Sunday, April 25, 2010


Qing Ming is a traditional Chinese festival to remember and honour a family's departed ones. It is a time to tend and clean the tombs and graves, and to offer food, fruits, wine and tea. Joss sticks and candles are lit before the graves, and paper offerings of money, gold and silver are burnt in the hope that the departed ones can have a comfortable afterlife.

This poem is inspired after one such visit.


photo by Carlson
image from


the war is over
a long time ago.
you fought bravely but still
the rampant cells won,
there's little i could do.

but every year i am here,
i wanted to hold your hands,
touch your cheeks,
to stem the tide of tears
down your face.

but this is just
a slab of cold marble,
with your name
and some dates which
i remember well.

you would have love
fresh flowers.
baby breath.

but i bring cloth
and plastic ones instead.
tacky, you would have said.
but they last longer
in this sun and rain.

and just like old times,
i light a cigarette,
sharing a smoke with you,
as a gentle wind blows
among rain-soaked trees...


© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ), 2010

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Blogger anthonynorth said...

There's hidden depth in this. Excellently done.

29 April, 2010 01:28  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! :)

29 April, 2010 08:16  
Blogger magiceye said...

poignantly vivid imagery

29 April, 2010 08:56  
Blogger dsnake1 said...



30 April, 2010 23:29  
Blogger S.L. Corsua said...

The fifth stanza made me grin then sniff then downright feel the connection of the grief, the reality of it, how memories by nature (like the plastic flowers) are not-here, but... they will have to do. They last as long as the one who holds them, holds them.

15 May, 2010 00:19  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks for your comments.:)
>> "They last as long as the one who holds them, holds them" : this is a great line, i like it.

sometimes, pragmatism, more than anything, rules the day.

16 May, 2010 22:59  

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