Monday, April 30, 2012

NaPoWriMo #30: The chaos of trying to put things in order

Unlearning fixing

Hard eyes perceive broken hinges and missing pieces;
a home-fix junkie
gripping a wrench and a blowtorch for a night light

raises a bonfire fit for burning books of shadow
and every innocent ever accused.

Every gulp of air sulfurous, tastes sour,
a swarm of hornets nests in the chest.

Monsoon winds blow hollow the last emblem,
an object thought to be gold but not even copper.

Not even.

Fixing what's not broken, breaks it.
Open your hands, soften your eyes.

Don't be, just breathe.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

NaPoWriMo #29: Weeding


Roots reaching deep, deeper;

sprout from seeds
dropped in by a bird
or rode in on the wind

they choke the green sprouts
you've worked so hard to cultivate

Weeds are green, greener

some bloom little flowers;
yellow, purple and white
dot the crisscross creepers
in the field

some produce fruit
sweet berry-like, or bright bitter
to bite

pulled them out, we'll
let them rot in compose heaps

Weeds growing wild, wilder,

a weed is only a weed
in a land of tamed crops.

Not very happy with this. I have a terrible headache because it's so hot today. Global warming -- I'm feeling it if that is what it is.

Edited 01 Jun 2020

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NaPoWriMo #28: How a morning gets ruined

A lesson through simple lost

i only felt it missing
after walking up those steps
       and the taxi has gone down the road

there goes my identity
card, bank card, membership
       they are all cards
pieces of plastic
suddenly not in one's pocket
but at the mercy of someone
else's kindness

i hope someone will be kind
and return it if he finds it

in the mean time, phone calls
to make, police report to file

i lost a bit of me today
in that thing I carry around

what pain, such simple
and hard lesson that
take all of one's attention
for one entire morning

to recount the lost
and how it was lost

they are just cards
       but they are mine
i think i might have
a note or two
no importance to the world
                        but personal

who has them now

or does it lie in some street
ran over by cars multiple times

Yes, I lost my wallet this morning. I was really upset earlier, but I'm feeling better. Everything is replaceable, though one of the objects is gonna cost me. I don't think I have notes in there except maybe someone's phone number. Lesson learned -- never carry all my cards ever again. And I think I need a wallet clip.

Interestingly, I was far more upset back when my modem had problems than this lost. Still, I hope neither never happens again!

Friday, April 27, 2012

NaPoWriMo #27: People talk too much

Snapshot: Talking heads
I am watching people talking --

in a crowd of people, no one is talking to each other
but they are talking; their mouths are moving, jaws
                    trembling rapidly, half dialogues heard, the other
                                                    half resides on the other side
                                                        of the phone or headpiece.

A young girl with pink 
skullcandy headphones 
clamped over her head, 
walking and singing,
Oh I swaar to u,
I be thar for ya...

                     and over there, a man is mumbling and ranting
something about having no money
                               and that it's all his useless son's fault,
and the government is watching him
                                       and you, yes you also,
 and how every time he (or you!) 
                    tries to have private chat, someone is listening in;

                                                                     everyone pulls away from him 
                                                                                as they continue talking.

This might be a rant, more-like.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NaPoWriMo #26: Daily thrillers

Spider vs Ants

I watched a platoon of ants dance
dangerously with a spider:

a game of merry-go-round,
pincer against pincer,

compound eyes against
compound eyes.

The spider rotates,
the ants touch his legs;

on every side he is attacked in turn

turn turn turn

unable to hold his ground,
spider leaps off
           leaving a single thread of web

the ants begin to wonder           wander
unable to comprehend the spider's
                             ( surprise )


they begin to scatter, leaving behind               one ant
whose feelers are caught on the sticky thread 
                                                         of the one spider,

                      at large.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NaPoWriMo #25: Reflection



She's looking out
the window   |   window the

     me, who   |   who me

chewing on the wire of her headphone,

her eyes    |    eyes her
phone       |       phone

        mid sentence. 

Another busy week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

NaPoWriMo #23: Zen Masters


koi in clear water
contemplating river stones
rake sand, make ripples


Sunday, April 22, 2012

NaPoWriMo #22: a personal piece

For his approval

I drew my father a picture of clouds.

                            "Clouds aren't drawn this way
                             let me show you how." he'd say.

I read my father a story I liked.

                            "You call that reading, what did I
                             buy you all those books for?"

I wrote my father a poem.

                           "That's a poem? where's the rhyme?
                            Read me Robert Frost anytime."

