition at Parrot School?"

and my parrot said:
*"What, they never taught you
Thinking at Human School?"
final poem in this series of parrot poems...I give up on my parrot!
10.7k · Oct 2014
my parrot and my girlfriend
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
my girlfriend moved in
but she left with a huff and a puff
when she realised the truth

the truth dawned on her
when she heard
the parrot repeat
after just two months:
"What's for dinner?
What's for dinner?
What's for dinner?"

she left; now it's just
me and my parrot again
and all my ****** parrot says now is:
*"**** you, parrot!
**** you, parrot!"
poem 3 in my series of poems on my imaginary parrot
10.3k · Oct 2014
training my parrot
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
so I said to my parrot:
"Why don't you just
be like the other parrots
and repeat whatever I say?"

and my obstinate parrot said:
*"Why don't you just
be like the other owners
and say something worth repeating?"
4th poem in the series on my imaginary parrot
9.4k · Oct 2010
Moon poems
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
five moons for earth
sometimes I wish
dear moon
sometimes I wish
the earth had five moons
and all so positioned
we can see
one every night and then in twos and in threes
never four (just so for mystery’s sake)
and then all five
all in perfect alignment once a year
just three nights so
and then we’ll all here on earth
go ga ga ga
or moo moo moo looooney
those nights and go crazy
and climb up trees and enact our ape ancestry …

and don’t you be jealous
I asked for four others;
I just want more of you –
just never seem to get enough of you

I see you moon
I see you moon
this cool autumn morning
you sing over the river and trees
and you are supported
by your belly-dance troupe of stars

ah poor moon
ah poor moon
you're just hanging around
and through no fault of your own
you attract all these weirdos
these lunatics
and the vampires and the blood-******* bats
and the sleep-walkers and murderers
and the flesh-eaters
(the moon made me do it!)
and the lunatics
and the werewolves
and even stock-pickers
and wild women who want to **** Orpheus

O poor moon
you're just about your own radiant business
and all these freaks put it at your doorstep

dear moon, you will understand
darling moon
dear moon
do not be offended
we have stripped you
down to rock and a plain face
and we show pictures of you
in black, gray and white;
and though a writer of verse,
in this verse,
I strip you of your romance and aura;
be not angry
for after all,
you will understand,
we are children who come after
and Neil Armstrong

Li Po, the moon and me
You know
lovely moon
Li Po
was drunk
and he paddled out to you
seeing your reflection
and he jumped in to the lake
embracing you in the waters
and so he drowned;
you know
loving moon,
I will not come to you thus;
instead you know my time
and you will drown
in the lake shadows of my quiet

in praise of the moon
I will not sing you a song of praise
O gentle moon
there are too many modern people around
too many enlightened minds tonight
they reckon they don't need your light;
there are too many elect
and too many going to Heaven
and if I sang in praise of you
they will throw their Blessed Books at me
and they will say
'You moon-worshiper, you go to hell!'
(they fancy words like idolator)

O so most divine moon
O godly moon
O most sacred moon
I shall not sing in praise of you;
there are too many bloodthirsty wolves around

was it you, mooon?
cold moon
I am sad;
was it you,
distant moon,
who made me so

you are there moon
you are there moon;
I thought you were not
and I went to sleep
and I sighed: "She will not come, not tonight;
she has some other lover";
and I went to sleep
and then much later now I wake up
and you've come, out there
and your light full within my room
and your fingers on every cell of my being

you witness my dying
you witness my dying
as you see my life, my hopes and desires
and all my embarrassments
and my achievements too,
dear moon;
O quiet presence,
O radiant presence all one's life;
and what do you look at these days
in my life
darling moon
what do you see?
you who have seen the child grow old
and you hang out beaming by the window
to see one more death
to add to the countless you witness
since the day you came

M for Man, Money and Moon
M for moon
M for Man
M for Money;
and at last Man has seen the moonlight
and now they know
Man can make Money out of the Moon

Moon, I hear you are moving away
Moon, I hear you are moving away
Why moon, are you moving away?
Don’t you like your neighbor
earth so blue and green
and earthlings so adorable?
Did you not come so near
to get to know your neighbor well?
why then are you moving, moon?
maybe you’ve come to know us well
I hear you’re moving slowly,
so slowly your neighbor doesn’t notice;
how considerate of you
Anyway, I’ll be gone before you
9.2k · Aug 2013
fitness program
Raj Arumugam Aug 2013
my brother-in-law’s really fit
I admire him for it

He spends much time
in exercise, in energetic thrusts
He’s a whole aerobics center;
gets all the exercise he needs:
He constantly jumps to conclusions
runs down friends, back-stabs whenever he can
side-steps responsibility
and you could say, is constantly pushing his luck
And pushing it too far too…
and goes round and round in circles
with many false arguments

But one kind thing I can say of him
he’s mindful of my health
for he must have observed how I hardly exercise
and he invites me often to his fitness program
“You scratch my back, I scratch yours,” he says…
But I’m just too lazy even for such effortless exercise
and meanwhile, he continues with his fitness program
namely, as I have said before,
jumping to conclusions and constantly pushing his luck…
while the only thing I can manage
in response to his fitness program
(darned lazy as I am, as he complains to his sis)
is to lift my *******

but frankly, my brother-in-law’s really fit
I admire him for it
...hey, I get enough exercise, as it is, completing the obstacle course of life...
Raj Arumugam Oct 2012
What my brother-in-law said to me:
Hey, bro…glad to talk to you…
I’m flying in all the way from Canada
in 30 days’ time…yeah, whole family
Wife and the 3 kids
Hey, you ought to get leave for a week –
we’ll stay in your place,
and you can drive us about Victoria…
it’s really my sis and you we want to see…
Yeah, get back to me after you speak
to the people at your workplace

What I told my brother-in-law:
I asked my boss,
and he said leave’s not possible…
He needs me to be at work
says he can’t manage without me

What my brother-in-law said back to me:
Oh, we’ll try my wife’s side then
You know, the ones who live in Mauritius
We’d really like to see them…

What actually happened
Well, to be honest,
I asked my boss for the week off
and he said:
You’ve let so much work hang for so long
you’d need a whole year to finish
Let me make it plain, you shirker:
This year, you get NO days off

And I shook his hands enthusiastically,
and I said to him:
Thanks, boss – I knew I could always count on you

**...and now I've got my bro-in-law languishing in Canada - and my boss, my colleagues tell me,  feeling perplexed in his office...
...transforming this existing joke into verse demanded a different technique and narrative style...took me quite a while, but I'm happy I got it...and glad my bro-in-law and my boss didn't get 'it'!  (:
8.8k · Oct 2010
dragonfly on bamboo tip
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
the dragonfly is on the tip
as is the air and so the bamboo;
and one observes
what is before one
not forming an image or opinion
or an appreciation
but one observes
what is before one
the dragonfly and the tip of the bamboo
and the air
and not even with names
and there is but that
observing and stillness of the mind
8.4k · Jan 2014
two peacocks in the Reserve
Raj Arumugam Jan 2014
Hey, met any hot chicks lately?
Yeah, that peahen is looking at me,
soon the others will too -
not at you, buddy…Oh yeah.  Get real.

