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This is my place

MICHAEL DOM | The Crocodile Prize

This prose poem is a story about creativity and unity from the perspective of a young child

I want to stay in this place.

It’s beautiful here and it’s so …peaceful, and … free!

But even though I can come and go as I please, I know I can’t stay for as long as I’d like to.

(Not yet anyway.)

I have to go back out into The Real World and be with everyone else, together – Suffering.

I wish I could bring my friends with me, when I come here

But it’s hard to fit them all into my head, and maybe they have their own places to go to.

That makes me sad about being there, in The Real World.

My friends and I, and everyone else as well, we all go into our own-little-worlds.

So we live together separately.

And going into our own-little-worlds is nothing at all like coming to this place.

All of The Real World is crowded with billions of different own-little-worlds

With only one thing the same: Isolation.

And coming here is like an escape from my own-little-world to a better place.

So I wish my friends had a place like this to go to.

But I don’t know if those places would be quite the same as here.

Although I don’t think they could ever be too different.

I heard that Different and Same once lived together in one-big-room, called The Unreal World.

Then Somebody decided to build a great-big-wall called Isolation.

And make two-small-rooms and give them the name The Real World.

One of the two-small-rooms was called The Different Real World.

The other one of the two-small-rooms was called The Same Real World.

Nobody knows how everyone got split up into those two-small-rooms or why it happened.

Then Everybody kept dividing up the two-small-rooms into smaller and smaller rooms

So that Somebody could see that Everybody was in total control.

Somebody said the great-big-wall of Isolation made The Unreal World become The Real World

Because the great-big-wall could be seen and touched and there was no escape from it.

Not like in The Unreal World where there were wide-open-spaces stretching until Forever.

Now everyone could be kept under control and not wander around everywhere

Or cause trouble or get lost or be hiding away so that Somebody didn’t know where they were.

And that’s how we ended up in our own-little-worlds.

Billions of smaller rooms with our own-little-worlds were invented for all the billions of people.

That made it much easier for Everybody to watch and learn and report back to Somebody

What people were doing or saying or even thinking.

That’s what I heard, but Nobody knows how everything really happened.

Nobody told Anybody why Somebody made everyone live inside their own-little-worlds.

How to believe in only those horrible two-small-rooms we each separately call The Real World.

Nobody knows how Everybody joined more walls onto the great-big-wall called Isolation.

(And the really scary part is it’s still happening today!)

Anybody could tell that Somebody was evil and that Everybody was a villain.

But it wasn’t Anybody’s business.

I don’t know if it really matters if Anybody or Nobody cares about us,

Because we’re still stuck with Everybody building walls and Somebody is still the boss.

We’re all together in The Real World with all those walls that Everybody builds

Keeping us separate in own-little-worlds – Suffering.

The Real World is nothing like The Unreal World used to be; beautiful and peaceful and free.

In The Real World the great big wall of Isolation divides the two Places, Different and Same.

It’s not fair on anyone because we aren’t able to share anything anymore.

And I think that’s a nice thing to do – to share stuff that’s either mine or yours.

I’d like to get everyone else to do that too – share stuff

Like candy and toys or games and secrets or even adventures.

If we could do that now, with respect, then with trust, then as friends – share stuff

Then that stuff becomes ours together and we’ve seen right through the great-big-wall Isolation.

I also think it’s important, because of what I heard once, for everyone’s sense of reason.

I heard someone crying and crying, in pain like dying, to know if there was anyone out there

Who could help her or knew and shared what she was going through – you know, Suffering.

(But I kept that a secret because she didn’t know I was behind the other wall listening.)

I think sharing can help overcome Isolation.

And sharing stuff as friends eases Suffering.

It would be really nice if I could share this place with everyone else.

If I could tell people about this place, My Place,

May be other people would tell me about Their Place.

What things would be like Different and what would be like Same?

And how could we share those Places and bring them back together again?

May be in stories with words and pictures?

Like in a book or a magazine, but not as expensive.

Something simple and easy to pass on to someone else,

(Contagious even, like the flu!)

But there could be billions of everyone’s stories about Their Place.

It might get too heavy to carry them all in our heads or hands.

So we should stick them all on one great big storyboard.

Then sharing them would be much easier.

(Like on Facebook, but without the digital graffiti!)

We can use that wall called Isolation as our storyboard – Our Place.

(Yes! That should teach Somebody and Everybody a lesson or two or billions!)

Maybe for a short time we could stay there together, in Our Place.

Maybe for a short time it would be like Places are like in The Unreal World.

We could leave Suffering behind and wander off into Forever and share adventures

Where it’s beautiful and peaceful and free.

If I tell a story about My Place it might be about Different or about Same.

Maybe other people would like this story.

They might like my idea of Different and not like my idea of Same.

Maybe they’d be interested in knowing more about My Place anyway.

(Which liberated me from my own-little-world and taught me all about Different and Same.)

Maybe they’d like to visit me and hear Tales from My Place.

That would be very nice, but I mightn’t want them all to stay for too long.

Just to visit.

Yes, visiting would be alright.

After all, this is My Place and I want to share it with someone who likes Different and Same too.


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Michael Dom

Daniel Norman - I feel for you, bro - been there.

We each have challenges and those challenges are often present despite whatever class we may find ourselves in.

Class is a convenient categorization of groups of people usually based on money, power and privilege.

I think we all know that 'class' doesn't save us from making stupid life decisions, nor does it help us to improve who we are and how we live our lives.

We can choose how to live our lives the best way we can, we can choose who we want to be - and leave class to someone else to worry about.

Daniel Norman

The poem truly captures my imagination. I enjoyed reading it because I too have my own little world. A world where I am in control unlike the real world where situations do the controlling.

In a third world country like PNG, a member of a low class like myself, go through a lot of challenges each day just to survive.

Just to forget about my problems and challenges that I face, I sometimes switch off from the real world to my own imaginative litle-world for comfort and to isolate myself.

Michael your piece of writing has certainy exposed our so many little worlds. I always thought nobody would understand a little world like mine but you have done so. Thanks a lot.

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