Saturday, June 03, 2006

Photo-Poetry Challenge : Photo 12

My muse came back from her excursions to I-don't-know-where and immediately went messing around with my mind. Wrote some, was too busy with work in the office, dammit! to really pay attention to her.

I seem to be writing gloomy things recently, don't know why. Maybe it's the pictures, no?

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image by LazerLordZ

Reflection

He sits at the reservoir's edge
wondering if he had erred and taken
a wrong fork on a road

because the face that gawks
back at him from the glimmering waters
was a mask of dried caulk.

All his life he had given
to building the skyscrapers
and homes of the city,

there was no time for romance, no flames.
Brothers, loyalty come before family
and he was careless with money.

When his arms turned arthritic
and the foreign young men arrive in droves
he was left by the wayside.

He will return to the four drab walls
of his spartan flat
lay on an old mattress on the cement floor

the radio screeching news in Mandarin
he barely understands, then maybe
cook some congee with fermented beancurd.

Sometimes the social workers
fresh-faced and eager as he once was,
visit with bags of rice, biscuits,

asking if he had his lunch, need magazines,
and he would try not to laugh
at their halting Cantonese.

Sitting there by the water's margin
he spits a stream of phlegm
watching it curved

into his reflection
watches
as the waters turn into

angry ripples

arching away like his life...


19.05.06
********

9 Comments:

Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

Really like ths one. Clear portrait of a character who seems to be looking back with a bit of regret and anger.

04 June, 2006 18:37  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi liz,
Thank you.
More gloomy stuff coming. :)

3 more and i am done with the challenge!

05 June, 2006 00:04  
Blogger floots said...

i can relate to this
(though the only time i'm likely to let fly the sputum is when i'm running - and then it tends to land on my sleeve :) )
good one

05 June, 2006 14:36  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

How is it that you can write so well about society's downtrodden and the poor? I always wonder. The perspective is so real and the poem engages. I like this one, but fren, cheer up, you think too deep and too seriously, me thinks. Later more white hair how?!? Heeeheee...

05 June, 2006 18:42  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Very nice, Dsnake. Reality-based, as your best poems always are. But watch the tenses; there are half a dozen errors that tend to spoil the poem.

06 June, 2006 07:43  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

I only said that because I like this poem a lot and don't want to see it marred by unnecessary errors. You know that, right ....

06 June, 2006 07:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

floots,
i will remember try not to run by your side. :)

medusa,
thanks for your advice! but it's too late already, i've spotted a few more strands of white hair. :(

gilbert,
thanks for pointing out the errors. tenses again! why didn't i spot them when i was proof-reading it before i hit the submit button? sloppy proof-reading, i guess.

i think i will leave it as it is for a while before correcting them. :)

06 June, 2006 23:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sitting there by the water's margin
he spits a stream of phlegm
watching it curved

into his reflection
watches
as the waters turn into

angry ripples

arching away like his life...


You have a strong ending but I am not so sure about the rest of the poem.

Alex K

07 June, 2006 00:52  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Alex,
maybe i paid too much attention to the ending? :)

thanks for your comments.

07 June, 2006 23:57  

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