Sunday, May 17, 2015

Open-air Cinema, South Quay, 1960's

Here's something I remembered from my childhood. Ah, those simple days.

I have posted this sometime back, as a response to a 'photo challenge'. I think it is not too well written, as a poem. It feels too casual and conversational. I have thought of revising it, but well, it's nearly ten years already.

photo by DMedina, image from

Open-air Cinema, South Quay, 1960's

You lucky people today would have laughed and knocked
it down as a dilapidated caricature of a movie house,
the rust-bitten zinc sheets carving a rectangle perimeter
like a stalag wall, no roof, and weeds sprouting all around.

Back then in the village, it was the happening place,
the gossip exchange, the pub, the children's playground,
the lovers' night out, a respite from a hard day.

For 30 cents you may have a blockbuster, but bring your own chair
or stool, or better still lug a sofa, sure there are benches
but they are all filled up if you arrive late and they are not
comfortable to begin with and rumoured to be bug infested.

By sundown the projectionist is testing his equipment
shooting a beam of light onto the screen.

Excuse the kids, they are young and bored
and have great imaginations and this is the signal
for them to jump up on their seats and wave their hands around
in the path of the light throwing shadows of birds, rabbits, dogs
onto the screen, they are such artists.

Excuse the ah pek beside you, he is here for the show, not shadow play,
he will soon be swearing profusely in hokkien
nabeh nabeh nabeh

Excuse also the local louts, cracking melon seeds
puffing away like smoke-stacks, and wolf-whistling
at every skirt that passes their way.

Sure, sometimes there are fist fights in the stands
even before the slaughter begins on the screen
but what's a little side entertainment, no problem.

When the sky above your head is dark, the show starts,
the operator dims the lights, the projectionist
cranks up the volume to sadistic heights,
the giant bullhorn speakers shuddering every wall.

other than that it's your typical wholesome family cinema,
sit back and relax, enjoy Hollywood and Hong Kong in your backyard.

Sometimes it rains, the show goes on, you make tough decisions,
take a chance with the lightning or go home, there are no refunds.

Just as you learn later in life.


pardon the formatting, playing havoc with the lines. :)

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Sunday, April 12, 2015


Teenage angst. Anger. Searching for identity. All the while leaning dangerously to the left. :)

digital image by dsnake1, done with pencilmadness


i got my pendant
at the Thieves' Market.
you can get almost anything
there, if you just asked,
porn, nunchakus, weed
the weasel who sold it
swore it was gunmetal but
i probably knew better.
anyway i wore
that piece of steel
like an amulet
the whole summer,
my rebellion,
my revolution.
i kept my hair long
my temper short,
vitriol rolled off my tongue
like well-oiled bullets,
i was the poet that
wanted to change the world
but i could not.
Che was a god
who had been killed
in Bolivia,
but gods don't die
and i was confused,
i did not understand
and all i could do was
sweat out the summer,
dripping with rage
while the days ran hot
and the rain trees bled
dead brown leaves,
the air hung thick
with bitter ash
and i wore that
peace symbol
the whole damn summer
waiting for the army
to come for me.

written : various dates from 70's to present.
revised : 21/03/2015 (UNESCO World Poetry Day)

"Things really ain't that tough
As long as I'm still able, to turn the t.v. off"

-- Daryl Hall & John Oates, 70's Scenario

Shared on Poetry Pantry #247 at Poets United. Finally, a completed work from little scraps of writings over the years. :)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

even as the sky rains

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, founding father and first prime minister of Singapore.

1923 - 2015

photo/haiga by dsnake1

"This is my country. This is my life. This is my people…
We dug our toes in, we built a nation."

-- Lee Kuan Yew

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Sunday, March 08, 2015

even surcharges are no incentives

I wrote this nonsense for NaPoWriMo 2013. I think no one read this piece of crap yet.

There was a time I was recalled back to work in the dead of night pretty frequently. Ah, the nightmares!

photo by dsnake1

even surcharges are no incentives

it's 5 a.m. +
a cold, lonely strip of road
and all i am thinking is home.
but the taxis won't stop.
the drivers see
a single male
with a bag
and just speed on.

perhaps it was the bag.

after the 4th
uncooperative cab or so,
the first bus of the day comes,
it's headlights flaring.
it stops
when flagged.
the driver
is sullen,
a couple of passengers
laid in the seats
like dead fishes.

but really it's okay.


The original title of this piece was "early morning transport" but I thought it was a lousy title.

"and when the driver cracked a joke
about the government
the three of us laughed again
in the middle of the night."

-- dsnake1, night takes.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #242 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

in the year of the goat

The Lunar New Year is already four days old, and I am really enjoying myself these few days, doing all the things I liked, like goofing off, eating and drinking, and abusing the video game machine. And writing a blog post again.

Let's hope it will be a good year too. Tomorrow, it will be back to the daily grind.

photo by dsnake1

in the year of the goat

let us then
be like the lotus
blooming out of mud
resilient & hopeful
or the sparrows that play
under the shadow of the bodhisattva
knowing that they will be protected
or the first light beams of the dawn
true and sharp and fearless
let us sing tunes
even without words
let us be then
all of these.



© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

that you left me

photo by G Hodan
image from

that you left me

i was afraid
time will erase
your memories

your smiles

and i am
getting old

so today
i will just

some words

i cannot
send you
a card
like before

or take your
hands in mine

and point to
the stars
in the sky

take this as
a poem

for you

and if you
have read it
you will smile

and would
have cried.


"Sometimes, in moments of quiet solitude,the past catches up with you and holds your hand."
-- dsnake1, urban poems, Feb 2008

This is another re-post. But today is a special day...

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Sunday, January 18, 2015


I know I shouldn't be posting this, the first post of the year...

photo by Yuriy
image from publicdomainpictures


walking across an empty car park, my heart has taken on the darkness of this night. i am thinking about a lot of things, the twelve hour shift i have just clocked, the hunger in my belly, the way this country is going, this rain that is still falling. the two NYC cops. Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas anymore. you want to run tears like the cold rain that had fallen on your face.

i punch a coke
from the vending machine.
wish it was a beer.


"and i shelter in the dark
like bats seeking moonlight"

-- dsnake1, after a rain

Shared on Poetry Pantry #235 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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