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Raj Arumugam
Australia    ..been thinking in the language of poetry and scribbling verse from as early as I can recall of my days...FLASHBACK: born naked in India in ...
Stanley Arumugam
South Africa    Psychologist, human rights activist, friend, lover and spiritual traveler 'Life's a journey - enjoy the ride'

Poems

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.

(Silence)

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, good...like 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)




Urgo
(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.)



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



(Urgo nods...)



Burgo:
  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...


Urgo:
          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:
**** **** ****
**** **** ****
**** **** ****

(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.”)


Raj:
**** **** ****
**** **** ****
**** **** ****

(Long silence. Lights fade. Darkness. Curtain...)
Stanley Arumugam Mar 2014
My aged mum excitedly points outside
White flowers burst open bright overnight
She says they look like popcorn
I love her metaphor and play along
Flowers white like popcorn bright
Tickled by the heat of the micro light

Mum speaks of small things in her big age
Sun, rain, wind, hot, cold, quite days
The unrelenting pain in her legs
and memories of things she could once do with ease

She speaks of the coming and going of mischievous monkeys
real monkeys - not metaphors
She tells of how they brazenly steal her fruit
when she is alone at home - teasing her
as they walk backwards out the glass door
slinging their stolen bananas like a colt 44

My mum sits across from me
the sun gently brushes her short silver grey strands of hair
Today she wears a pretty pink dress - patterned bright
with pretty pink and blue flowers - reflection
of the pretty flowers outside
She sits in serenity - she is at peace - inside

My niece pops corn in the microwave
My sisters biryani fills the hungry air
My brother in law awaits his birthday party
I am at home

The pretty white flowers
silently blossom in the yard
I sit across from my metaphor mum
My poet, my muse, my loving bard

Stanley Arumugam
Richards Bay
Raj Arumugam Oct 2014
1
Dear Poet Friend at HP
(I don't know your name, as the name you use at HP is in a typo I can't decipher.)

* I welcome your question and comment as it gives me an opportunity to explore this issue of plagiarism. It will indeed be useful for everyone.

* This is my modus operandi: I take a joke from online and I convert it to poetry. The language is mine; I give the joke a context, even alter its spirit, create characters and by the time I'm finished with it, it is a new and original product.
If I took the words exactly as they are and passed them off as my own, then that is plagiarism. I never do that.
Plagiarism is taking another person's words and phrases and work and passing them off as one's own. That is not what my work is about.

* Take the example of Shakespeare. His "Julius Caesar" is actually based on various sources. So is his "Romeo and Juliet" and other plays like "Othello". Do we charge him with plagiarism ? No, as he has used his own language and puts each material from various sources into his own style. I have taken many jokes and I have put them in poetry, in my own style, in my own narrative. It shows a great lack of understanding of Literature to call that plagiarism.

* You might ask why I do not have a note at the end to indicate the poem is based on a joke found online. I used to do that (see my older poems) and decided for purely aesthetic reasons to keep notes to a minimum.

Kind regards
Raj Arumugam



2
Would it be fine with you if I posted your comment along with my reply as a separate post on my page? It will benefit everyone to consider this issue.
If you are not agreeable to my including your view in such a post, then I will simply post my reply possibly entitled "Reply on being charged with plagiarism".
Thank you

Kind regards
Raj Arumugam
This note is in response to a charge of plagiarism made against me about the poem "pregnant writer about to give birth"