Sunday, October 01, 2023

our old home

The prompt at Poets and Storytellers United asks us what conjures up "Home". There are perhaps many images that do that, and I would like to share this old poem (written and published here about a decade ago) about an old place I grew up in.

pencil sketch by dsnake1

our old home

looking out of the taxi from the viaducts
of the expressway

i saw the lights in the huge yards bathing the port
like day

the containers stacked as neatly as colourful
lego bricks

the cranes over them like metal brachiosauruses
breathing steam

once upon a time my cousin and i
catch catfishes

where the giant ships at the wharves
now berthed

not caring about the stings
or drowning

today as the last evening lights
scattered off

offices and warehouses ringed by a
chain-link fence

casting shadows and memories on a
concrete strip

there used to stand a house where I
called home.


"Tomorrow, we will be flying over the South China Sea
& home"

dsnake1 - lonely when away from home

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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Sunday, August 20, 2023

"Woman charged $608 for lobster la mian"

SingPoWriMo 2023 Day 3.

The prompt is to write a poem in Singlish. I will try. I speak it everyday.

photo by Pexels at pixabay

"Woman charged $608 for lobster la mian"

I never said that hor, it was in the news. Or some social media feed. Then if you look at the picture, the dish does look like a plate of vomit. The eater said one hor. Also cannot see the lobster. For that price? No wonder the woman kao pei kao bu. But never ask the price in the first place meh? Or look at the menu? Die die must eat here meh? I think some people are blur like sotong, or so rich till dun care. I wish I am rich liddat hor. Then can eat lobster noodle also. But liddat in the picture, I also complain one even if I got money to burn. Talking about money, that 600+ can fly budget to Oz and eat the lobster there. Lagi more fresh. Maybe can also throw in scallops, prawns and if you want, hum. (hum very expensive now, the char kway teow uncle told me). Okay lah, the kopitiam downstairs just renovated and open, let me see what I can get there. La mian?


Notes :

blur like sotong : used to describe a clueless person. Sotong is Malay for squid, which squirts ink to escape from predators. The ink makes it hard to see.
char kway teow : a stir-fried dish of rice noodles.
die die must try : something so great the person must try, no matter what.
hum : blood cockles.
kao peh kao bu : complain. Usually a big complaint. From Hokkien literally meaning 'cry father cry mother'
lagi : Malay word for more, greater or further.
la mian - "pulled" noodles, i.e. hand-made noodles.
liddat : like that
uncle : a male who is middle-aged or older, not necessarilly a relative and especially not well acquainted. The female form is auntie.
hor, lah, meh :(also mah, leh, siah as other examples) these are discourse particles occurring at the end of a sentence. It does not change its grammatical meaning, but how it is spoken changes the meaning or tone of the sentence, for example indicating annoyance, disbelief, amazement , etc.

CNA Insider - How Singlish Went From 'Cannot Make It' To National Hero | Singlish: Why We Talk Like That? - Part 1

(It's a bit longish, but interesting.)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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Sunday, August 13, 2023

somewhere, redux

Maybe she is having a better, happier life now...

image by Aurel_Cham at pixabay

somewhere, redux

it's been twenty-eight years
you should have been
if you did
you could be
a mother
by now

and if i walk past you
somewhere in a street
in Redhill
would i still

and perhaps i will,
or maybe not
but if i see
that walk
swaying hips
in that mall
or park
that voice
that laughter

and if our eyes should meet
in that split
moment in time
will understand
those trembling
those brimming tears
in my eyes.


The prompt at Poets and Storytellers United is to write about "the last time you had a good laugh or cry"

"I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever."

― Rabindranath Tagore, Selected Poems

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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Sunday, July 23, 2023


Blursday : n. a day of the week that is indistinguishable from any other.

I am sure the word was a prompt from one of the issues of Poets & Storytellers United. Just can't remember which date.

digital montage by dsnake1 with GIMP

blursday (7th apr to 1st june 2020)

Thank god the internet is alive and well.
And Netflix.

The social media videos start to arrive.
They hiss like little forked tongues.

The rebels arrive. A man with full body tattoos striped down to his underwear and strutted around the town neighbourhood waving his pants. Cops tried to tackle him. They had a hard time bringing him down. He was a good rugby player.

spring cleaning -
our little histories.

A nice dinner of stir fried cabbage with dried shrimps and fried pork collar with chillies helps a ton. Everybody loves it.

More social videos : elderly lady is unleashing a whole range of vulgarities at two cops when confronted for not wearing a mask. The two cops are hesitant to tackle the lady. They know the internet is watching. Eagerly watching.

Some people are slipping into a rabbit hole.

