Thursday, May 19, 2011

before the next day

I wrote this poem for a national (Singapore) poetry competition, the Golden Point Awards 2007. It was the concluding work in a series of 8 poems that I sent for the competition. The theme was about the experiences I encountered while living in the Bukit Merah area, at that time, a gritty and rough neighbourhood.

I am posting this for Thursday Poets' Rally Week 44.

In case you are wondering, no, my collection did not win any prizes. :)

photo by Alvimann at

before the next day

the day is done.

vehicles swept past honking
angrily, red tail lights flaring
in the darkening dusk.

a light rain began to fall,
cold and unfeeling
on lengthening shadows

that glowering street lights
wrung from trees and metal,
smacking them down

on hard concrete
to writhe in jerky throes
in the scattering rain.

we walked in the drizzle
out of the prisons of
the factories, the warehouses,

not really caring,
glad that the day
is over and done,

that it rained in June
that our cigarette tips
still burn red and hot

in the cold rain,
smoke trailing like lost dreams
as the world winded down,

going home to a hot dinner,
to sons and daughters,
to soft moments with lovers,

before the next day catches up again.


© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2011

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Anonymous Jingle said...

very carefully plotted, thanks for sharing...

not winning the competition does not mean your work is not good enough,

Good Luck next time.

19 May, 2011 22:08  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thanks, Jingle!

no problem with that. after all, it's a national competition. :)

19 May, 2011 23:33  
Blogger Isabel said...

great message about being thankful for the good in your life and not concentrating on the bad. sorry you didn't win . your poem is great.

20 May, 2011 04:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sadness of daily life, very well written!

20 May, 2011 15:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope you win :)
I think I passed by but not sure. Happy rally just the same :)

20 May, 2011 21:22  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi Isabel

thanks for visiting, and your kind comments. :) i was just starting out working then, and it's not easy getting a job at that time, so yes, it's kind of thankful. :)

hi Ina

thank you!

hi lynnaima


the competition is over, but still, thanks!! :)

20 May, 2011 23:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the imagery and your word choices. Great job!

21 May, 2011 15:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi mindlovemisery,

thanks for your comments! :)

22 May, 2011 00:28  
Anonymous Liz Lim said...

I sometimes wonder about the worth of submitting one's best work to these competitions if they let such work pass them by without some mention or merit.

Love it. Thanks for posting it.

22 May, 2011 21:55  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hey Liz,

the feeling is mutual. i would certainly like to know where i stand, how my work stacks up against the rest, but like i said, i may be asking for too much. :) i have read the 2007 winner's work, and yes, he's a worthy winner.

thanks, Liz, for your comments. maybe i will post the whole series again. :D

22 May, 2011 23:58  
Blogger Christine said...

That last stanza really got me: the soft comforts of home! Beautifully done.

23 May, 2011 04:57  
Anonymous Radhika said...

Thanks for your kind comments. Your poem is really beautiful. Sadness finds its way in the apt words you choose depict it. Radhika

23 May, 2011 10:51  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi Christine,

thanks! i want to show that even after a day of drudgery, there are things that even we can look forward to.

hi Radhika,

thank you! you write very beautiful poetry too.. :)

23 May, 2011 19:53  

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