He knew it all, how clouds should be like --
faint lines, crossing the limitless blue sky,
sometimes grey, sometimes white.

He knew it, how stories should be read --
a little drama here, a little emotion there,
a happily-ever-after makes for a good end.

He knew it too, how poems should be --
rhymes in the right places, timed to the right beat
classic over contemporary, especially e.e..

I still see him hunching over my work sometimes,
his eyes scrutinizing over all the little detail
                               and I agonize -- can't imagine
what he'd say about these lines I just wrote.

Marked personal, so I've disabled the comments for this one. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate all of you who come by.  Hope you enjoyed this playful piece. My father, and I realize I am sometimes the same way, often means well but stands a bit strongly on how he thinks certain things "should be".

Saturday, April 21, 2012

NaPoWriMo #21: my own ode to grass



You who lay out lawns
that endure picnics on a warm day,
cool to touch under the sun,
soft green blades that cushion bums,
and collapse under weight
of naked backs;

                    you who bend
         even to a breeze,
                    you have a plan.

Heads of spiky inflorescence spring up overnight;

the next day, soccer practice --
pairs of socks
                             will take your seeds


Barbs and hooks cling fast to fur or clothes,
let the giants come
                            and bear your seeds


Let them discover how fast and tightly you cling.
Let their fingers pick and tear you off, fling
                                          your seeds to the wind!


Into the cracks of tarmac / concrete / brick,
any / where the dust escapes the wind / dew settles:

dig deep,
green stuff,



I'll save the short ones for the work days -- short forms are fun and light, although challenging are doable.

Friday, April 20, 2012

NaPoWriMo #20: there's always something to rebuild in the city


original blueprint
modular reproductions
track irregular

scaffolds climb
orange helmets


I'm so tired, the very effort of thinking for a right word to use is rather maddening.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

NaPoWriMo #19: Reasons for insomnia


Under the covers

doubts gossip
ghost theories
trails haze
rubbing eyes
twelve again

sleep hunting
shades stalk
warm breath
chilled air
slipping away

More fun with minimizing. Haiku was definitely more fun to do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NaPoWriMo #18: Another Office Haiku (and one more pleasant)

Office Haiku #2


circling in red
crossing out calendar dates
days to vacation


Of sunset


watch the sunset paint
clouds in shades of lavender
in frames drawn at dusk


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NaPoWriMo #17: Office Haiku


break-time art & craft
a jam jar of paper stars
brightens cubicle


I think this is the first haiku I've ever attempted to write. I wanted to write a few more, but they didn't quite work out.

Unrelated note, Blogger seems to be showing up some errors tonight. I am dreading the "new look" that's supposed to be coming this month.

Monday, April 16, 2012

NaPoWriMo #16: What results from a baked brain...



broken clouds hover in scattered formation
casting shadows drift across the cityscape

pedestrians flow in schools of fixed direction
a rainbow of cars beaming metallic sheen

every eye squinting from the white heat
baking brains, bricks and concrete


I thought I'll try writing short poems this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NaPoWriMo #15: Preserving photographs


Printed Photos just don't last

A whole stack of photos to dispose of --

memories on glossy or matte paper
depending on which I felt
would have preserved it longer;

there's no doubt these scenes are fading.

Thank God for scanners to save them
before they all fade away;

                              I remember
                                        the gardens were greener
                                        the skies were bluer, and
                                        us, bright in our loud slogan T's
                                        and promises,
                                        and you can still see it in our eyes
                                        -- we had an idea
                                        where we wanted to go before

the statues and people have become shadows,
the buildings have turned white without detail;
trees have transformed into towering brushes
hinting stains of yellow,

every leaf is lime;

and of what scent these gardens that blossomed,
even the flowers of spring have turned funeral:
sepia, damp, musty, surrounded
by coffin wood fences;

only the cemetery pictures
remain unchanged -- fields
of white headstones,
names and dates etched in black.

I thought they were beautiful
but I was young, and

they are beautiful

but they look different
to me now.

Streets of night markets have dimmed.
Sunday markets suffer as their fruits
on display go pale;
a woman was staring at an apple in her hand,

                      red or green,

she couldn't decide. 

It's kinda scary what happens to old pictures -- the way they fade and how horrible the colors become with age. I have been scanning old photos today in attempt to save them. I guess I should've done it sooner.