Just wait till I display my train of shimmering colors
and you’ll see the peahens making a beeline for me -
and you’ll have to bury your head
in the ground for shame
like those silly ostriches do…
All males have their self-esteem hurt in my presence, sure;
you’re no exception – don’t feel too bad…you’re just bad…
The last time I displayed my train,
hey - I caused mayhem in the ancient Indian forests
as the peahens went wild…
that’s why they’ve placed a ban on me
in the land
and how I ended up in this reserve
but I’m not the one to worry,
yeah, brother
you’d better step aside
and let me show you how

I call it the Kama Sutra of the Peacock  Gyrations -
learn a bite or a posture and you might
be able to put your gene-stamp
on future generations…
now if you’ll excuse me,
I’ve got a thing or two to do
with these peahens clamoring
for a peck and a neck leading
vigorously to do
the mating dance with me
7.9k · Oct 2014
gene for shyness
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
genetic research moves
in twists and turns
and the latest news is:

"With this latest discovery,"
Dr Bold announced
"we can eliminate shyness"

"Why has it taken Science,"
our team asked Dr Bold
"so long to discover this gene for shyness?"

"We would have found it earlier,"
said Dr Bold
*"but it was hiding behind three other genes"
poem based on a joke I found online
Raj Arumugam Sep 2010
My mother would say:
“Little boy Raj…
Go to Muthu’s
and get some
cinnamon, betel leaves
and ginger and garlic”

And so I go to the shops
singing all the way
and when Muthu asks me
what I’d want
I rattle off a list:
“Sesame seeds, onions
tomatoes and pickles”

And back home,
Mother twists my ears


And inevitably I grew up
and inevitably I got married
and inevitably my wife says to me:
“Dear husband whom
I married in a fire-ceremony;
could you kindly go to Woolies
and get me some
flour, castor sugar,
pepper, pasta sauce and pancakes…”

And so I drive to Woolies
singing all the way;
and walking down the aisles
I throw the following
into the trolley:
cinnamon, betel leaves
and ginger and garlic…

And back home
though my wife does not twist my ears
I feel Mother reach forward
from the other world
and she twists my ears

7.8k · Nov 2014
I see you, yeah
Raj Arumugam Nov 2014
I see you, ya
I may be finger-punching
my smart phone at the dining table -
but darling, I see you, yeah
We’re seated at the table
you say something
but you think I’m listening to
Taylor Swift on Youtube
True - but hey,
I see ya, I hear you
I hear both of you
I multiply, I multi-task you see

I’m walking along the shops
I’m pushing the pram
with my baby inside
and I’m updating status
on the phone too
and getting that download –
but hey, stranger round the corner
I see you, ya, don't ya worry; yeah I see
my baby and I see you
stranger round the corner –
but hey, watch where your going

hey - I see you guys, I see you
no doubt all day I sit
in my couch tapping away
on my new supersize phone
but I’m smart hey – I see you guys
I see you my darling at the kitchen –
get me another coffee, will ya
And I see the kids glued to their sets
and little Toby our kitten
curled at my feet – why, thank you
for the coffee;
darling, can you
put a few cans of beer in the fridge –
see? I see ya, yeah…I see you all
and with this, I take leave of you my friends at HP for a while...till mid-January 2015 or so...hey, but I see you!
7.2k · Jul 2013
I defy humility
Raj Arumugam Jul 2013
Having defied gravity
(not me personally
but by proxy
namely through
a dog, monkey and Soyuz
and fruit flies and bullfrogs
and lately through NASA)
I defy humility
I brave it, I challenge it
for there’s too much hypocrisy
in humility
For humility is such
that it never speaks its name
For when it speaks of Humility
it is Sans Humility
Take me
for example -
you hardly hear me
mention myself as Saint Humility, do you?
But that’s what I am, my other name: Humility
But people keep insisting on calling me Saint Humility
But I defy Humility

I also defy repetition
and over-emphasis
and contradiction, paradox
But, it must not be left unsaid -
in defying humility,
I think I’ve also
quite inadvertently
defined humility: *Saint Me
6.7k · Oct 2014
happiness bicycle
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
She’s riding her bike
the wind’s on her cheeks
and hair
She’s got no worries
no care, cause she’s
riding easy on her bike

Rachel comes on her bicycle
down the street and
she sways with a smile;
she can go steady or she
can show off, as she pleases,
on her happiness bike

off her bicycle
she loses her smile
she frowns, she does not talk
but O -
she’s a goddess, she’s Venus
she’s all radiance
when she’s on happiness bike

she’s in her red top today:
her ******* decent
but talkative;
her *** is composed -
and O, as always
Rachel is glowing
on her happiness bicycle
we know it all:
angels come on bicycles now

She’s riding her bike
the wind’s on her cheeks
and hair
She’s got no worries
no care, cause she’s
riding easy on her bike
6.6k · Jan 2014
donut health
Raj Arumugam Jan 2014
Danny drops his broad bottom
back on the seat
beside his wife
at the food court
with 3 donuts for himself
each soaked in oil and fat
and each thick with white sugar coat

“Danny, why do you eat this stuff…?
That’s all fat, three donuts of fat,”

moans his wife

“Not really,” says Danny to his wife
who eats lettuce and carrot
and who looks like a knitting needle
*“Fastfood donuts are healthy;
look at the air in the middle -
but no doubt
one has to get through rest of the donut
for sure
but the air in the middle
is pure life-giving health
when one gets there”
6.5k · Oct 2014
I bought a parrot
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
I'm not the talking type you know
(us men will understand;
the women have seen this
in their men)
and being the lonely bloke I am
I bought a parrot for company
and just two hours observing me
in my house
the parrot said to me:
*"We ought to talk more..."
...1st in a series of 5 poems on my imaginary parrot...
Raj Arumugam Nov 2011
Scene One

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...

Urgo: I am attendant 1. Often known as Urgo.

Burgo: I am attendant 2. Always known as Burgo.

Urgo:  You see this creature seated here
            in the wheelchair? 
Can you believe it?

            This creature once wrote poems
and its poems still inhabit cyberspace.

Burgo: Oh, this creature did that?

Urgo: Yes, this.

Burgo: I think I’ve read some.

             Not that I can remember any.
Not a word, not a title.
 But must have been pretty good, ha?
To write all those words, in verse...

Urgo: I don’t know about that.
It’s the girls who write. And sissies.
And for all that, you know
there’s just one word this creature can say.

Burgo: Really? Just one word?

Urgo: Yes.
All right, watch this.
           Come on, Raj-i.

           Hey baby...Burgo here wants to hear you.
Just one poem in your one word.
Come on, baby - or no soup for you tonight.

Raj: Baa, baa, baa

        Baa, baa, baa

        Baa, baa, baa

       Baa, baa, baa

(Burgo and Urgo clap)

Urgo: Baan-derful, Raj...
Now Burgo,
           let’s wheel the creature back in

           and dump him in
           his corner.

(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)

Scene Two

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...

