Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I submitted this poem to The Guardian Poetry Workshop for September 2008, hosted by poet Michael Symmons Roberts. He asked participants to write "a self-portrait from unusual angles".

My submission wasn't short-listed or appraised, but in the spirit of the month, here's my effort. :)

Light effects on glass
image from


they said
if you bite
an apple
at exactly
in a darkened room
lighted up
by just
a candle
and stare
into a mirror
you will see
your future wife


i do not
have the guts
to do that
i fear
what else
i may see
in the glass
and even if
somehow i have
the courage plucked
all i see
will be
a frightened man...

0121 hrs 05/10/08

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 )

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Blogger polona said...

well, for me your words conjure up somebody ruled by fears and superstitions... it's a powerful image but i doubt that's you ;)

30 October, 2008 06:07  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


it's an old chinese myth/urban legend and i do not want to find out if it works or not :)

30 October, 2008 09:04  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I could see someone doing just that!

Interesting myth. So what does one do to see one's future husband?! Not that I want/wish for one!


30 October, 2008 10:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

not me!

umm, can't help you on this. :D

31 October, 2008 15:44  
Anonymous WitSheWoman said...

Oh my, very chilling!
so vivid, perhaps I shall avoid mirrors today. :)

31 October, 2008 23:23  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks for visiting, witshewoman!

31 October, 2008 23:38  
Blogger S.L. Corsua said...

Riveting. (I'm alone in my room, reading this. The scare factor is definitely on. Eep.)

There's a superstition in my country, similar to this myth; though it does not involve biting an apple, it 'works' by lighting the candle at midnight of May Day Eve, and asking an antique mirror to show the image of one's future husband/wife. Then there's a sort of counter-superstition which goes to state that whoever 'answers' the question is actually a demon, who will show his own image on the mirror instead.

Brrr. This gives me shivers. (grin)

03 November, 2008 05:23  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Eeeww! :)

perhaps most Asian cultures have animistic roots, there's why such superstitions arise.

03 November, 2008 23:00  
Blogger magiceye said...

:) i like that!

09 November, 2008 14:16  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, magiceye!

09 November, 2008 19:35  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Mirror, mirror on the wall...can't you fudge the truth once in awhile. Most of us fog the mirror to avoid the truth. Love the honesty in this one.

17 November, 2008 22:06  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Pat, you're back! so glad to hear from you!

this piece is supposed to be a "self portrait from an unusual angle". turns out to be pretty dark. :)

18 November, 2008 00:25  
Anonymous gel said...

Reflections of your future
as you chomp into the "fruits of passion?" :)

I much prefer seeing a potential mate via candle light than a ghostly apparition. Glad you explained this origin in your comments!

28 November, 2008 17:14  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi GEL,
so nice to hear from you! :)

i thought working the poem around a superstition would be an interesting angle. :)

28 November, 2008 22:22  

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