Thank goodness, these days we use digital cameras. The pictures won't fade. And they can be uploaded to the internet with great ease where they can be out in e-space for all eternity.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NaPoWriMo #14: Patience with self


Returning from the market

Like returning
from the market
pushing a cart --

                     in it, a pillow
                     of rice weighing
                     a little more than
                     a newborn baby,

                     a bouquet of veggies
                     stuffed in a plastic bag,
                     greens spilling out,
                     roots breaking out,

                     fish and tiger prawns
                     frozen with ice fragments
                     slowly thawing in
                     a dragon-print carrier,

                     brown crinkly paper bags
                     of baked bread
                     and sweet buttered buns
                     still warm from the oven --

I've gathered words
from every source and scene,
they are heavy

and I cannot hurry.

** The more I rush, the more likely I will lock up and not write at all. So this one's just me telling myself.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

NaPoWriMo #13: Encounters at a bus-stop


While waiting for the bus

Another 15 minutes until the next
bus 162.

I thought it might be a good time
to practice a little mindful
but found the air too heavy

                                    to breathe,

with all the carbon char and tarmac dust.

The man next to me burped
up Bolognese gas; he paced
back and forth, behind me;

                                       it bugged me

that he kept appearing
and vanishing
from my cone of sight,

                         when I turned around,
he'd stop and look down at his watch.

Two sweat-soaked dark shirt
men were chatting, Thai
by the sound of their accent;

            sometimes, I wish everyone
around me
would speak in foreign tongues (

                   sometimes I hate to eavesdrop
                   on opinions and prejudices
                   but I do

) sitting behind them, a young man,
in t-shirt, shorts and white flip flops
displayed a leg-shaking habit, eyes
fix-focused on an open book;
he was reading Ludlum --

                    the title, I didn't catch (the cover
                    turned too far forward to see),
                    couldn't;  I would have
                    been interested to know,

a book lover like me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NaPoWriMo #12: Forgiveness of non-living things


Bad chair

Shuffling around the house
looking for my phone,

I snubbed my little toe
against a foot of a chair
that was just standing there.

I cursed at the damn thing
for trying to trip me up;

the chair was wooden,
my toe was swelling up;

I limped my way to the fridge
got some ice, came back in,
sat down, instead,
on the low coffee table

as if

expecting chair to apologize
for causing me to stumble.

These things just happen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NaPoWriMo #11: Of the cement mixer and the squirrel


Asthmatic exhaust
arthritic gear-turning
cement mixer

backs up with
lights and sounds
against a tree;

on the other side,
a squirrel clings
on the thick old trunk,

brushy grey tail
black opal eyes
wide and shiny.

When at last it stops,
she leaps off
and runs for the field
of satintails.


*Satintails are a type of grass. In Singapore, we generally refer to them as lalang.

A bit tired after getting home but I managed this. Shall have to continue blog hopping tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NaPoWriMo #10: in which a house roach flew...



A flying roach flew
in, by way of window,
on mercy of wind;

it fell on the floor
and scampered
under our table.

My cousin who talked of
how she found meaning
in the Dhammapada,

turned into Medusa
hissing and furious,

gripping white-knuckled
a rolled up newspaper;

bent on KILL!ing, she
found it under the sofa.


When a house roach flies, it's going to rain. I don't like roaches but I rather chase them out the house than squash them. Not because I'm kind, but I hate the mess they make.  But when one starts to fly, I really want to kill it immediately, by any means possible.

Also posted at Open Link Night #39 on dVerse Poet's Pub. Post and share your poems, and choose from a massive list to read. Great stuff. Cheers to you all!

Monday, April 9, 2012

NaPoWriMo #9: Lumberjacks -- Someone is gonna have to pay someday



a piece of paper
carried by the wind
lands at my feet

a bank statement
of few transactions

more than deposits

withdrawals for bills

and more           bills

diminishing the size
of one's nest egg
demanding what's owed
for living

we pay ourselves
for services rendered

mine becomes yours
yours becomes mine

a circulation of constant

lumberjacks breaking bread
with lumberjacks


Posted at Open Link Monday on Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

Final version was published in Nain Rouge, Sep 2012.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

NaPoWriMo #8: Most likely will outlive me...


The New Eternity

My words
in exact sequence
of thought
spoken from the mind
to type
to screen

and launched out
into the dark --

here is the address
http:// ...
on the world wide web,

you can always find it
there, intact.

Ten years passed
and not a letter
or a comma,
or a period

and where are those who visited,
the 145 people who tripped the counter
when they dropped in to take a look,

the 14 who sniffed around and bothered
to sign the guestbook?

I've lost the password,
no way to get back in,
no way to properly
dispose of, no way
to make un-exist.

