Sunday, January 17, 2021

poetry lesson #4

The broken heart is there but still the words would not come...

pencil sketch by dsnake1

poetry lesson #4

the humid air hangs with
how to write a poem now
                 any poem.
and there are other nudges.
why, i just made my video hitman
drove all over the seedy town
then to take out a mob boss,
it was messy but the job was done.
             and i just realised
all my rock heroes
are now dead or old men,
their beards fashionable
             but grey,
and now the guitars have
             been passed to
five pretty Japanese girls
in maid outfits
to save rock.
it's sick!

and that poem
is still nowhere around
so i poured myself
a glass of wine (yes, wine now)
and send my hitman out again
to look for UFO parts.

and that poem?
the lady vocalist in
the youtube video
her gestures, her face,
                  her moles
reminds me of someone
i missed dearly.
i hit the replay button,
i feel like crying

and so
the poem will wait.


BAND-MAID - Wonderland

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

in the time of stillness

A tiny virus did all these. It was a strange time of empty streets during the lockdown, mandatory face masks and social distancing when outside...

photo by dsnake1

in the time of stillness

the city is standing still
it is learning a new language

the grass and weeds are allowed to grow
buttons, sages and mimosa poke heads out of concrete

butterflies show off their orange wings again
the stacked-up chairs at the cafe are lonely

the tower cranes have stop turning
the jackhammers retire to their sheds

you do not have a guy breathing down your neck
while you are placing a lottery bet

we have been the magpies
gleefully bathing in a puddle on a hot day
we have been the pigeons,
always hungry, pecking for food on asphalt

the language is new and strange
we gripe but are quietly learning.


A Perfect Circle - Imagine (cover of Lennon's song)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

one busy day at a contemporary art museum

reminds one of the emperor's new clothes...

colour pencil sketch by dsnake1

one busy day at a contemporary art museum

the crowds have come to gawk and ogle.
they are talking of technique and colors.
he came too but his brows knit into a frown.
why, they have hung the picture upside down.


The artwork is a copy of Mondrian's "Composition  with Red, Blue and Yellow" (1930)

Happy Holidays, Friends!

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

― Daniel J. Boorstin

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2020

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Sunday, December 13, 2020

days and days

there is no darker territory than the no man's land between life and death..

photo by Adrian Kirkegaard at Unsplash

days and days

should i say that the clock in the ward
has stopped working? that someone should fix it?
that the people in the beds don't care,
because the days that have passed
are all but dim memories and time is
meaningless, or all of everything?

my mother, she is asleep in that hospital bed
holding a half-eaten biscuit. i cannot bear
to wake her, i am tired from a day's work,
i want to feed her the porridge i brought
and i look at this frail woman, my mother,
her fingers curled stiff like talons and
the dried bits of rice on her bedsheets,
there is an ache in the heart
the pain i cannot understand.

should i say that this is not fair,
that the day would carry on its usual
business as i walk out of the gates?
should i tell that she woke up and
tried to call my name, that the smile
she gave me broke my heart?


I wrote this as a submission for an anthology of poetry about palliative care (open to 26 Asia Pacific countries and territories, in 15 languages). No, this poem didn't make it, but another one did. 😃

"in my eyes my mother is dying and yet all i am thinking are the numerals stenciled on the oxygen tank and all the while the night is still raining,"

- dsnake1, mother (it's about not giving up)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2020

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Sunday, December 06, 2020


some things, we don't forget.

colour pencil sketch by dsnake1


we lit candles
on birthdays

drank wine
kissed lips

night walks
star maps

now i bring wine
to your altar

trying to smile
wiping tears

telling you
how i am coping

as i light candles
on your anniversaries

written     :   20/06/2015
expanded :   27/10/2020

BAND-MAID - Endless Story

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2020

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Sunday, November 29, 2020

21, redux

21. Why 21? Because I spent my 21 up on a dark, rain-soaked hill. No cake, no candles, but still lots of fireworks. Though it was not war, just an exercise, still it was tough luck spending your day like that.

This is a major revision of an earlier poem.

photo by pixzito at pixabay

21, redux

Orion was looking down at us
crouching on this dark hill
as a rain soaked wind
brushed leaves and weeds
we, troopers watched in awe
red tracers probing targets
as the tank guns opened up
flinched & jerked in a frenzied dance
in the brief light of muzzle flashes
pouring 75mm shells into the butte
to explode in showers of mud,
a frosted plate of dark sky
now palely illuminated
as white flares arced
in graceful parabolas
the trees and ridges
frozen in hues of black and green
we clutched our weapons,
the metal of the M16
cold on tired skin
we checked our gear again
magazines knife bullets
a wait for orders
no prep talk
no hands on heart
just an exhale of relief
the crunch of boots on wet gravel
as we trudged down the hill
our shadows gliding on trees
spooked by illum rounds.

27th November 1989
revised 15/02/2006
revised 02/07/2019

U2 - New Year's Day

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2020

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Sunday, November 01, 2020

dark side of the moon #5

life's a drag, sometimes..

photo of Kyoto at night by dsnake1

dark side of the moon #5

there was always talk of downsizing
and now it wasn't just talk

he wondered what his wife was cooking
for dinner, it was not much lately

working on her figure, yoga she said,
was at her friend's playing mahjong

terry the dog drowned in the toilet bowl
just a couple of days back

it was getting thinner, anyway

he wandered mindlessly into the supermarket
the shelves were too much for him

maybe i can get something simple for dinner
just pop it in the microwave?

or not

he shouldn't had turned left into the casino.

ten stories is too high, he thought.
to jump


“The sea is endless when you are in a rowboat.”

― Adolfo Bioy Casares, The Invention of Morel

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2020

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