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Dim. Dum. Harrumph.

Updated: Jan 8, 2021


Dim. Dum. Harrumph.

In the tune,

Of the Western boon,

I hear a sound

Many minds silently singing out loud.

“Dim. Dim. Everything is dim.

My life, my dreams,

Even this song that I sing.

I’ll fail. Alas!

My life is but an animal’s tail,

Caught in a trap of strife.”

*No! No! No!* I scream.

*Can’t you see we’re living the dream!*

A happy requiem then begins,

One for every accused sin.

It sounds something like this:

“Dum. Dum. Dumb

We’re all done for, dead

You’re all so wrong and stupid

Look at him, he’s turning red!

There’s something wrong with your every thought

Something wrong with everything you bought

Something wrong, Something lost

Everything has a terrible cost.”

*Stop! Stop!* I protest.

*Do not water down life’s zest!*

Then a noise came from around me.

Many people stood beside me.

All “grown-up”. All “mature”,

Yet all their breath smelled like horse manure.

I heard it muttered, “Harrumph!”

*What did you say?*

“Dim. Dum. Harrumph.

You’re silly to believe that joy exists”

*But it does!*

“No, it does not.

You’re silly to believe innocence persists!”

*But it can.*

“You’re wrong.

You’re a fool to believe you can resist,

You can cry out forever

As long as you one day stop and desist.”

*Please no! You don’t have to do this.*

“Everyone must experience that life is nothing more than




“Even you.”

The world proclaimed,

As it looked unyieldingly into my seven-year-old gaze.

Everything went dim.

I went dumb

Then I began

And never could stop singing the tune that went,

*Dim. Dum. Harrumph.*


©2020 by Ayo Okikiolu.


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