I was accepted to have an apprenticeship with BASF Chemical Company, in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It’s the largest production site worldwide and the company’s global headquarters and research centre. I spoke no German, but then, I’ve survived in France and Switzerland without French, so why not? I was convinced I would get by and would learn the language when I was there. I was allocated in the Inorganic Department, producing and analysing some dyes. Herr Raider provided me a name who was also working in the same building, but in a different laboratory. “He’d help you get sorted,” he said. Hence, first thing in the morning, I knocked on Room 602 and a tall English man opened it, some parts of his white shirt still untucked from his trousers. “I am, indeed.” was his answer to my question and that hooked me! “Such an accent,” I thought. He helped me obtain my lab gown and safety goggles that morning and waited for me for lunch every day. “There’s your English man again,” my Laborant would say.
That English man is Him Indoors…and we got married two years after we first met….and we’ve just celebrated our 30 years anniversary this year!
Alice asked: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Depends on where you want to go, answered the cat as he sneered
She didn’t really care much
Then, it didn’t matter as such
She carried on walking for as long as she had the right footwear
I packed my bag one day and bid goodbye
To find Utopia if that place really exists
My family and friends were sad but let me go
Come back and tell us all about it, they said
The fairy tale land, where most of their stories end
With “and they lived happily ever after” that must be it
I stayed for a day or two to observe, with Cinderella
Most of them had their Prince Charmings at the end
Or Little Red Riding Hood reunited with her Granny
But then there would always be the Wicked Witch or
The Big Bad Wolf or even the Bad Stepmother
The anti-heroes or nemesis in every fairy tale
What if they also have some redeeming qualities?
Why do they always have to be really, really bad?
And the heroes, why do they have to be really good?
This is not the same as in real life, I thought
I’m sure I’ll get bored in the end, and so I left
Then I went to a place where there were no negatives
Words like no, never, crimes, diseases, death and war
They don’t exist; people live forever and stayed friends
Did I find Utopia, the paradise, the Shangrila, the heaven?
No fighting? No pestilence? No death? That can’t be real!
People live forever, surely, that’s not possible
The Earth won’t be able to sustain everyone
No natural disasters, no drought, no catastrophe
People will have some sort of false security
They wouldn’t know what to do when reality’s there
Do I really need to find Utopia? Will it change my life?
All this searching made me tired, I wanted to be back
To my cosy house and garden, to Him Indoors and HRH the son
Perhaps it’s not a place, it’s not a religion, it’s not an idea
It’s always in my heart and soul where I feel peace and loved
I once was a prince which was turned to a frog by the evil witch
Then the beautiful princess saw me and I croaked and we were friends
I croaked and she listened and she told me her life in the palace
She came to the pond every day and we fell in love, she kissed me
I was immediately turned back to a prince and boy, was I handsome
I asked the king for the princess’ hand and he approved
The day we got married, the whole village celebrated
All the lovely ladies in the village were there, too
I was enamoured by them and they to me
I started having some extra love affairs
After all, it had been years and years that I was a frog
The princess found out about my affairs and she was mad
She went to the wicked witch and pleaded with her
To turned me back to a frog and the evil witch did
Now I’m back to the pond croaking forever after
Ballad – A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straight-forward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming.
The Ballad of Maria Makiling
There was a mysterious fairy
Guarding Mount Makiling
Her long hair floating in the air
Her singing echoing
She appeared after a storm
Wandered around the woods
She mended wings of butterflies
Replaced nests on branches
Storm vanished as she walked by
Roses and orchids bloomed
Birds built nests and chirped happily
Deer ran around again
She was known to have a good heart
Helped old women get wood
Left them with gold nuggets and coins
Cooked meals for hunters, too
Nowadays they saw less of her
Why? Excessive hunting
And people cut a lot of trees
Which disappointed her
It’s a story of strength
A quest to an ancient ground
Where the spirit of darkness lives
A dragon guarding the treasure
Defiant resistance to the game
The sparks of amethyst lay
In front of the hearth
And so is Prinsesa Mayumi
Waiting for her knight
Few men and knights tried
But to no avail, dragon won
From steely blue skies
A white charging horse
Descending from the clouds
Prinsipe Makisig to the rescue
And so he slays the dragon
Saves the princess and they kiss
Take all the amethyst and treasure
And they be wed to the delights of all
In The Beginning Man Tried Ascending To Heaven via The Tower Of Babel. Now He Tries To Elevate His Existence Using Hallucinogenic Drugs. And, Since The 20th Century, He Continually Voyages Into Outer Space Using Spacecrafts. Prayer Thru Christ Is The Only Way To Reach Heaven.
Don't decide to get hurt, just go along with all of this knowing there's nothing I can do but keep going. I am pushed and pulled by forces and I know that where I am is a place I will look back on, with nostalgia, with a very intense memory.