A poem by the 12-year-old Primrug Kaitlyn Schatzki. Inspired by the beloved HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, she wrote this poem on his birthday, December 5th, 2012.
She was hopeful that her message would change some people’s hearts, and help, in some way, unify all Thais.
One day in the dark,
I lost my heart.
My soul was gone,
Or it was just corrupted by greed.
I had everything,
But was that really what I need?
To have the country, To have the wealth,
I am starting to lose health,
Every passing day.
I keep thinking,
The path I chose was great!
But every time
I go to bed,
I feel as if something will break.
Here I am,
In the crowd,
Feeling the guilt, rushing in loud.
I listen to the people,
The King's crowd.
The feeling of sadness,
The feeling of grief,
It dissolved into the air.
No one had a breath of it in the crowd,
I saw a glimpse of light.
I saw what I had become.
In a crowd,
Of a great wall of hope
I decided I was done.
I knew it was time,
To finally become one.
This was about a person who was overtaken by greed.
He betrayed his heart which was for the King.
He had so much, yet, he also felt he had nothing!
One day, he decided to listen to his heart one more time,
Since his life was short.
All worries, sadness, and grief went away.
He finally saw who the King truly was in his heart.
It was during the evening, Eastern Standard time, on the eve of the King's 85th Birthday; therefore, it was already the morning of His Majesty King Bhumibol's Birthday in Thailand. Kaitlyn and I sat together watching the news on Thai television, via the Internet. We had moved to America when Kaitlyn was just four years old, and she has since lost most of her Thai language, so I translated and answered her questions. She was very pleased when she saw the sea of millions and millions of Thais, all in yellow tops, carrying Thai flags, the King's flags, and photos of the Kings, waiting to greet the King and the Royal family as they emerged onto the balcony of the Anada Samakhom Throne Hall.
The following day- the King's Birthday in our time- Kaitlyn, who was sick and stayed home with me, spent most of her time in front of the computer. She wanted to watch the whole ceremony with me. As she watched, she said to me, "I'm lucky to be both Thai and American." "How so?" I asked. She then replied, "I have many good examples from both countries, and I get to take the bests." "What do you like about being Thai?" I asked, and these are her words:
"As a Thai, I get to have the King (who is) so good. He must have so much love to give, because he's done so many good things for the people. I've read about his palace, and it's funny because instead of a big castle with beautiful gardens and swimming pools, I’ve learned that the King has used a big portion of his land for project experiments, and to raise ....animals, like …elephants, buffaloes, cows and others. He makes cow milk that you used to buy. I even saw pictures of rice fields and other project stuff. You told me that he can see out of only one eye, but I think he sees a lot and that's why he never stops working for the people. You told me that he is an inventor -didn't he make the rain for farmers? What else did he invent, mama? I wish I was born when the King was younger; you are so lucky, mama! You went with your khunta and khunyai (my maternal grandparents) to greet the King when he visited people! Mama! I wish we would be at that place (pointing at the screen while the camera showed a sea of crowd who constantly shouted, "Long Live the King!!!"). I want the King to know that we love him. He must be tired, especially when some people are bad -I don't want him to give up, mama!"
Then, quietly, she asked, "Do you think the bad people secretly came today? Do you think they felt bad?" I sighed and wished I knew the answer. I finally said, "Look, Kaitlyn: people can have their own ways of reasoning. Sometimes it helps to be a certain way to justify one’s own thoughts and actions. The honest truth is that one can say and do a certain thing on the outside, but on the inside he can't hide from his true self. We can only hope that those who are up against the King would soon realize how much the King loves them, and soften their hearts"
Kaitlyn wiped the tears off her face. She got up and smiled. "Mama, I want to write another poem now. I am inspired by the people who love the King. I am hopeful. Will you take a video of me reading the poem? I'll be right back."
Minutes later, Kaitlyn handed me a piece of paper. I smiled and gave it back to her, "Surprise me, honey. I will hear it for the first time when you read it for the video. Let's go, baby."