Thank god for youtube. There's a Japanese all-girl rock band that's driving the internet (and me) crazy.

cherry blossoms -
looking at my photographs
of Japan

Two blackbirds perch on my air-con unit and debate the pandemic.

the silence
in the house

Tried fried udon with minced meat and everybody loves it.
Home-cooked pasta with meat sauce and everybody loves it.
Perhaps i can think about a career change.

A dinner of yam rice with chinese sausages. Very basic.
But everybody loves it
Hmm, about that career change...

overcast skies -
looking at your old photographs

another morning
counting the meds
counting the videos

nicked finger -

red fish gills
in a white sink

a scent of lilac your floral blouse

Home stretch.
Start counting the number of brands of beer i have drunk. Give up after the 11th and start rummaging in the fridge for one. Any brand.

The end of blursdays
What day is today?

The family wants me to cook dinner.


318 words

written in response to a prompt
revised 06/12/2022
revised 02/07/2023

BAND-MAID - Daydreaming

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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Sunday, July 16, 2023

happening at a riot near you

Rosemary at Poets & Storytellers United would like us to be inspired by the phrase, ‘broken glass crunching under the boot steps', and write a poem or story about it.

digital montage by dsnake1 with GIMP

happening at a riot near you

             Juan get back into the house!

but Juan watch the sergeant raise his baton
a row of riot guns raise like palisades
the arcs of the smoke actually graceful
the cartridges snaking, rolling
between cars
                 trash bins
    run ning feet
and courage is not a word to say
when the air wants to tear out your eyes
your lungs.

the soldiers raise their shields and batons
their boots in step
                 in step
the phalanx rolls on
metal teeth of a meat grinder

swish cruch crunch bish craack

Juan wants to be a man
but Juan is still a boy

I am a boy! I AM A BOY!

even the blackbirds rise like shrapnel and flee

broken glass crunching under the boot steps
blood faithfully follows the cracks in the asphalt.


Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Ohio

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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Sunday, July 09, 2023

dark side of the moon #11 - part 2

You can never know what type of people the person you just accidently bumped into is...

pencil and watercolor sketch by dsnake1

dark side of the moon #11 - part 2

She is lying, of course. She will not fight. She knows I came prepared. The vampire gives a scream so loud that glass bottles shatter, packets drop off shelves and the room shakes. In an instant, she has morphed from a woman into a hideous giant bat-like creature. I reach for my shotgun, she wanted to lunge at me, changes her mind, and instead flies straight up, punches through the thatched roof. I let off a shot as the roof started caving in. Through the hole I could see her silhouette against the grey sky getting smaller. I waited a short while in case she changes her mind and returns, but did not. I had to go too. The military patrols could have been alerted and I do not want to stay around answering awkward questions.


The businessman was on his way home to his villa on the outskirts of Bangkok. He has just attended the launch of his new hotel at Pattaya. He was almost dozing off in the car when his driver braked suddenly. There was something on the road in front of the car. In the bright headlights of the car they could see the outline of a person. A woman. There were no other cars or vehicles at this time of the night. The normal instinct is to start the car and roar off. But the businessman ordered a bodyguard to get out and investigate. The bodyguard went out, his pistol drawn. After a while he came back. "Boss, it's a young woman, and she's alive. What do we do with her?"

270 words


The End. Maybe a part 3, let's ask the Muse.

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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Sunday, July 02, 2023

dark side of the moon #11 - part 1

You can never know what type of people the person you just accidently bumped into is...

photo by xusenru at pixabay enhanced with Nik Collection

dark side of the moon #11 - part 1

Tonight, the weather is balmy and humid, not a good time for work. I stopped the jeep just outside the shop. It is a nondescript, dimly lit small wooden structure just outside the village, among paddy fields and banana plantations. A large coca-cola sign was nailed to the door, and I push it open and walk in, and I smell it immediately, a faint pungent scent with hints of plumeria. She sits at a table, close to a refrigerator, writing on a book, with neat shelves of dried food and condiments around her. This is a general store, after all. She unfolds her legs and stands up, her light pink ao dai flowing with her curves. She smiles and says, "what took you so long?"

"How many were there?", I ask, referring to the bodies buried behind the house. "Ten, maybe. I have stopped counting." She smiles, then sighs. "In a different time we could even be lovers". In the low light of incandescent bulbs, there is no doubt that she is a beautiful woman. A beautiful creature. "I have to get their lives, their chi. I need to live", she says matter-of-factly.

I have been hunting her for decades, and have put down some of her kind along the way. But she is elusive, her trail winding and long. Amsterdam, Singapore in the 30's, Tokyo, just after the War, and now a village near an American camp just outside Saigon. "It took you some time, this chase, I was beginning to worry for you, but you took out our sister Matha in Amsterdam just after the First War ended". She continued, "I will never forgive you, I will try to kill you and maybe today I will get my greatest prize."

292 words


to be continued...

Saori Hayami - [Awake] - ending theme for RWBY:Ice Queendom

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2023

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