Urgo: Today, Burgo, is Exercise Your Vocal Chords Day.

Burgo: No problem - Ahhhhhhhhrrrrgggggooooaaaaa.....

Urgo: Not your vocal cords, Burgo.
It is Exercise Your vocal Cords Day
for our distinguished guest currently
on this wheelchair.

Burgo: Ahhh...I see...

Urgo: All right, Raj-i baby...
Exercise your vocal chords 

            and entertain us with your delightful voice...

Raj: Baa, baa, baa
Baa, baa, baa

        Baa, baa, baa
Baa, baa, baa

(Burgo claps)*

Urgo: OK - that’s enough exercise for the day!
           Let’s go

(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)

Scene Three

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...

Urgo: Burgo!

Burgo: Sire!

Urgo: Sire? Where in the world
           did you get such a word?

Burgo: Sorry - I thought I was in a *****
             Shakespeare play.

Urgo: Have your head examined, Burgo.
            We’ll never make it there.
            All we have is this 3rd-rate one-act play.

Burgo: I understand. I’m just a little ambitious.

Urgo: Be realistic. Don’t be ambitious.

Burgo: That’s wise, Sire - I mean, Urgo.

Urgo: Well, this creature in the wheelchair,
            for example...It was ambitious...
            and it had a great fall...
            it never knew how to be realistic...
            But more of that, later - first, what Day is it today?

Burgo: It is We Tickle Your Foot Day, today.

Urgo: You learn fast, Burgo.

Burgo: Thank you, Urgo.


Urgo: Well?

Burgo: I’m very well, thank you.

Urgo: You idiot! I mean if you know it is
           We Tickle Your Foot Day, today -
           then what should you do next, you knave!?

Burgo: Oh. Ok.

(Burgo kneels before Raj, takes off Raj’s shoes and with a feather tickles Raj’s feet.)

Raj (laughing): Baa, baa, baa
                              Baa, baa, baa
                              Baa, baa, baa
                             Baa, baa, baa

(Burgo puts Raj’s shoes on again, and his feather back in his pocket and stands up.)

Burgo: You mentioned ambition
              and this creature that sits on the wheelchair.

Urgo: Yes, it is time to exercise my vocal chords.
           This creature forgot, like all creatures,
           we come alone, and we go alone.

Burgo: Ah, at last! - hints of a Shakespearean play
             albeit we’ll never make it into one.
            With ambition, loneliness and all the Lear madness.
            Will we have the lewd parts too
            and rich imagery of body parts?

Urgo: Perhaps...perhaps...but let us stick to the ordinary ...
           This creature was born in 1derLand
           but was washed ashore to foreign shores.

Burgo: Good, Paris, son of Priam and Hecuba?
             O Paris, washed ashore to Sparta
             O so well-loved and nursed by Helen.

Urgo: Yes, except this creature is more akin to the Wanderer
            like Oedipus, or just the indistinct Mendicant,
            the Samurai with no master, a ronin,
             all cursed to wander the face of the earth...

Burgo: Oh - are we in Shakespeare yet?

Urgo: We are in deep ****! That’s where we are!
           We all are.
           Burgo - let us stick to the banal like hamburgers.
          This creature forgot that
          and dreamt of things like poetry, ideals -
          and therein is the moral of the story for you:
          we come alone
          and alone we go
          one at a time we come
          and each we own, and each faculty
          one at a time they go.

Burgo: So let us stick with the banal
             eat our burgers
             and pick our teeth after.
             Do they supply toothpicks at takeaways
             in your country, Urgo?

Urgo: No, we recycle them, Burgo.
           We just pick up discarded ones from the ground.
           Like some nations pick up cigarette butts
           from the bins.
           Waste not; want not.

Burgo: Oh, if this scene goes on any longer
             it might become Shakespearean, Urgo.

Urgo: Ergo - we must go.
          But let us allow Raj to have the last word,
           since this play is entitled
          “ Raj Arumugam, (a one-act tragicomedy)”.
          Idiot of a son! What kind of fool-writer will have a play
          with his own name as the title of his play?!

Burgo: So, Raj-i, you egocentric ******:
             You have the last word in this scene...
             You really put words into my mouth, you ****!

Raj: Baa, baa, ba
        Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa

Urgo: All right, Let’s go, Burgo.
           Bring him in -
           Let’s drop him in bed
           and may he drop dead!

(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)

Scene Four

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...


Urgo: Burgo!

Burgo: Urgo!

Urgo: How long has it been since
           you started work here?

Burgo: 3 months, Urgo. Why?

Urgo: Well, show me a game...I’m bored...a new game...

Burgo: Well, have you played wheelie bin?

Urgo: No.
But Oh I love to delve into world culture.

           Show me.

Burgo: Well, let me show you.

             A wheelie bin is a bin with wheels
             and you put ******* in it
and you leave it outside on the kerb
and the garbage guy in his truck collects your *******.
So this is the game.

(Burgo pushes wheelchair round the stage and sings.)

          This is the way we 
wheel out our wheelie bins
this is the way we 
wheel out our bins
early every Thursday morning

           This is the way we 
leave our bins,
            our wheelie bins

            this is the way we leave our bins
out on the sunny kerb

            every Thursday morning

(leaves wheelchair on kerb)

           This is the way we empty our bins

           this is the way we empty our bins
           this is the way empty our bins
           every Thursday morning

(empties the wheelchair; Raj Arumugam  drops onstage)

(joining in):
 This is the way we 
pick up our *******

                                  pick up our *******
this is the way we do it

                                  this is the way 
always we do it

                                  early Thursday morning!

(Urgo picks up Raj Arumugam and drops him in the wheelchair)

(Urgo and Burgo clap, applauding each other.)

And now, Urgo - for the ritual
Raj Arumugam’s final words in the scene...
Is that right?

(Urgo nods...)

  Sing, you Sir in the Wheelchair.

Raj: Baa, baa, baa
Baa, baa, baa

       Baa, baa, baa

       Baa, baa, baa

Burgo: Oh, you spoil the fun! Let’s go.

(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)

Scene Five

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...

          Let's leave him here tonight;
         some fresh air might do him good

(Urgo and Burgo leave, leaving Raj on his wheelchair.)

(Long silence.)

Raj: Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa
      Baa, baa, baa

(Raj has a thought. His thought is broadcast as a message on the rectangular neon light display: “Hey guys, come back...Another word is coming back to me.”)

(Long silence)

**** **** ****
**** **** ****
**** **** ****

(Raj has another thought. His thought is broadcast as a message on the rectangular neon light display: “Another one’s coming back...maybe my mind is coming back.”)

