Monday, May 29, 2006

Photo-Poetry Challenge : Photo 11

This is the poem that I submitted for the 5th Dead Poet's Society (Singapore) poetry writing competition. It did not win the popular vote by the forumites. But it was mentioned by 2 of the invited judges of the competition. One selected it as his top choice, the other gave it a runner-up spot. More of that later.

When I was a child growing up in the Tanjong Pagar and Kallang areas, there were plentiful of these trishaw riders plying their trade there. Theirs is a dying trade now. What's left are organised jaunts, for the benefit of the tourists.


The Trishaw Rider
image by LazerLordz


This much i know
the streets of the city
           the alleys, the lanes.

Once life was kinder,
this old trishaw and me
fetching tai tais to markets,
            to mahjong games,
chatting the cabaret girls
          hear their sad stories.

Now there is not much to do,
kill my time under a shade,
roll a cigarette,
sometimes an occasional tourist
       takes my photo,
        gives me
         some loose change.

How long can these
tar-stained lungs,
        arthritistic limbs
             take me?

the city will not defeat me
only death will
then the bureaucrats
         have to bury me.

This much they owe.



Blogger floots said...

love that last line
simultaneously resigned philosophical and vengeful

29 May, 2006 14:16  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

I wish you can submit this for publication by the local papers or something. It has so much local flavour and most importantly, something important to say about the pace of change and what happens to the oh-too-ordinary people being left behind.
Good one, bro!

29 May, 2006 14:29  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

i was in a black mood when i wrote this. :)

thanks! hmm, which journal can i send this to? :)

29 May, 2006 23:25  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

If you're not too averse about seeing your works in ST... hur! hur! . Anyway, i asked an ST journo once about local poetry and she says they welcome contributions. Hopefully they wont think your work is too "radical" :P

01 June, 2006 03:17  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi medusa,
work is flattening me this week, very bad.

ST huh? maybe not now, i prefer the poetry e-journals. i have a couple of poems published in ST a long time ago, haha!
Maybe if they read my blog and ask me, hahahaha!! man, i'm going crazy.

Thanks for your suggestion!:)

02 June, 2006 22:34  

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