Sunday, July 20, 2014

at the end of every summer

When you are a kid, you do not worry about things like work and bosses and bills. How nice.

photo by dsnake1

at the end of every summer...

sometimes at night we hear the sound of metal
against metal and in the morning there will be
blood on the asphalt, the gravel. maybe a parang
on the railroad tracks. and when nights got sweaty
there's the thump of running feet through thin walls
and we know the plainclothes are on a raid. if we mind our
stuff, don't be curious, poke our noses out, we will be okay.

and in the day, we village kids gather together
to play at adults. we play 'police and thieves'
and we bring our own toy guns and bats and knives
so most of the time nobody wants to be the thieves
because if you are caught you wait ages in the sun
for comrades to tag and rescue you, if they come at all
and also the cops love to manhandle you when you're caught.

oh yes and that was police brutality before it became news.


At the end of every summer you can't
remember the last time you wore pants.


from "Amy Check On My Square Inch of Land" by Farrah Field

The title is a line from the above poem. This is a prompt from the Bibliomancy Oracle. It can work in mysterious ways.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #210 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


This is an attempt to write a Crapsey cinquain.

Adelaide Crapsey (1878 - 1914) is remembered as the inventor of the cinquain. I think she is a very under-rated poet. Most modern anthologies of American poetry omit her. She has been called "a minor poet of great distinction". She died young, at the age of 36, and all of her mature work was published posthumously.

I love her cinquains. Brief as the lines are, there is music in there. Her cinquains are more of concrete images than emotions. But emotions there are, with tints of mystery, even sinister undertones. That the images are usually lovely and haunting, stark and contrasting, is a hallmark of her work. I have been trying to interpret her poem "Triad", and the opinion may be quite unexpected, but this may be the subject of another post. ;)

image from


The ceiling fan
Whirling slowly above.
In the dark, I hear the blades of


Are you afraid of spiders, or snakes and cockroaches? Shadows and the dark? Or is it yourself?
-- dsnake1

Shared on Poetry Pantry #209 at Poets United

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Monday, June 23, 2014

should I tell you what wrath you’re capable of?

Is it the weather? Or the freaking past week?

photo by dsnake1

should I tell you what wrath you’re capable of?

but then you may not listen.
you may already know
the shadows lengthen
our bleeding hearts beat
black as a crow's feather
or perhaps
you like the clash
of metal on cold metal
to go on
in any case this is
an acid that has bitten
too deep
too long
i love you i love you all
but this is
going to drag
us all down
pulling us all
to hell together.\\


Should I tell you what wrath you’re capable of?


from “maybe they’re not holy, maybe they’re just your hands" by Danez Smith.

The title is a line from the above poem. This is a prompt from the Bibliomancy Oracle. If you are hitting a blank wall, give it a visit. The prompt can work in strange ways...

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, June 08, 2014


I have been very busy lately, there isn't much time or energy to write much. I am trying to get some old stuff sitting in my PC online. Wondering why it's sitting there in the first place.

It's military related, and unpublished.

scan by dsnake1



    i wanted to try
    but i have no money
    and the gun was probably
    too heavy
    so i just watched
    as the stall lady
    pulled the lever
    of the air gun
    handed the weapon
    to a shooter
    all the while
    a lit cigarette
    dangling in her mouth
    that inch of ash
    strangely not falling
    and the shooter
    was taking his time
    undecided on his targets
    beer bottles light bulbs
    metal yellow ducks

    up above a full moon
    scattered its light
    on the fairground


    i wanted to get this
    over as soon as possible
    it was too hot
    the steel helmet too heavy
    so i just watched
    the target in front of me
    a wooden board with a picture
    of a soldier
    and as we shooters lay prone
    in the dust
    eyes peering through gun sights
    the detail sergeant
    on the bullhorn growled
    the order to fire
    and as i pulled back
    the charging handle
    of the M16
    heard the bolt clicked
    i was thinking of
    beer bottles light bulbs
    metal yellow ducks