**** **** ****
**** **** ****
**** **** ****

(Long silence. Lights fade. Darkness. Curtain...)
6.0k · Oct 2010
Oedipus the wanderer
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
my story will wander far and wide
(as I myself do in my later life)
in strange lands and strange tongues
though strangeness never surprises me;
and through centuries many will hear my story
and watch an enactment, on stage or in other visual ways,
and perhaps many will dismiss the story
many might find it banal and strange
a tale from a savage and mythic past
and perhaps some will stand on grounds of purity
and wonder that the story of Oedipus should even be remembered;
and perhaps physicians of the mind
might even analyze the symbolism -
but surely, surely
all who hear it will feel a discomfort
an itch,
an echo
a nagging question or two:
*why? what does Oedipus mean?
why is this remembered?
Raj Arumugam Aug 2011

teeth must be brushed
with neem or miswak
or rubbing chalk or baking soda
or horse-tail hairs fixed to ox-bone
or with your modern toothbrush
with which if you brush too vigorously
you might swallow
if you’re also thinking about ***;
and which you might regurgitate
if your boss comes to memory

and so
come, all ye
with clean teeth:
we shall speak today
of the origins of the toothbrush –
how did this begin,
this long-suffering toothbrush
put into foul mouths
or delicious mouths of maidens
and drowned in water and saliva and paste?
how indeed did it begin?
what is its genesis? its origin?

we must start with the stone age
when the best
those Brainless Beasts could do
was to use a fist
and so they punched each other
and broke all their teeth –
and perhaps that was just as well,
and they were clever
as they didn’t have to worry any longer
about brushing their teeth

then some-ape had a brilliant idea
(thanks to evolving intelligence)
and two would stand mouth to mouth
teeth to teeth
and would rub teeth against one another
and sure, they ended up
with lips and faces all cut asunder –
but hey, this was the Stone Age;
what do you expect them to do?
Be refined and all
with soft bristles and golden handles?
at least this way it brought humanity close

But God (He was Stone Age too,
and still is in many ways)
saw all these and He screamed from above:
Hey! Stop that, you Big Apes!
The first commandment I gave you all
“Thou Shalt Not Kiss!”

And so with this First Commandment
God separated humanity forever…

Grunt!Grunt! said one Stone Age Oaf
which translated means: When can humanity kiss?

And God thought about it and said:
You got to evolve!
Wait till the advent
of a man called Voltaire
of the nation of the blue, white and red –
and that nation shall perfect the kiss.
Till then you brutes,
Thou shalt keep thy teeth clean.
Try something else, you imbeciles!

And Stone Age man,
left to their inventions, tried
smashing teeth against boulders instead

the dear Chinese
as you know
invented paper
and they also invented a toothbrush of horse-hair
with an ox-bone handle even in 1223
and since 1498 used the bristle toothbrush;
and from China it spread to the West
which Foreign Barbarians
after brushing their teeth
badmouthed the Chinese
and still, it is believed,
continue to do so

so, consider,
(and be grateful)
with the invention of paper
and the toothbrush
the Chinese really took care
of either end of the digestive system,
you know what I mean;
and who can beat that? -
they even give you Chinese takeaway
to eat before you brush;
and it’s worth repeating -
paper to take care of things after,
you know what I mean


and that ends our history
of the toothbrush;
and just remember
before you put it in your mouth,
the cockroach
(that blessed and most useful
of all God’s creatures)
has already cleaned it up
of all food bits and pieces
Raj Arumugam Feb 2012
Mike and I were best of friends
and we drank together
and walked home together
And we’d walk along the railway tracks
and Mike
was always the more observant of us two
Yes, I always looked up to him
He’d be first to point out any irregularities
and so he’d say:
“There sure are a lot of steps
along the way”

And I’d concur
and I’d say:
“Yes, Mike…
And the problem is
the ****** handrails
are so low down”

And you know what
Mike is gone
and I still walk back
along the railway tracks
and the ****** idiots in charge of the railway
after all these years
they still put a lot of steps all the way
and worse –
they still put those ****** handrails
so low down…
Some people never learn;
they never change

I shout these things aloud
And I look up to Mike as I say these things
as I walk alone
Raj Arumugam Mar 2012
jp (a fellow-poet here at HP) and I were speaking of a popular Asian imagery of the Mind as a Monkey...I mentioned that I would write a poem of how this idea is also embodied in a Chinese legend of the Monkey King...And this is the poem that follows...

Sun Wukong, or the Taming of the Monkey Mind

The arrogance of Sun Wukong

Monkey you may think of me
but ordinary I am by no means:
timeless and
of primal forces
from a rock I was born
at the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit
I, pure energy, unrestrained
in perpetual motion

Powers? Ha! you mortals are easily impressed
by miracles and powers
aren’t you, you puny lot?

In one turn I can travel a 108 000 li
I can do numerous transformations
I can cloud travel
and my magic staff that I keep
in the size of a sewing needle when not in use
has similar powers;
and with each hair of mine
I can be an infinity of myself -
though I’ll confess
I can’t make a complete change into human
as my tail just won’t go away

So in all, great deeds I’m capable of;
and I wiped my name off the Book of Life and Death
so I am immutable -
so why am I even talking to you weaklings?
Go climb a tree, you imbeciles!
And stay up there! Don’t descend!

The taming of Sun Wukong

And Sun Wukong flies up to the Heavenly Kingdom, styles himself “Great Sage, Equal of Heaven” and there creates tremendous Havoc and Chaos…and even the Jade Emperor, the Heavenly Emperor, has his **** kicked…and then it is that Sun Wukong comes face to face with the Buddha…*

And Sun Wukong screams at the Buddha:
“I’ll kick and I’ll blow  
And you won’t know where you’ll go”

And the Buddha says:
“And who are you?”

And Sun Wukong says:
“You probably haven’t heard of evolution
but I’m the one who went straight to the top –
I can travel anywhere quick and swift
to any part of the immense void or universe”

And the Buddha says:
“Try then and show me
you travel the universe
and back here before me”

And Sun Wukong jumps into thin air
and off he goes into deep space
and emptiness and void
but no matter how far he goes
it seems endless
and it tires Sun Wukong
and then seeing what
he thinks are the 5 pillars
at the end of the universe
he scrawls on the surface:
“Sun Wukong was here!”
And in an instant Sun Wukong is there again
right before the Buddha

And says Sun Wukong:
“See I have travelled to the
end and saw the 5 pillars
and scrawled there my name”

And the Buddha says,
holding up his right palm:
“See, all you have done
is to travel across my palm”

And Sun Wukong sees the words
he had written just before but now miniscule
And the Buddha puts a coronet round
Sun Wukong’s temple
that helps calm the Monkey Mind
that helps still the Restless Mind

NOTE: 180 000 li = 54 000 km or 33 554 ml
I have not offered this as a religious text, but as part of our shared world inheritance of traditions, legends and lore…you can read the poem as “Monkey Mind”and “Monkey Mind tamed”…I don’t think my perceptive readers will take it as an insult if I say the Monkey refers to oneself and one’s mind…

