Sunday, July 17, 2016

the letters

I have posted this story before, but i think it is a rather nice tale, so here it is again. :)

I wrote this short story for some competition. The rules are simple. The story will be completed in 3 parts and each part must be less than a hundred words. A key word is provided for each part of the story, and it must be present in it. When the first part is submitted, the keyword for the next part will be provided. When all the three parts are submitted, a winner will be picked.

The keywords were as follows : post office, discover, letter.

No, I did not win anything.:)

photo by Sergey81 at

the letters

I passed this quaint little post office on my way to and from work each day. It was a sturdy brick and steel building, nestled in a quiet neighbourhood. But what interested me was not the post office itself, but a pretty lady who was always around the place when I returned home in the evenings. Dark-haired, slim, so dainty that a rush of wind could blow her away, she sat on the steps of the post office, under the porch lights, reading some letters. As the days passed, she intrigued me more and more.

Finally, one evening, after much debate, I decided to speak to the lady, but she was not there when I arrived. And the following nights too. So on an off-day, I was at the post office sending parcels when I asked Sato-san, the postmaster, about the lady. With a quizzical stare, he told me her husband was away in the war, the Islands. She would be here at the post office, waiting for his war-zone letters . And then very strangely, he warned me to keep away from her . What I have discovered so far only deepens the mystery.

Now I know more about love and the human heart in these few weeks than in my entire life. You see, her husband never made it back from Iwo Jima. Day after day, she read that government letter, until her heart broke. They found her dead one day, on that post office porch, her tears still wet on those fair cheeks. And all this happened before I moved into this neighbourhood. I should be afraid, very afraid, but now I am not afraid anymore. As I stepped out of the porch, the fireflies scattered into the scented night.

Aug 2012

if i could pluck the stars
put them in a jar
will you come back to me?

--dsnake1, longing

Shared on Poetry Pantry #311 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, July 10, 2016


Do you still remember the first dance you had? I still do, though it happened eons ago. Probably because it's the first time, the partner is pretty, and the music in the right groove. Yes, it was vinyl records then...

pencil sketch by dsnake1


that dance
       it plays
       all over
like a jammed vinyl
       when i hear
       that song
in a store
the train the radio
though it has been
       a lifetime
we left
and still
like a bridge
across time
       i see
just the two
of us
though there are others
on the dance floor
       my hand
on your slim waist
your warm body
close to mine
a hint
of heady

and me
trying very hard
not to step
       on your shoes.

written 14/04/09
revised 23/06/09

To Janice, wherever you may be.

Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way.

-- Paul Simon, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #310 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, July 03, 2016

going to work

I wrote and submitted this poem for a competition, "Moving Words", way back in 2011.

It was to present works by Singaporean poets in the media spaces in the trains (SMRT) and stations. Although my poems were not shortlisted, 3 of them were selected for publication in an anthology, "Moving Words 2011 : A Poetry Anthology".

photo/image by dsnake1

going to work

this city outside the moving bus
was a throbbing blur of walls
and trees and impatient traffic

they said sunrises and mornings
are beautiful but someone must be lying
it was just a razor that hurts the eyes

as i rubbed a two-day stubble on my chin
the lady in the opposite seat was nervous
pretending to read a book check her nails

i do admit i don't look friendly
but i am running late i miss my cigarettes
i still have to clock 8 hours in the office

july 2011

If this piece sounds cynical it is because i have to work on a public holiday.

“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.”

Erol Ozan

Shared on Poetry Pantry #309 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

bell bottoms & hotpants

“It takes a very long time to become young.”

― Pablo Picasso

colour pencil drawing by dsnake1

bell bottoms & hotpants

the fading polaroids
peel back the years
smile back at me
big hair
big girls

and i hear the mermaids making promises again

they think they are Fawcett clones
sashaying down the street
their bags swinging
their short skirts
threatening to ride higher
their laughter
are the songs that lure
the seafarers to the rocks.

meet you at barbarella's
they would say
that would blow me a chunk
of my pay
but i would be there
in my best polyester
trying to do the hustle
and never good with it

but they are gorgeous
my vivacious mermaids
skipping, bobbing on the dance floor
in their platform shoes
under the disco ball
i cannot forget the way
they twirl the ice cubes in their lemon tea
their tongues licking the plastic stirrers
their lithe bodies wet
sticking to tube tops
their glossy legs in hotpants
crossed on faux leather sofas
as they bum and smoke my cigarettes
on bee-stung lips

"shut up, tell me how do i look
why that sad face, think about my, you know...
i like you but you have been taken.
you don't know what's true hurt is, i do"

and then we all moved on
time and rank pulled us all


we grow old
we grow apart
we fall in love
we trip and fall
we die a little bit
and i hear the songs fade away
and the dreams they fall apart too
and a rain rolls over
a shifting wasteland
and the mermaids no longer sing

until one aching night

\ \\ \\

outside the windows a sudden rain.
a rattling of window panes.

they may be calling me already.


when we were younger, we thought we could live forever...

the mermaids making promises again


from “Notes on Melancholia” by M.A. Vizsolyi

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

Shared on Poetry Pantry #308 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, May 29, 2016


I wrote this piece recently for SingPoWriMo 2016 and posted it on my other blog. It was getting zilch eyeballs, so here it is! But seriously, it is about a sad subject.

image by dsnake1, done with Sketchpad 3.7


in the time between
the first flame
and the last exhale
of breath
the bubbling
of death
on a heated tin foil
the quick suck of
white fumes
a straw
before the bones break
the flesh tears
the ants
   crawl on
      the poisoned
     the blades
are drawn

     the dawn


the dragon is too mean to chase


I am trying out a new, free and easy to use online art tool, Sketchpad 3.7. Still learning, but it is an amazing and fun tool. The above graphic was done with it.

"My eyes are blind but I can see
The snowflakes glisten on the tree..."

--Black Sabbath, Snowblind

Shared on Poetry Pantry #304 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

the night sticks like wet petals

This is my first attempt on a "golden shovel" poem. I find it interesting, even challenging.

The poem I chose was In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound :

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

photo by dsnake1

the night sticks like wet petals

if you imagine us scurrying down to the
tunnels, each of us is an apparition
skins lined after a helpless day of
slaving in hills of data then these
shadows these lines on your faces
those sunken eyes reflected in
steel the glass panels of the

stations and the bloodshot eyes of the crowd;

the night sticks like wet petals
unwilling to fall, clinging on
the scent of fading cologne, on a
breath thick with reasons, slick and wet,
all waiting, the masses, huddled and black
as the train hurtling in, a thick dark bough.


heck, it even has a nice form. but am not too satisfied with this attempt..

"I'm sorry my dears but we only sat down
And laughed and laughed in sorrow"

-- Uriah Heep, Circus

Shared on Poetry Pantry #303 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, May 15, 2016


A couple of years back, I sent the following photo and words to a contest celebrating the family. The words in the textbox must be less than 300 characters. That's me in the photo, the guy in the middle, with my brother and sister.

photo from the archives of dsnake1


It’s the early 70’s, and we siblings just want to have fun too, on Chinese New Year’s Day. But lots of things have gone by since. Bell-bottoms, tie-dyes, fire crackers, and big hair. Especially the hair, there’s not much now. But one thing did not changed, the bond amongst us. Wherever the era.


294 characters, incl. spaces

And now, a haiku for the day...

bedtime -
my daughter reads a story book
to her toys


The prize was a MacBook. I am still using my old battered and bulky laptop.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #302 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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