    up above a blazing sun
    fired its rays
    on the rifle range


When I was a child living in the inner city, my parents or my uncle would take us kids to an amusement park near our home. In the early days before tv or the super malls, these parks were a popular spot of entertainment for the masses. Besides the usual ferris wheels, carousels, and bumper cars were the game stalls and joget dance halls. There were also the gun stalls where shooters with air rifles briefly imagined themselves as Buffalo Bills or snipers. There was always a small crowd watching. Perhaps the sound of splintering glass attracts or they just liked to see a sharpshooter in action.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #205 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, May 04, 2014

my old sergeant

I am too tired to write anything new this week. So, bear with another old post.

This is about a chance meeting between old comrades.

photo by click, image from

my old sergeant

my old sergeant
calls to me
from a bus stop.
he still remembers me
maybe i am the nerdy one
i don't give him trouble.

we talk
and laugh.

we are old men now
how time has aged a soldier,
he walks with a cane today.

was it not long ago
i saw him dismount
from an armoured carrier
carbine slung across
his chest
walking through a haze
of red dust
churned up
by battle vehicles?

we talk
about the old days.
we laugh
cough a bit

and then
go about our
separate ways.


“On the way down the hill we walked three abreast in the cobblestone street, drunk and laughing and talking like men who knew they would separate at dawn and travel to the far corners of the earth.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

Shared on Poetry Pantry #200 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

the lights of my heart

This poem is the result of an image prompt. It is an oil painting by a very talented artist, Rick Mobbs, who also writes great poetry. Unfortunately, he no longer writes or posts his prompts anymore.

This poem has been on this blog before. I wrote it with the loss of a very close person in mind.

No, the below picture is not the painting that inspired this poem. For that, click on the link above.

photo by richard_b, image from

the lights of my heart

without you
watching these harbour lights
is not the same.
they don't dance
     and skip
like flames
on shimmering skin.
i hear no more
the sounds
of our laughter
skimming across the waters
mingling with the splash
of waves on stone piers,
the boom of foghorns.
now the lights
they just shuffle
as on tired feet,
even the moon
detest to show
its face.

and i could not
point out to you anymore
like an old salty dog,
the coast guard cutter
that's coming home
from a night watch,
the container ship
bringing oil and grain
to feed our city,
those moving lights
are a cruise liner
like a castle on water
brighter than a thousand
christmas trees.

and so

on some
summer nights
like these
when even the breeze
seems cold
and heartbroken

when it was just me
    and the sea

as i look across the waters
at those harbour lights
sometimes i wonder

are you watching

from the other side.


Shared on Poetry Pantry #198 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, April 06, 2014


Just what I felt like, one evening after work. Moody, moody.

This piece had been sitting in my hard disk for years and I was wondering why I was hesitant to post it. Maybe the language? But what the heck , here it is, with all its warts.

photo by chaka
image from


oh, weed
how long have you
been standing by
this venomous roadside
with me
poking your head
out of the asphalt?
i know we are both
old and
and unloved
but what the fuck
who cares
who cares
not the tired masses
heading home
the blackbirds
pecking crumbs
in the dirt
by your side
and so my friend
as we are
breathing the exhaust
fumes the carbon
the farts
of the city
this evening
this evening
is unkind again
the stars falling
for that bus
to take me



A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
– James Lowell

A foreign journalist recently labelled us as a "miserable" people. I don't know where she gets this impression. Maybe we complain a lot, gripe like hell. The taxes for smokes and booze just went up. We pay a ransom to watch the coming World Cup games on TV. We are sardines on our public transport during peak hours. But we still give up our seats in the buses and trains, to the elderly, the pregnant. We still look after our needy. We volunteer. Some days ago, a lady (someone from my country, I must add) ran out of a shop to apply CPR to an elderly man, a total stranger, who collapsed on the pavement, apparently from a heart attack. She probably saved his life.

I guess we just look miserable.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #196 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ), 2014

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