Sunday, August 19, 2018

Little Boy

"The world is a very different one now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.

-- John F. Kennedy

ink/pencil sketch by dsnake1

Little Boy

the day
it dropped off
the enola gay over a city
with a white flash instantly
frying 80,000 poor humans
the day
will be
etched in
blood. we
have the
means to
extinct our species.
we live in fear of the
black mushroom cloud delivering
evil evil evil evil evil evil evil

"A bright light filled the plane.We turned back to look at Hiroshima. The city was hidden by that awful cloud ... boiling up, mushrooming."
-- LTC Paul Tibbets

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

walking away

Your last day at work, does it feel like you are walking out of a sentence?

photo by StockSnap at pixabay

walking away

leaves all behind
no one looks up
not even a goodbye
what is there to remember?
a song's notes
that fade off in half flight
       a wind in November
       a walk to the gate
       a wave to the guards
to the chainlink fence
and the air seems so cold
even though
the rain trees
swelter in the noon heat
their leaves
as the wind whispers
it is a good day.


It is a strange feeling, walking out on my last day of work, out of a place that is almost like a second home. I feel neither sad nor happy, just looking forward to my birthday a day later.  🙂

Stereopony - Stand By Me

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, August 05, 2018

Fighting Kites

Kids living in a time when there were no game consoles and smartphones...

artwork by ractapopulous at pixabay

Fighting Kites
early 60's, South Quay

The spines we make from the stalks of attap leaves.
That's easy, we just pulled some
From the roofs of neighbours' houses.

The body we fashion from paper used for baking.
It is tough and light and free,
Yes we snuck from aunty's kitchen too.

Sometimes if in the mood we paint a fearsome
Pair of demon's eyes on the kite,
Big and wild, black pupils and thick brows.

And the string, it is an art. We pound broken glass
Until they are tiny shards of terror,
Mix it with a paste of starch and rice.

And coat this on a roll of twine that is strung
Between two stakes on the ground.
When it is dried we have our No.1 fighting string.

Then we wait impatiently for the wind.

We let it up, a little paper devil, a dragon
Riding the air, rising to the clouds
Roaming free, looking for prey, for some blood.

We, my cousins and i, seldom lose, our deadly strings
Killing the competition like knives.
Such is our reputation most pull down their kites.

Then this bunch of boys heads home when dark.

Faces dirty, shirts stained (sometimes shirtless)
Fingers and palms bloodied and scarred
And our mothers yelling to us for dinner.

written 10/05/2006
revised 01/08/2018

As we huddle for the next evil scheme : Playing For Change - Stand By Me

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

4 a.m. sunday morning

Written for SingPoWriMo 2016, no eyeballs as you have guessed. The eyeballs are on the pavements somewhere...

photo by harutmovsisyan at pixabay

4 a.m. sunday morning

sometimes nights are like that
awash with shadows
the rain calling your name

the night grumbles and growls
nine floors below
blue red strobe lights, doors slam

the rain is falling, scattering
like silver needles
in the glow of streetlights

voices, muffled by the wind
a woman's plead
shrill, and angry words

take the brawl somewhere nabeh!

or maybe the rain is already
washing the blood
off the cold asphalt.


I was up at 5 a.m. this morning for a bike ride, and no, the morning wasn't like that. :)

And if the sky weeps in muffled sobs: Traffic, Walking in the Wind

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

what do you know

Sometimes the giants are amongst the most ordinary...

photo by Free-Photos at pixabay

what do you know

she kept silent,
the old lady, bent with the years,
bags of groceries in one hand,
an agitated grandson on the other.

most probably she had seen it all,
her flight from China to escape poverty,
to another hard life in a foreign land,
to the darker ages, a World War,
surviving on tapioca roots,
evaded Sook Ching, and the massacres,
staying plain,
hoping not to get raped,
staying sane,
squalid huts to call home,
soon the terrors of Konfrontasi,
the uncertanties of Merger,
and Independence,
the horrors of racial riots,
then blissful marriage,
giving birth to sons, daughters,
raising them, nurturing them
saving the coins to build
a business
a home
a country

the little boy, indignant,
cellphone-ipad-game console generation,
"what do you know, grandma?
what do you really know?"

written 19/04/2009
revised 19/07/2018

This was intended for Wednesday's Midweek Motif prompt for "Greatness" at Poets United. ☹️

“A great man is always willing to be little.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

on waking up

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

artwork by dsnake1, a copy of Mondrian's Composition in Blue, Red, Yellow and Black, 1922

on waking up

you came again, right?
you came in the dead of night.
the nights, they never die
they come on the back of the moon.
we linger in dreams
              in hopes
              or tears
then when the alarm beeps
and the early birds flutter their wings
i see the rust on the window grills
the dust coating the glass panes
when i am too weak
                too sad
                to clean.


And if you want get up : Dire Straits, On Every Street

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, July 08, 2018

the four sisters

This is a painting by the artist Rick Mobbs. Over a decade back, Rick offered on his blog a weekly image prompt for us wannabe writers to ponder over it. He called the project The Storybook Collaborative. Those images are paintings that he had done, and out of it were some very good poems.

The below poem has been sitting in my thumb drive for some time. Perhaps I took too long to ponder?

painting by Rick Mobbs

the four sisters

"Can we not raise our hands in anger?
beat our swords into ploughshares instead?"

and Peace
raises her hands and releases the white petrel
where it circles the storm clouds

says Hope
and the golden flame in her hand
flickers but still burns strongly in the wind

says Love
and the stalk of red rose
bends with the wind but does not break

says Faith
and her hands cup the the sunrise
weighing the golden orb of the growing sun

and they look at the grey skies turning black
the sea sneering and scattering the dunes

and they are not afraid.

written 10/09/2010
revised 08/06/2018

And if you think the dark clouds will clear : Pink Floyd, A Great Day for Freedom

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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