Monday, December 08, 2014

urban snapshots in monochrome : wing

When I was starting on this blog, I wrote a series of short poems called "urban snapshots in monochrome". These were based on snippets of images I came across, mostly during my journeys to and from work. Why "monochrome"? I will not tell you. :)

I am very busy with work, so I will just make do with this old post this week.





drawing by dsnake1




urban snapshots in monochrome : wing




a torn wing
snapped
like a black scythe
on wet asphalt
       in parking lot

somewhere a crow
will not fly
or is dead.


18.03.2006
**********







Shared on Poetry Pantry #230 at Poets United.


The image is a ink and pencil sketch on paper, and then scanned.






© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

one tree

Today, on a bicycle ride along the coast, I came across a tree, probably a pong-pong tree (cerbera odollam), all by itself, along the beach. A strange sight, because most of the trees,if not all, were in little clusters around.

This brought back some memories because as a child, us village kids would like to play around trees and came to learn which fruits are edible and which are poisonous. No, the tree that I came across today was not the old tree of our youth. That tree, and others, were probably cut down to make way for a container port.

But it did inspire the following poem. :)





photo by dsnake1




one tree




one tree
where the sea salt ever sprays
we played under its leaves
as children
laughing, mocking, crying.
now we are returning home
as old men
carrying
guilt, loss, scars
and still
she greets us
the tree
where the sea salt still sprays
her leaves waving in the wind
embracing us
as children.
this tree.



30/11/2014
**********






Shared on Poetry Pantry #229 at Poets United.
Hope to be back next week with a better poem. :)






© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

the light

I have grown to love this poem. I wrote this originally in response to a prompt. It was about my life in a squatter colony when I was a child, where the home has no electricity or running water.

The "light" in the poem could refer to the physical light itself, and, as I realised later, it could be a metaphor for the values that our parents taught us, without which, my path could have been vastly different.





photo by xandert
image from morguefile.com



the light


you know,
the light from the single
pressure lamp in our hut
keeps the night at bay
keeps the barking dogs outside
the night

there is no tv, no radio
to distract my school work
except the light will dim
after a while
and dad will pump the lamp every hour
or so

to keep the kerosene flowing
feeding the flames,
and mum joins me at
the only table
mending a dress with what squares of fabric
she has

while dad reads the day's papers
crumpled and smudged
from passing through
many hands
while outside in the village the dogs
still bark.



written 09/02/10
revised 09/09/10
*****************






“There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”

― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968



Shared on Poetry Pantry #228 at Poets United.





© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ah Chui

On the path of my life, I come across many interesting people...




photo by Alvimann
image from morguefile.com




Ah Chui




He is almost seventy
but tough as steel.
I look upon him
more like a friend
than the cleaner
who cleans my office.

He always wears
a long-sleeved shirt,
even on hot days
as if he is hiding something,
a scar, a tattoo.
I never ask him.

We take smoking breaks
in the hoist bays, staircases.
He tells me he had a business
in Beijing. It failed.
I did not ask if that's
the reason he came back.

One day he gives me his lighter
a carved dragon of metal.
Take it, he just said, and the
next day I did not see him again.
Sometimes there are things
best left unanswered.



10/11/2014
**********






“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?”

― Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange



Shared on Poetry Pantry #227 at Poets United.





© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

i am the grass

This is one of my favourite works. Call it anti-war or what, but when I wrote it, it was intended as a perspective from the ground. When it was first published on this blog many years back, it elicited a good number of comments.



digital sketch by dsnake1, done with pencilmadness




i am the grass




i am the grass
the hard boots
of the troopers
trampled upon
going on recon
on ambush
on patrol

but today

i feed on their blood
and brass cartridges
as they left
in alarm
calling for choppers
for medic
for God.

i am the grass
i do not take sides.


03.01.2007
**********






“A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.”

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried



Shared on Poetry Pantry #226 at Poets United.





© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

no matter if it rains

The mind wanders back to a distant past as I was reading the words to this prompt.



photo by P. Kratochvil
image from publicdomainpictures.net




no matter if it rains



now this rain
seems sterile
antiseptic
like hypodermic needles
driving
into my face
because it seems
to cleanse
these stinks
these grime
from the city
and the demons
that claw at me
from within.

i get off my bike
to take cover
at the bus shelter
not because
of the rain
or the wetness
or the slippery
roads
but because i was cold
cold because
i miss you
and i feel like
crying
and i am hoping
you will not see me
in such a sorry state
as the last lights
of the day
battles the incessant
rain.

but then
no matter if it rains
it will have to stop

somehow.


26/10/2014
**********







Today, no matter if it rains,
It’s time to follow the path into the forest.

*

from "By the Same Author" by James Longenbach



I was inspired by the lines from the above poem (and some mind wanderings). This is a prompt from the Bibliomancy Oracle. It can work in aching ways.







© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

you are a starfish on a beach

When I was a kid, my mother told me a story about the cops coming for a relative. He had two guns with him. I did not know what he had the guns for. And I did not ask. I did not see him much, perhaps on a few occasions when, after he was out of the slammer, visited my maternal grandfather.

Somehow this little incident inspired the following poem. I have being thinking about the past again. :(





photo by mettem
image from morguefile.com





you are a starfish on a beach


you flick the cigarette butt
the glow arc in the dark
the wet asphalt reflects
the nights's cold lights

you are afraid of the dark
and its wild crouching shadows
and the demons that tears
and tears your heart.

you are glad that it's day
but there are lions waiting
but even the birds sing
but fear does not go away

you are at the end of the alley
the metal in your hand heavy and cold
the sirens wail and wail
the hounds close in on the quarry


---+---+---+---+---+---
----+----+----+----+----

you are a starfish on a beach
the sun beating down hard
the quiet creeping of sand
the crush of stepping feet.


15/10/2014
**********







You are afraid of everyone. Your nickname is hermit crab.
Come out of you shell, they say.

*

from "Starfish" by Leah Horlick



I was inspired by the lines from the above poem (and some pretty wild thoughts). This is a prompt from the Bibliomancy Oracle. It can work in criminal ways.


Shared on Poetry Pantry #223 at Poets United.






© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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