Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the gods are watching over us in the morning

This is a poem that I have submitted for a poetry competition a couple of years back. It tries to describe a scene on an early morning in a housing block. The images are culled from the experiences I had living in a rental flat in the Bukit Merah area a long time ago.

This is a re-post, but I think this poem is worth a second read. Personally, I like this work.

Cup of Coffee

photo by Alvimann
image from morguefile.com

the gods are watching over us in the morning

in the half light that is the dawn over
the blocks of flats, when the night wind
gently slaps discarded papers and dead leaves
along the long expanse of corridor of our block,

i leave for work, my cigarette smoke mingling
with the perfumed incense my old neighbour lighted
to the God of Heaven, praying for safe passage
through the day for her and her loved ones.

then i walk past doors protected by talismans,
baguas, even cruxifixes, past homes guarded by waifs
of pomeranians that snarl from behind locked gates,
their barks, shrill and indignant, in the cool air,

go past flowerpots with plants badly in need
of watering, down the stairs through the coffeeshop,
through harsh fluorescent lights and whiffs of toast,
past grizzled old men drinking coffee from saucers,

then meet the hordes of sleepy-eyed children
sleepwalking to schools, the grandmothers
shuffling to the wet market to haggle over
fishes and vegetables.

the same gods are watching over us all.

revised 20.07.07

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ), 2010

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Blogger anthonynorth said...

Enjoyed this. Some great imagery.

25 March, 2010 22:21  
Blogger magiceye said...

brilliant imagery!

26 March, 2010 00:24  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks for visiting! :)


thank you, my friend! :)

26 March, 2010 09:07  
Blogger magiceye said...


18 April, 2010 23:30  
Blogger S.L. Corsua said...

You've connected the daily grind to the divine. ;)

I like the matter-of-fact tone. The certainty in and of the last line.


23 April, 2010 00:09  
Blogger dsnake1 said...




it's great to hear from you again! :)

at first, i wasn't too sure about the last line, i thought of deleting it. but i'd like to show the various races of people living in that housing block, so in the end i left it alone. and it gives the title to the poem. :)

26 April, 2010 00:13  

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