*Companion picture:       *This poem dedicated to jp*
5.7k · Oct 2010
avocado boat
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
I cut an avocado in half
and give one half to the visitor;
and I carefully scoop
the avocado
gently, gently
with a teaspoon
(the Aztec records show
this is, ahem! the fertility fruit)
and I savor each scoop
and eat like a pig
(ah well, like a graceful pig);
and at last
I have the skin left
in the palm of my hand
and it’s tough
and shaped like a boat;
and it has rained
and there’s a puddle of water
on the lawn
and an ant that’s been irritating me
wandering about on my naked foot
and I put the ant
in the avocado boat
and I set the boat in the puddle
and I give it a gentle push
and I say:
“Bon voyage, Monsieur!”
And then I look at my visitor,
and that silly guy is still staring at his half
and I ask, ever gently,
“Do you need help
with your fertility fruit there?”
The visitor replies, “No" –
and I wonder if I should get him brain food
or perhaps set him off on another avocado boat…
5.3k · Oct 2010
toilet humor
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
what a strange word:
as if one must toil -
really work hard at it,
all toil and no rest -
when one is there...
Ah, surely whoever
coined this word
must have suffered
of chronic constipation...
also see  my poem 'rest room'
5.3k · Nov 2012
Raj Arumugam Nov 2012
it’s a simple toy
that’s all they want
these gypsy kids
Plastic discards
cups and basins
consumers-people throw away
change into toys and inventions
in the hands of the gypsy kids
Simple inventions
unique in the change
a life of the imagination
free, unencumbered
just a place on the earth
the space they play in today
That’s all the kids want this moment
not confined walls of classrooms

Just like the kids
Just these dads and moms
who still revel in the infancy of the earth
And their women
who cook a meal
with what the wild might offer
who are content with what’s in the basket
And who can see into the sky
and see what‘s the weather coming
this season
And so when it is time to move, and where

Gypsy beauty
dance your body for me
swirl it like water
spin it like a top
fly it like a kite
O gypsy beauty
with your knowing smile
and your distant eyes
O you beauty
who wears the colors of the earth
twirl the elements for me
like the winds show what’s
behind the clouds

O gypsy singer
your voice in the air
like the voices that filled
the first days of the earth
that still echo down
the crags and valleys of the mind
O gypsy singer, sing the earth to peace
Sing hard hearts to gentleness
Raise that voice of yours
that voice pure
always so unencumbered
and bring back vision
to these tired spirits
that possess and ravage the world
sing these city-organized  minds to calm,
sing all living beings into clarity
5.2k · Feb 2011
Peonies and Butterfly
Raj Arumugam Feb 2011
a moment of strong wind
in the garden
and the peonies lean over
and the butterfly is blown off its point
just a while, just a while;
the gust of wind blows into my eyes
and I close them
just that moment, just that while
poem based on the painting 'Peonies and Butterfly' by Katsushika Hukosai
5.1k · Sep 2010
doughnuts for sale
Raj Arumugam Sep 2010
O come buy doughnuts
doughnuts for sale

sweet ones, ladies
and yummy ones, gents;
precious doughnuts
you’ve never seen in your lands
I made them with my own hands
each sugary and yum to the core
round and hollow in the middle
each doughnut like Einstein’s universe

O come buy doughnuts
doughnuts for sale

colorful doughnuts
I have for you gathered here
I climbed the skies
to steal a color off each rainbow
that appears and disappears –
so have a blue doughnut,
a red or pink or green or purple
any color you will
or a psychedelic one if that please you more

O look at this love doughnut trick:
it fits your fingers like a huge wedding ring
and your beloved bites through
and then gets to your finger
and has to lick off every drop of sugar
and then kisses you on your hands
and after that
O, modesty forbids me to say anything beyond –
it’s all up to you…
Or would you prefer a doughnut bangle?

O come buy doughnuts
doughnuts for sale
O beautiful ladies
and gentle Sirs
make all my doughnuts
disappear within the hour
5.1k · Oct 2010
a child is born free of mind
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
a child is born free of mind
but is hardened into thought
and by the time one dies
most are fixed and ******* into
worlds of their making,
heavens of their fantasies*

so one thinks one's an Indian, one a Chinese
or an American or British or Swedish
or French or Russian or German;
or one thinks one is a Christian or Muslim
or Jew or Hindu or Sikh or Catholic
or Doaist or Buddhist or Marxist or Communist
or even for that matter, an atheist
- or whatever you will...
one finds a badge to pin proudly to one's chest
and each identity becomes so strong
it becomes so real
it all comes into the question of right and wrong
of evil and good
and it falls into loud declamations
and my tribe is good, your tribe is evil
my brand is holy, your brand unholy...
and so it goes,
with all sorts of justifications
that beat sense out of all loyal adherents
and it squeezes humanity out of the human
as paste out of a tube...
ah, and yes,
the energy goes on into the afterlife
as Christians go into a Christian Heaven
and Hindus and Buddhists into various Lokas
and Muslims in their own Paradise
and so it goes on,
this Human Tragi-Comedy,
yes, yes, certainly all created by the Almighty
who was created by your mind's poverty
so that
a child is born free of mind
but is hardened into thought
and by the time one dies
most are fixed and ******* into
worlds of their making,
heavens of their fantasies
on conditioning and the formation of identity that creates so much suffering and violence in this world through all sorts of tribalism
Raj Arumugam Nov 2014
"Give me a good reason,"
the exasperated gangster-father
quizzes his son,
"why you flunked your school exams"

"Well, dad,"* says the spoiled brat
*"they locked us all up in a hall
and they asked us questions
five days in a row -
but all five days I never
gave them a word
Everybody else - the cowards -
spilled the beans!"
5.0k · Apr 2014
surgeon's insurance
Raj Arumugam Apr 2014
so we are at the operating table
and we work slowly and deliberately
with the patient between us
and I say to you:
I'm a little nervous
And you say to me:
You? But you've got so much experience

And I say to you:
Yeah, but if i ***** up this one,
my insurance company has advised,
I'll be at the end of my quota of cases
for my malpractice insurance

And you don't say anything
just that, behind that mask,
you've got your mouth agape
poem based on an existing joke online
Raj Arumugam May 2012
Diogenes has traded
philosophy for riches
and poor Diogenes must beg -
for neither does he want to belong
to any organisation

and so Diogenes begs

and this man in the street
says to the begging Diogenes:
"OK, I'll give you money
if you can persuade me"

"Persuade you?" says Diogenes
*"If I could persuade you
I'd persuade you to go
jump off the nearest cliff"
poem 9 in my series of poems on Diogenes of Sinope, Diogenes the Cynic, Diogenes the Dog...
4.9k · Feb 2012
Yeah, I’ve got friends now
Raj Arumugam Feb 2012
Ok…today I’m talking about my friends…in the pre-cyberspace era and now in 2012…feel free to interrupt and ask questions as they pop up in your heads…

Part 1: pre-cyberspace

I love this age
of the internet

but ages ago
I was lonely
I had no friends
and my neighbors
gave me ***** looks;
and my classmates
when I gave them scone
they gave me scorn

I wrote to prospective penpals
but they never replied -
those *******!
Nothing ever in my mail
in exchange for the thousands I sent!
It was just a ***** scheme
to collect my stamps!
And maybe they’re Buffet-style investors –
thought one day I’ll be famous
so they’ve collected my letters
in my elegant handwriting...

by the way
any of you of my age here at this site -
any of you got my unloved, collected penpal letters?
Well you know what?
I never became famous;
I became a poet
and poets never make money -
so what have you got?
My letters you collected
are as worthless as banana peel!
You should have bought Coca-Cola shares
like Warren Buffet!

