Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Opulent Grass Eater

 (A.D. 2000)

The bones of Cambodia, it’s an old story, Pol Pot and his
      devastation: for the living to live among the dead…
A few years back (A.D., 2000) my wife and I, we are traveling in
       Cambodia within sight of Pol Pot’s desolation of the ‘70s, where He had over a million of his countrymen put to death our guide—Kim, middle aged, strong-shouldered, his eyes like wide-open
       sea windows,
 Very patient, as if endlessly enduring, a slight paleness to his face,
       weighty hair,
We are in a fenced-in section of the once famous, “Killing Fields”
       the hole I am looking into, twenty-thousand bodies were   Thrown into—, nearby is a glassed-in aquarium likened to a  small
       mausoleum:  it slides open, I take out one of its 9000-skulls, of Pol Pot’s Legacy; the whole area is really just a fenced in graveyard,  
       with military police guarding it…a sad reminder!
Bones of the dead seep up to the surface of the soil, after rainy
       day, I know this for a fact, it had just rained, I pick one out of The soil, along with a red part of a blouse or shirt, “This is
       common,” says Kim.
 Under the mystery of this soil that resides here, that has woken up
       the world’s once kept secret, Kim sees dimly through the deep
layers of earth, he says:
“I was among them, one of them, I was a grass eater, and it was my
       only nourishment, it was that or a merciless death (he says this All in an opulent voice—thankful to be alive, unashamed).
We’d pitch afire, and the guards would sit by it, watch us like
       hounds in the cold—nearby, have us do certain jobs until we Dropped Dead, they seldom fed us.
In the mornings, we toiled in the fields, I’d run off into the high  
       weeds, relieve myself amongst the wild plants and bushes, eat Grass, return, get sick from diarrhea, malnutrition, or worse, but not
    defy the guards, for should I have shown the slightest resistance,
With a blink of an eye, they’d shoot you, but I survived.”

Then I got to thinking: how primitive, how primordial, he had turned
       back to some ancient orbit of time,  that had existed seemingly, Everlastingly, until one day, the mind woke up and said, ‘I never
       thought I’d get down from this leafless tree’ not even knowing What took place. Anyhow, second thought: perhaps at one time we
       were all grass eaters: now refined to: grains, breads, noodles, Cereals and beers; but once upon a time—likened to the old fairy
      tales—nonetheless, we were all grass eaters: in essence, not all That much different. At what point did we change?  Who’s to say?
And does it matter? And for them that it does matter, may they
      scratch and crack the pits of time—and  if they find out, to their
Surprise or dismay, perhaps they will conclude we are a newer
     found species, newer that is,  than an older lost one: who came Of age.