A story… mythology… in poetry…


I know why the roots go down
I know why the rivers run
I know why even rocks frown
I know what they search as one.

They were once like you and me
And even had a King
Trees and plants walked free
Even rocks stopped to sing!

And this King who was kind
Had two sons growing up fast
They loved to hide and say: Now find!
But the King knew his kingdom was vast.

His sons would run in and then out
And then away from the city too
Until he sent guards who’d shout:
‘Come back, or darkness will say BOO!’

So the King said: ‘I need nurses
Who can run with my sons
And use words that aren’t curses
And who aren’t a dunce!’

He thought of rivers and brooks
And asked them to do this job
They were happy and said: ‘In nooks
We can go and over rocks we can bob

We’ll follow the boys wherever they go
Leave their safety to us, my lord.’
And off they went, eager to show
How they loved this and not really bored.

So from left to right and here and there
Ran the boys giggling away
The river twisted and turned with care
And the brooks never came in their way!

But then by evening the river was done
And the brook too could not run
But the boys, it seemed, were having fun
Until the brook said, ‘Stop dear, have a bun!’

‘No,’ said the boys in a single shout
And the river said, ‘Brook, you follow
You’re younger and stout
I’m older and larger, my fellow!’

And so sometime the brook went on
And then the river sought
From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn
Until in fatigue they were caught.

Until suddenly, the brook stopped, whirled
‘Where are the boys. I don’t see them.’
Then river was sullen and curled
And together they went to search them.

But no, the boys were nowhere found
And the two went back to report
‘We searched. We went round and round.’
‘This search you cannot abort’,

Ordered the King and so off they went
To search for the boys everywhere
And even trees their roots did sent
And plants asked, ‘Where do we go? Where?’

So the roots went under the ground
And plants up the mountains twirled
The brook then asked if they were found
As the river in desperation swirled

The creepers peeped in homes to see
If the boys had gone and hidden there
And boulders on the top that be
Were lookouts for a vantage stare!

But the boys were never found
And the King was sad and said,
‘Stop the search, it is unsound
The boys will now never be found!’

The plants who went to mountain tops
Were asked to stay where they were
Creepers still are household cops
And trees with their roots do not stir.

‘You,’ said the King to the river and brook,
‘You need to search forever now
Go turn and twist and look in a nook
Or just fall or take a bow

But search on and on and on and on.’
So the rivers and brooks just run
And the roots never see the dawn
Creepers climb up to turn

And look through windows still!
The boulders wait to sight the boys
And rivers sometimes get so shrill
When they see little boys with toys!

This is what has been since then
And nature loves us all
For all the kids, women and men
There is always a whisper, a call!


Arvind Passey
06 April 2014

Note: Written to be a part of a post written for a contest… the story connected to this poem can be read here:
Why do rivers run?