Part 2: and then came cyberspace

Ah, so woe was me then
with no friends -
then came the internet
And wow! Did I get mail!
Now I’ve got countless mail and mail again –
You’ve got mail!
You’ve got mail!
chirp my computers!
(Yeah – I got so much mail
I need a herd of computers!)
And what did you say?
Spam? Junk mail?
I mean, OK, there’s junk mail and spam, yeah –
Hey! What’s wrong with you guys?
You people have too many questions!
You jelalous?
One thing’s sure never changed in the world -
All you wise guys and spoilsports!

and as the tornado of my e-mails implies
the internet has brought me countless friends:
Hey, all those penpals who never replied -
Eat your hearts out, baby! -
Cos yours truly now has
countless numbers of friends
at various sites like *Faceless

Friendless, Lonely Hearts Full of Holes
to mention just a few

And you know what?
I get so many just writing to me - to me,
with requests –
Requests! - see how polite and civilised my friends be?
Well, there’re just so many
I’ve had to turn down quite a few
who’re not, shall we say,
not good-looking enough, unlike me…
You know, it’s important, to be seen in good company
Sure…you want proof? Just a few names
from the infinite list of my friends will suffice, you say?
Yeah, here are some of my friends with such distinguished names:
Gummy bear…Porcupine…Desperado…Mexican Jumping Beans…
Kosovo Sweetheart…Reindeer Pie…China Doll…Ninja Turtles…

And hey – don’t you try steal any of my friends!
Sure some people turn me down –
like that guy what’s-his-name in Syria?
Yeah – him…he said he doesn’t want to be friends;
says he’s too busy fixing his people…
Then I asked
yeah, I asked President Obama – but he said
he has got enough Aussie friends,
in high places, might I add, he said
Oh, but he’s no idea about
the value of my Friends Database!
I asked Vladamir Putin
(since he’s so many friends in Russia)
but he says he’s busy at the moment
caring for the people of his nation…
(No wonder he’s so many friends in his nation
who all turn out in the streets to show him their love.)
But hey? Who needs them anyway -
when I’ve got friends like Rasputin?
Yeah, see – I’ve not only friends in cyberpsace
but from otherspace too,
but that’s another story…

Point being: thanks to cyberspace
at last
I’ve got all the friends I want!
By the way,
did I mention my friend Chubby Pinch My Bottom?
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Quack! Quack! Quack!
Ok, where’s everybody?
I’ve been gliding round in this pond the last half
hour singing my Duck-thoven tunes:
Quack! Quack! Quack
Quack!Quack! Quack!
And so why’s everyone avoiding me
like I don’t know how to make conversation?
Quack? Quack?
The other day the duckling glided near
and asked if I’d share bits of the bread
thrown to me by
these pesky humans who can’t
read the Don’t-feed-the-ducks signs
and I swallowed the bread bits whole and said:
Quack! Quack! Quack!
And the silly duckling ran away crying! –
Hey how can I answer with food in my mouth?
Quack! Quack! Quack!
Your mum taught you to speak with food in your mouth?
Quack! Quack! Quack!
Have you got any brains in that quacking head of yours, duckling?

Really, no reason to avoid me…
I mean the other day they asked me what
I think about the environment and I said:
Quack! Quack! Quack!
and they all looked astonished
at the wisdom of my words.
So why avoid me now?
This cute **** duck glided quite close to me
and asked me what I thought about pre-marital ***
and I said: Quack! Quack! Quack!
and I flapped my wings and walked on water
and held my head high with the sweetest:
Quack! Quack! Quack!
and that silly female duck jumped to the overhanging branches
and refused to come down for all my quacking:
Quack! Quack! Quack!
Seriously, what’s this all about? –
You excite a ****** duck and then hide in the branches?
What’s this pond coming to!

The other day a silly fish swam close to me and asked
for directions round the pond and I said:
Quack! Quack! Quack!
And the fish said: Hey! I don’t understand Duck language.
Don’t you speak Finglish?

What the Duck! I said. Why don’t you learn Quacklish!

So where’s everybody?
And really I don’t understand why
everyone’s avoiding me.
I mean really I can qua-ttle off the Entire History of the Pond
and the Holy Texts Revealed by Duck God to the Duck Prophets
and I can quack about anything and I can quack
about all the wines and grog
and I can teach the creatures how to change pond water into wine;
and I can quack about all the delicacies in the pond
and I can sing too, listen:
Quack! Quack! Quack!
And such a delightful voice and such original tunes too!
A graduate of Duck-kovsky Underwater Academy.
And so – hey! – where’s everybody?
Why do they avoid me like I’ve got the Swine Flu or something?
Hey, I’m just a pond duck who likes to Quack! Quack! Quack!
You got a problem with that, you quacks!
Raj Arumugam Sep 2014
so there is this queue, see
and the man in the suit feels
someone behind
kneading his shoulders, back and neck
and he turns around
and asks the man behind:
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

and the man behind replies:
"I'm a chiropractor,  see
and I'm trying to keep in practice while waiting"

and the man in the suit says:
*"Well, I happen to  be a lawyer -
and you don't see me ******* the man
in front of me, do you?"
poem based on an online joke  - with apologies to any lawyer-poet or chiropractor-poet here at HP...this joke was just too good to pass....
4.8k · Apr 2014
C complex
Raj Arumugam Apr 2014
is confused, so a little complex
I mean, one moment it’s top of the range
in the hierarchy of vitamins
but next it’s a little abashed and low
in a student’s report card –
you know, C is not as good as an A
And so can you blame C for its mood swings?
Its agony continues:
one instant C is Calm, in another it’s a Curse

And you know it also feels a little wanting
a little under-stretched, not fulfilled
like not being able to complete
all the stretching exercises
its fitness trainer metes out
“O, if only I could be a little more yogic,”
C intones
“I’d be as composed as an O” -
but O no, that’s not to be

And don’t you start
on the indignant possibilities
of the letter C, for C has always aspired
you see
to be genteel, cultured and debonair
and curls with disgust if the uncouth
should use the letter  
to refer to any body parts,
be it that of male or of female
So, dear mortals, C should be left in celestial spheres

And so, in conclusion,
one Commandment I give unto you:
*Never drag C to ****** shallows
Do you C?
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
the wandering fox
spotted the grapes
hanging above its reach
This will quench my thirst,
it told itself
and tried various stratagems
to reach the distant fruit

the fox jumped up;
the fox rolled rocks to below the grapes
and stood on them
and jumped again;
the fox sang songs to the grapes;
the fox threatened the grapes
and even tried positive thinking
and with eyes closed
a good measure of visualization
in which the grapes fell into its open mouth…

But all to no avail…

And at last
the wise fox said:
Ah, who needs these grapes?
They must be sour and turning bad anyway…

