Sunday, June 20, 2021

a haiku

Father's Day

image by dsnake1

a haiku

missing dad -
sandpapering rust
off his old tool box.


the haiku is old but it is one of my favourites and i am posting it today.

I remember my dad as a stocky, muscular man, as he works in the construction industry as a carpenter and a foreman. I follow him for a couple of weeks working on a house for a wealthy pig farmer, and I know how tough the work can be. Yet his Chinese calligraphy is very elegant and beautiful, and bold. The people at the clan house would request him to write notices and wedding invitations.

He is a very quiet man, does not say much. When as a child, I got into scraps with other kids, he would just dress my wounds, and not ask anything. He is quite unfazed by anything, except when he once asked me what I was doing with a gang in Newton (I wasn't), and the news of Kennedy's assassination. He has passed on, at a relatively young age, and when I needed strength, I would think of him.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, June 13, 2021

cards (happy birthday, love)

to look into you and see eternity.
-- dsnake1

pencil sketch by dsnake1 from a card's design

cards (happy birthday, love)

you ask
why do i still
keep these cards?
all these years
in a cardboard box
dusty among the books
on the shelves
the sunshine
seldom kisses
and sometimes i
take them out
touch the paper
run my fingers over
the indentations
her neat handwriting
heart in
every line & letter
each card
a different year
but always
the same message

happy birthday, love.

i ask
can i forget then?
these are the songs
i will not
hear again
her voices
her joy
that there will be
no more words
that night
the night
swallow up the stars


Accept - Kill The Pain

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, May 30, 2021

there is life yet

" that it rained in June
that our cigarette tips
still burn red and hot

in the cold rain,
smoke trailing like lost dreams
as the world winded down,"

- dsnake1, before the next day

image by Cdd20 at pixabay

there is life yet

to come back home
like coming back from a war
all fights lost
sitting on
the cold ceramic floor
wondering where
the day has died
pulls out a cigarette
pulls out the tab
of a beer can
sitting quietly
sitting in the
gathering darkness
to the sound
of the old refrigerator
fighting back
looking at
the TV staring back
a cold cyclops eye
and listen
the distant wail
of the neighbour's baby
crying for milk perhaps
it is comforting to know
some things remain the same
now the father
and the mother bickering
yes, yes, there is life yet.


BAND-MAID - the non-fiction days

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Read Between The Lines

Recently, at my other blog, I did a series of erasure or black-out poetry. I took old newspapers and magazines, even on-line posts, took a marker pen (digital too) and started blacking out lines. Looking back, mostly what was created was not poetry, but it was fun doing it.

I chose five, which I think are the best of the lot, for your reading pleasure.

If you want to read the whole nine-yards click the LINE HERE.

Read Between The Lines


skip socialising today
You may be reminded of a debt


a spider's web across

the truth
must be shining with light


having fun should not be hard
you need to pay attention to it


you always carry lots of money.
That's the problem.


No history could tell the secret
of that have always existed on the fringes,
the witch doctor
the hidden temples
the jungle tribe

Really, my mind has a blackout almost every day, and you want to talk to me about poetry?
- dsnake1's muse

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Tai Seng

He sat across from me. He said, "I will bury him." I thought, this guy is very unhappy and crazy. "Look, let's have another beer and I will take you home. Where do you live?". "Tai Seng", he said.

photo by Darius Bashar at Unsplash

Tai Seng

talking about
                 Tai seng
when we were watching Hard Boiled on the CD
you know, you can wander into that place
and never come out again.

taking another
                 swig of vodka
she in her teddies just bored
i have been there a couple of times, told her
the guys there are quite friendly

once i went there
                 to play cards
and when i left one of the guys
lifted a zinc sheet off the wall and outside
was a tiny alleyway with cut steps

just follow it
                 to the bus stop
just so casual, like old friends
the other time we went there to get grass
we found out what a labyrinth means

the dealer took us
                 left and right
we went through someone's house
the people didn't bat an eyelid, just nodded
like it was another day in the office

her silk dudou
                 a distraction
on the screen Chow Yuen Fatt
was shooting up the gangsters in the teahouse.
but i didn't seem to hear the gunfire

this probably is not a good time to talk about
                 Tai Seng


Ask any old-timer where are the most dangerous 'hoods on the island in the 70's and they will rattle off names like Tai Seng, The Gasworks, Geylang and Redhill. And in most lists will be Tai Seng.

Band-Maid - Thrill (スリル)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, May 02, 2021

poetry lesson #6

poetry. definitely a love-hate relationship...

pencil sketch by dsnake1

poetry lesson #6

i confess
i am trying to write a poem.

pencil & notebook is ready

trying to pull words
out of a hat

it is like my constipated
self trying to poop


and out of the
angry scrawls on the paper


pick the poem apart
letter by letter
it is painful, watching
like an autopsy

kill the poem! kill it!

you call this poetry, sir?
perhaps the blackbird outside on my air con unit can scratch better than this!

my muse, quick, i need my pretty muse.


Band-Maid - Manners

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

white lilies

on the other side will i find you?...

photo by Mathew Schwartz at Unsplash

white lilies

because i saw a bed of lilies
last night
white and glossy and rain kissed
i kept thinking of death

how it should be life and joy and
our home
new floor tiles and italian furniture
and perhaps wines on rainy days

because it was eighteen years ago
one night
the tunnel lights throbbing heartbeats
and i, holding a bouquet of flowers

white lilies baby breath laces
pure scented
for my bride the next big day
to match that glorious gown we selected

and the lady who sat opposite
nodded smiled
knowing what the flowers were for
that the night will be forever

had it been so many years then?
her joy
when she took the lilies that day
and even her name was Flower

and i could not touch those lilies
so white
so delicately alive that my body
shook and not from the chill.

written : sept 2012
revised : 16/04/2019

theme song from movie Spirited Away - Always with Me

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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