Lightly this capsule
floats in e-space,
while I, senescent,
every now and then
recall the days of creation.


Even if you are able to delete an old website, there's a high chance it's been archived somewhere. Internet Archives is one such website where you can bits and pieces of websites that no longer exist.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

NaPoWriMo #7: Spied a private moment


By the minutes

I saw a woman
wipe away
her tears

before they could
run trails
down her face

as she stands
by the street

             cigarette stains
             where the men
             wait, out
             of the way
             of flowing

as she talks
to her boy
             on the phone

a million miles away,
or on another planet,

in another time,
most certainly,
in another place;

trivial matters
of child chatter
into precious things
                      to share


she is here

and he is there
and 10 minutes
is all they have.


Friday, April 6, 2012

NaPoWriMo #6: Absent spider


Where is the spider?

A spider web
hangs like a hammock
in between the trees;

at this angle,
it is a delicate weave
of silver
with crystal beads --

dew drops hung
at intervals,
dew drops from
the mist
that falls over
this reserve;

a breeze tugs
at the strings.

No spider is seen.

Crickets sing;

nearby, pond-skaters
break into a dance
on the water stage
on the orange coast,

a dragonfly colored fire
expands his wings
over the water and lands
on a bended reed.

Where is the spider?

Having worked all night,
she might have decided
to leave it hanging,
to catch
the morning light.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

NaPoWriMo #5: Where "what you know" takes you...


A bullfrog in a storm drain

In channels clogged with compose
under the steel-fit manhole,
a bullfrog groans in bass tone moans,
a baritone saxophone played slow.

Caught in last night's downpour
while out on the garden lawn

follow where the water flows
-- that's all he knows
from days of being a tadpole
before he grew legs
and things got complicated. So

he went with the flow,

and all the leaves
they left in heaps
went with him....

In channels clogged with compose
under the steel-fit manhole,
a stranded bullfrog longs
for another great rain storm.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NaPoWriMo #4: With the fishes



A family headed by a large round body
of arms and legs, awkwardly
swaddling down to the water's edge,

a long haired one follows
tells the two small ones behind her
to be careful (it's slippery,
the mud sinks, swallows shoe soles,
sticky),                                                              dragging along
with bright red pails and scoops
and nets,

                                                the reeds touch them, unable to tear away
                                                                   their enthusiasm, softly they bend;

down to the clear rippling waters
they are going to catch
the fishes,                                                the fishes swimming therein

before another storm
gathers a new flood
to fall, and the warning
lights go on,

before                                                this tempting cool
stream becomes a rushing                                         river
of mud, twigs and debris.

Black shadows glide
away from them,
realizing this intrusion
is not accidental

                                                                          the fishes demonstrate
                                                               what they know of

dash away, scatter
before those pale feet
with short wiggly
appendages enter;                          intruders
eager for aquatic pets.

They look around,
relieved, thinking
no one is watching

                                                             even as hawk circles lazily above



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

NaPoWriMo 3: We live for weekends



As the bus cuts
through the storm,

early morning rain
scrubs down bus

windows, distorting
tail-lights, headlights
street lights, merge,
breaking along highways,

dim crossings
of passers-by.


head knocking
gently against the glass
laptop against his chest

like a rag doll
slumped over

a boy dreams
of frisbee and barbecues
by the beach
palm trees, dumb jokes
beer and chips.

The phone chimes
a man wakes,

he holds it up like a mirror;

by his blue-lit weary face
you can tell which day this

is not.


Posted to dVerse Open Link Night #38. Friends, I hope you share your poems there if you got one. Lots to read and great company. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

NaPoWriMo 2: Cyber stalkers are creepy

Waiting For An Echo

I see you are online
so am I,

I am invisible.

I see you are offline.
I know you are there
like I,

I am invisible.

Any stalker
worth his or her salt
can appreciate

from imagined
of shape and shadow,

how tantalizing

that the one could just 

a tap or a poke
on the other side
of a few
floating windows.

waiting for a reply 
that never comes

but ever present
for that miracle

in the valley, 
once proud Echo
waits to answer
her love.


I don't think I have been stalked this way. (And no, I don't really want to know!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

NaPoWriMo 1 : zipping through the flowers


Yellow pollen
sprinkled all over,
matching the sunny day.

A halo hovering above
a bed of rain lilies
that bloom post monsoon.

Around, and back
round          round
and suddenly


to face an open flower
                then face away
and again faces the flower --
this is its dance,

its joy in being alive
like the rain lilies
that bloom post monsoon.

**Posted at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads' Open Link Monday.