And off the fox trotted away
Raj Arumugam Feb 2011
Heee! Heee! Hooooooo…..
Well, Hello, lovebirds…making love are we?
One on top of the other
still with flesh and organs all intact
and making all sorts of crude noises
and getting into this messy business –
getting your bed sticky and wet with sweat;
ah, you beings of flesh and blood and ecstasies
unlike me
just bones and a mere ghost me now living
lonely and in airless worlds
sent there by you my wife under that man
and you the man who helped poison me -
now you are over my wife
and you raise your **** to the gods
Hheeee…heeee….heeee… Heee! Heee! Hooooooo…..
Well, Hello, lovebirds…making love are we?
I’ll be back every time the two of you fornicators
make love in my bed – shame on you, you murderer;
you took my wife, my home –and can’t even afford
to buy a new bed;
and you even use the condoms I left in the wardrobe...
Heee! Heee! Hooooooo…..
but I’ll be back every time the two of you close each other
like two palms raised in prayer ;
and I’ll pull the mosquito net down a bit and peer in
to see the two of you naked in bed
and I’ve got a bony tongue
long enough to lick the both of you!-
and to see me with my horrendous eyeballs
your phallus will shrink immediately;
and that woman, my former wife and eternal betrayer,
who mixed poison into my rice and shrimps
- every time she sees me, in her shock and fear
she’ll **** you out of bed, every time for sure...
Heee! Heee! Hooooo….
Well, Hello, lovebirds…making love are we?
Heee! Heee! Hooooooo…..
It's a bit too late - but be warned, this is a rather crude poem - so all of you who are pure and spiritual, stay away...Heee! Heee! Hooooooo…..poem based on Katsushika Hokusai's The Ghost Kohada Koheiji, Ukiyo-e color print
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Oh noble exclamation mark!
I expel! I exclaim!
Oh most excitable exclamation mark!

Oh, to see you
sends blood racing
in my veins!
Oh, I love you
and I love you thrice!!!!
- oh, was that four times????
Oh, be not jealous
I brought in your
distant relative
the crooked and deformed question mark
for I not only love you
!!!! –
but I love you forever, most excitable exclamation mark!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!.......and forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..............

Oh noble exclamation mark!
I expel! I exclaim!
Oh most excitable exclamation mark!
4.5k · Oct 2014
elephant crying
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
I  did a gig last night
at the local bar - Moderation Inn,
they called it

and  I played the piano
late into the night -
the usual tunes, the usual crowd:
friends and lovers
people talking aloud
no one who drank in moderation;
couples dancing...when I noticed
an elephant in the corner
and I said to the elephant
even as I continued playing:
"Recognise the tune?"

"No,"  said the elephant,
shaking its head
*"I recognise the ivory"
...dark humour...
Raj Arumugam Nov 2014
we were deeply in love
my new girlfriend and I
and we sat under the trees
in the open fields in the starlight
and she whispered to me:
"Will things ever change?"
And I whispered back, as I nibbled at her ears:
"Nothing will ever change, sweetheart"

Then she got pregnant
and everything changed

I changed my address, my work
my phone number and my email address
my routine and my weekend haunts -
*everything changed
*final in a series of 3 tongue-in-cheek cautionary poems on guys and gals and relationships
*poem 1: silly girl *poem 2: vain girl, but clever *poem 3: nothing will ever change
4.3k · Oct 2010
Sorry - login failed
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Sorry - login failed....
OK...easy - of course it's me;
I’m authentic, not me pretending to be me
or someone else pretending to be me
or me pretending to be Swine Poet;
no, it’s not
Swim Goggles masquerading as Noodles Mee;
or Pretty Pig pretending to be Ugly Duckling;
so let’s try again – it’s easy…sure, I know my password….
Sorry – login failed….
it’s easy....I’ll give you my username
and here’s password…Enter…here we go…
Sorry – login failed….
Hey! You’re joking with me, right?
you know it’s me, and you’re just kidding, right?
If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again…
OK, OK…let’s go again….
Sorry – login failed….
Hey, man – or woman, this is serious…
Oh I see – my thick fingers
might have landed on 9 instead of 8
and on g instead of f –
you see? It’s me….I’ll try and use my most slender fingers
and avoid my thick fingers…
Knock and the door shall be opened…
OK…here we go…username…hmmmmm….easy now….
slender fingers, remember….OK….password….careful now….
use slender fingers only….Enter! Yipppppeeeeee!
Sorry - login failed....
Hey- it appears I’m thick-headed as well!
Come on – give me a chance!
It’s almost like being denied at Heaven’s doors!
I’m having an identity crisis here, baby!
You want to see me have a breakdown and
send me to a madhouse, or what?
All right, all right…cool down…easy….easy…calm…
Take a deep breath….
Username…OK….slender fingers, now…eyes on keyboard…
…Password….slender fingers, remember….eyes on keyboard….
Now, all good….I think….Want to say a prayer?
Come on – it’s not that serious….Alright….ENTER!
Yes – I’m in! Hey guys – here I am!
on the pleasures of logging in at internet sites
Raj Arumugam Jun 2013
There’s one thing I must get off my chest
that’s bothered me now
even 50 years on
with the passage of time –
my English teacher then
she always told me when I grumbled
homework was too difficult,
she’d tell me: “That’s a piece of cake”
And I’d go home discombobulated how
anyone could eat paper
or homework
and she said this not once, but every time:
“It’s a piece of cake”

And my parents and I looked at it
every which way and from every point of view
and concluded in our Perfect Ancient Native language:
“This English teacher is a loony. She is wooly-headed.
She is the lamb Mary lost, silly and muddle-headed.
How can homework be a piece of cake?
Anyway, we don’t eat cake – we eat samosas.”

And yet the English teacher would put her nose
up in the air
and remonstrate: “It’s a piece of cake!”

Oh yeah, would you like tea with it?

Now, my parents, bless their Ancient Souls,
have gone on into the next world
And I’m left wondering about the secret madness
of that English teacher
who’d ask me to eat cake when I expressed genuine concern…

Well, my parents have passed on, as I said,
and I’ve moved on
as is plain and radiant to see
to master idioms and vocabulary
Punctuation, the catenative verb and Usage;
and, as for that wooly-headed English teacher,
I’m sure she’s moved on into
a comfortable nuthouse
where the staff makes her eat her cake,
and make her think she can have it too -
cos that’s what they do to nuts, and such instances

And now that I have got that off my chest,
I can comfortably resume memorizing
Volume 3 of theOxford Dictionary
as  I perambulate
and copy 100 entries from Fowler’s “Modern English Usage”
as I victulate
which is all part of my nightly ritual
since she told me to do so some 50 years ago
(cos I happened to look at her Union Jack knickers
when she sat high on the table, and I stood up *****
cos that's what they made us do in the cinemas)
- and that helps to put me into a state of dormancy, to hibernate
till the sun ushers in a new day for me  –
and a new cake for that wooly-headed English teacher,
she, I can presume with certainty,
elegantly reposed and superannuated

