There once was a legend of me:
I, the pearl of the eastern seas,
Fostered by the precepts of yore,
Was perched on a dragon’s diadem.
My lustre gleamed brighter than gold,
Adored throughout my king’s domain,
Before a thief stole me away
And lured the dragon to his trap.
Though the injured king fought bravely,
The thief emerged triumphant still.
He claimed himself the rightful heir
And banished me amongst the rocks
Where the dragon had breathed his last.
For five hundred and sixty years,
I scavenged from my king’s remains,
Prolonging as a living dead.
Barren under the dragon’s curse,
I was long forgotten until
A distant pirate came ashore
And hankered for my pearly glint.
Too feeble to put up a fight,
The imposter surrendered me
As a knick-knack worthless enough
To dispense without hesitance.
Ninety-nine years of servitude,
A match made in convenience
And squabbles across lingual poles,
Yet love struck us without warning
Amidst intrusion and defeat.
Then, in shame and traumas, we rose
And restored us a safe haven
For orphans of the late dragon’s.
Where a mighty lion crouched on guard,
On scrawny shore we built our homes,
With which we tiled steel and glass,
And weaved them with my turquoise waves.
We filled our yard with emerald trees
And drenched our streets in neon lights.
In freedom we toiled hard and proud:
We’re the pearl of the orient.
When ninety-nine years came and went,
The imposter nonetheless returned.
He shoved my lord back to his boat
And loathed me as a sheer disgrace.
Via all kinds of lies and deceits,
He ravaged me with crony thieves.
My children soon resisted him;
He framed them for invented sins.
Neither a tailpiece of history
Nor a price for treacherous peace,
I’m no ruler’s plaything or slave
But a mother of dying dreams,
A beacon in the darkest night,
A refuge in tempestuous winds.
Though I’ll perish in thirty years,
I remain the pearl which never sleeps.
There are different ways to commemorate a historical event: some do so with excessive display of power, while some kowtow to the former’s delight; then there are some who pay their dues through storytelling, perhaps just as obsequiously so … or not.
Photo Courtesy: alphacoders.com