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Poetry

The King’s Messenger: Town Crier

Kokookoroko kokorokoro
A greeting called from afar
The children ran out excited
As if this message was for them
But then who knows?

Heads up, listen attentively
Komkom korookom
Another beat rang out
Pushing the mild hit
Into the ears of even the heaviest village sleeper
‘Oh how cute, it is one of the King’s messengers’
‘A tall and fine one for that matter’
A group of young women chatter

The morning of a market day
Even before the sun sets out on a journey
The gong goes before the man
A metal gong tells the whole clan
The tidings of the hamlet
The days not to visit the rivulet
The day to farm the deep forest
And when a service the King may request

The boxing day, a vengeful day
Long brooms wait, stalked away,
Up the roof barns where fish get smoked
And elders show teeth, tobacco soiled

When the messenger comes
Mama will always say
To bright little ones
‘Listen attentively, listen with your ears
They might have a message for you or you
From the king or the brave hunters
Come from the seven hills
And seven rivers far away
So you must listen and pay attention
There are wisdom in every muttering’

Then each time it all comes back to me,
Even now I on my face keep beards
I still listen when all is quiet for the messenger
And his gong that goes Krookoko kom kom!

Note:

Krookokom… Onomatopoiea of the sound made by the messenger’s gong.

Town criers carry messages from the King, his council or the elders. They communicate important information to villagers.