Now, I’m glad I’ve got this off my chest
and mastered my idioms and phrases
and I can go eat my samosas
- don't you think the teacher was mad? -  and by George! -  I'm as sane as King George 3...?
4.1k · Feb 2011
Hibiscus and Sparrow
Raj Arumugam Feb 2011
it’s just a moment
with the hibiscus in bloom
and the sparrow in flight
chirping as it does, perhaps;
just a moment, perhaps all of it
in the stream of being and existence:
and me, just getting up from my chair

poem based on painting "Hibiscus and Sparrow" by Katsushika Hokusai
4.1k · Oct 2010
daffy duck the philosopher
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
daffy duck is tired
daffy duck is quacking tired of being drawn
and being scripted
and engineered
into always being a cartoon character;
daffy duck no longer wants to be
daffy duck the cartoon character
daffy duck wants to be a philosopher
which is all quite quacking satisfying
even just to think about

and so daffy duck the philosopher thinks:
daffy duck thinks, therefore daffy duck is;
but if I, daffy duck do not think I am daffy duck
and renounce all the scripts and the words
and the expectations and the roles;
if I do not think I am daffy duck
I am no longer daffy duck
or, for that matter, any quacking duck

and so (much to the dismay of loyal fans
who want always to be Daffy Duck Fans)
daffy duck is no more the cartoon character
and becomes daffy duck the philosopher;
and daffy duck the philosopher
thinks himself out of the quacking role
of daffy duck as any quacking duck
or anybody at all
(much to the dismay of loyal fans
who want always to be Daffy Duck Fans)
what happens when Daffy Duck tires of his role as a cartoon character
Raj Arumugam Aug 2013
I got fined for littering
by the roadside –
just how unjust can the world get, you tell me!
Look, I agree I’m a *****
but think about it -
it’s just the normal thing to do

I was walking along the road
when I felt it was time
and I gave birth to puppies
by Rotweiler Road;
and this dumb guy comes up in his uniform
and gives me a ticket for littering –
well, I was really barking mad
What could I do? Well, at least I bit him on his ***,
that’s what I did!

Imagine the temerity, giving me a ticket
for littering – hey, littering is
what ******* do;
it’s the most natural thing to do!
What will you fine next? Breastfeeding in public?
...second in my series of dog poems...poem based on an online dog joke...
Raj Arumugam Oct 2012
listen you pretty girls
and tormented boys
heed this warning tale
and avoid bloated tummies
and crushed *****

song of Bad Boy Nimko

here below this bridge
each night
I met pretty Akako
And each night I whispered
sweet nothings
and poured myself
into her
But ah, now this same bridge
of pleasure is a bridge of pain
she says she’s pregnant
and makes her claims
And so I must run away
turn my back on the village
and never return
for here is no gain

song of Bad Girl Akako

here below this bridge
each night I met Nimko
and I told him one night
he’s made me pregnant
and he said
he didn’t know about that
And never wanted
to see me again
and he called me a ****
And so I squeezed him tight
and he left with ***** crushed
flat as dumplings
under a carriage wheel

And so
listen you pretty girls
and tormented boys
heed this warning tale
and avoid bloated tummies
and crushed *****
image from Wikipedia; poem based on print: “Man on horseback crossing a bridge” by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 – October 12, 1858)
Raj Arumugam Oct 2012
the barber and the bald man
and the ubiquitous philosopher
are travelling in ancient Rome
Here below the tree at night
they rest and take turns to keep an eye
on their luggage
Now it is the turn of the barber to keep watch
and he gets bored
and he takes out his shaving kit
and he gives the sleeping philosopher
a free shave, so now you have two bald men

And now it’s the philosopher’s watch
and he wakes up
and he feels his smooth head
and he muses to himself:
*“That stupid barber!
He has woken up the bald man
instead of waking up the philosopher!”
Poem based on a joke from a collection of jokes from ancient Rome, brought to light by Mary Beard (see her TV series “Meet the Romans")
Raj Arumugam Oct 2011
started off
intending to be the shortest poem in the world
more aptly
in the whole wide, wide open uni-verse
but ambition overtook it
and it aimed to stretch far and wide
an Aristotelian hubris, you know
like the ambition of Macbeth
going beyond what Mrs Macbeth intended
and so this ambitious little poem of ours expanded
starting meek as grass
growing zealous
and went beyond itself and its kind
had such humble beginnings
that dared to want to be the shortest poem in the world
but turned out loquacious
and it could go on, it said,
beating all length, breadth and dimension
and would have -
but it got into convulsions and fits
and shock
when it had gone beyond its shortness
and it couldn’t even spell
couldn't even get words right
floating in a soup of red lines in Word or in Mac’s Pages
and so it took its own life
or someone stabbed it like they did to o’erweening Macbeth
or to our poor, poor misunderstood Rasputin who being a Saint was thought a Devil
but was all humble
as the shortest poem in the uni-verse
Raj Arumugam Jan 2014
Yeah, dad, I love Math class
cos something is always adding up there

like just the other day
the teacher’s plants at the window
started growing square roots
The teacher reckons that’s cos
“the windows are squares, if you notice” -
but I reckon it’s cos
we’ve mostly got squares in class

And the teacher when she thinks someone
has done something good, she says:
“Oh, you are an angle!”
and when she’s cross she goes:
“I’ve told you n times”
or “I’ve told you n+ 4 times”

Yeah, we learn lots of stuff in Math class
like next week we going to learn
about Algeria;
but I’m not sure if my Math teacher is OK
in the head though
cos one day she tells us
3+2 = 5
and another day she insists
4+1= 5
(is that what you mean
when you say mum can never make up her mind?)
And she tells me not to use my tables
and she scolds me then when I do my division
on the floor

But I’ll say one thing about her though -
she’s so passionate about Math
my teacher is
she carries around a picture
in her wallet
of a big plus sign
with a guy nailed to it
poem based on a series of jokes I found online
3.6k · Sep 2010
Colbert Report: Australia
Raj Arumugam Sep 2010
Talk-show queen
Oprah Winfrey with her entourage
is going to Australia
and it’s timely now for a quick Colbert Report
on the state of the colony of Australia
Yes, that’s right
Australia is still a British colony -
How else do you explain it?
as the Head of Government in Australia
is still the British Monarchy
and her Majesty, the Queen of Great Britain,
has her representative
a Governor-General in Australia;
and the Aussie national media faithfully reports
that Prince Philip is a God in some remote island
and the TV stations broadcast visions of
which British Prince kissed which of their latest fancy
And so, Oprah, welcome to the Colony
Ah, yes, and the Chinese migrants coming in
are surprised to learn of Australia’s status
at citizenship ceremonies
and the young man explains to his grandma:
“Oh, Foreign Devil still control Australia;
sad, Chairman Mao did not Liberate Australia.”
And Indian migrants, much to their disappointment
are heard to remark:
“Oh no – does this mean we still have
to go through another fight for freedom as in 1947?”
But then they are consoled by the fact
that a Gandhi only comes once in 200 years
so we can all still get on with our lives
and the nation will continue
to eat burgers and enjoy barbecues and hop like kangaroos
until such things may happen…
Ah well, dear talk-show Queen Oprah Winfrey
and her entourage
this ends our report on the sovereign nation down under:
Happy Stay in Her British Majesty’s Colony
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