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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Sunday, March 30, 2014

for that bowl of rice

This is one of my favourite poems. I wrote it on one angry day, in one sitting, with almost no revisions. I still have that yellowed page in the journal I wrote in, the handwriting heavy and scrawly. I loved how the way it turned out, in choppy little lines, as if reflecting the mood I was in when I wrote it originally.

image from

for that bowl of rice

it was the sum
of all the little
tiring journeys
adding up
or the
proverbial straw

i do not really
mean to
raise my voice

i smile
who knows the lead in my heart
i trudge miles
for that bowl of rice
not for me alone.

written 13.09.92
revised 16.06.07

“These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” 

― Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Shared on Poetry Pantry #195 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Monday, March 17, 2014

toilet talk

Rats! What an awful week. Things don't work right at work. It had not rained for weeks (okay, it rained yesterday and today). The haze is back, thick and troublesome. Think I will post a little joke here. Jokes can't go wrong, I suppose?

image by dsnake1, done with pencilmadness

toilet talk

I was at a men's restroom in a bowling alley, doing my you-know-what business, when i heard the guy in the next cubicle said, "Hello, how are you?"

Thinking that the man was just trying to be friendly, I replied, slightly embarrassed, "Okay, i'm fine."

Then he continued : "So, what are you doing now?"

I tell you, I'm not used to carrying on a conversation while shitting. But just not to offend him, I said "Ahh, I'm into software" (which was quite correct at that moment).

It was really getting a bit uncomfortable for me at this point. Then he tossed another question., "Can I come over?"

This one was really sudden and kinky, I mean I am really lost. I was really nervous now, but quickly replied, "NO. I'm eh, sort of busy now.."

There was a short pause, a nervous cough, and the guy saying, a bit agitated..
"Look, I'll call you back later. There's an idiot in the other cubicle who keeps answering all my questions!"

P.S. I made this up , of course I wasn't there. I read of this joke somewhere, maybe some of you guys had already come across it.

I promise to be back with a poem the next time.

And a haiku to end the day...


crisis day in the office.
my cellphone rings -

wrong number.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Monday, March 10, 2014

geography lessons

I have posted this before, but I think it is a fun poem and should be shared again.
When I was in secondary school (and that was a loong time ago), geography was one of my favourite subjects, though I was in the so-called Science classes, where the priority was on Physics and Mathematics. I guessed I was a mixed-up student.

And then along the way I ended up liking poetry. :)

image by dsnake1

geography lessons

I loved geography lessons
not most of my class.
Our teacher Mr. Newton from Texas
drawled in an accent that's hypnotic
and lured some of the guys to sleep,
not me.
And poor Mr. Newton won't know
what to do with them,
he couldn't throw a chalk at the deadbeats
not like Mr Tan of Physics class.
So I paid attention
and was quite good,
knew that Bikini was a nuked island
and oxbows were not weapons,
while most of them
fidgeted in their chairs, chewed gum
and hoped that Miss Pang
the sexy literature teacher
would walk past,
just some slight distraction.
And we had a guy
we called Chairman Mao
who would debate fervently
with Mr. Newton
the virtues of communism
over the capitalist pigs,
the proletarian will triumph
over the bourgeoisie
and the whole damn class
would groan
and wish for recess.


"How do you find America?"
"Turn left at Greenland.”
-- Media question to The Beatles during their first U.S. tour, 1964

Shared on Poetry Pantry No. #192 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, March 02, 2014

night takes

In the course of my work, sometimes I am recalled back to the office to attend to some emergency or unreasonable request. Usually these calls come right smack in the middle of the night, and then your next day is totally ruined.

The second stanza of this poem is a complete rewrite from the original. If you want to read the original, it's here.

image from

night takes


When i boarded the taxi the driver
was happy that there is someone
at 2 a.m. to chat with,
and he laughed when i replied
that i was going to work.
On the dashboard was a figurine of
a roly-poly laughing buddha
and when the driver cracked a joke
about the government
the three of us laughed again
in the middle of the night.


Maybe it was the fluorescent lights
the glare cold and efficient
but 3 a.m. is not a good time to work.
You thought a shadow moved
among the racks and cables
when you know you were all alone
so when the phone rang and a voice
at the other end called your name
you looked again at the shadows.


Thank God for 7-Elevens
when you needed a nicotine fix
at 5 a.m. in the morning.
The store clerk looked up
with undisguised disdain
when i stepped in from the warm night,
unruly hair, bloodshot eyes, bad breath.
It was not exactly friendly or inspiring,
even the door chime sounded angry.

written 25/11/2006
revised 28/02/2014

“How did it get so late so soon?”
-- Dr. Seuss

Shared on Poetry Pantry #191 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


Pain. Sometimes after so many years, you still feel it.

image by dsnake1, done with pencilmadness


i didn't see many stars up there these days.
is my eyesight failing
or has my heart been bleeding?
but i know you are up there
amongst the Lyre, the Swan, the Bear.


"That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
― John Green, The Fault in our Stars.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #190 at Poets United.

This is an unpublished poem. I wrote it some time back, no edits, but was hesitant to post it.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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