Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Light

I wrote this last year in response to a prompt.

When I was a child, my family and I lived in a squatter colony where there was no electricity or running water. This prompt brings me back to those times, and to write about something we all take for granted, the electric light. Or rather, the absence of it..

I am posting this for Thursday Poets Rally Week 55.

photo by singhajaykr25 
image from

the light

you know,
the light from the single
pressure lamp in our hut
keeps the night at bay
keeps the barking dogs outside
the night

there is no tv, no radio
to distract my school work
except the light will dim
after a while
and dad will pump the lamp every hour
or so

to keep the kerosene flowing
feeding the flames,
and mum joins me at
the only table
mending a dress with what squares of fabric
she has

while dad reads the day's papers
crumpled and smudged
from passing through
many hands
while outside in the village the dogs
still bark.

written 09/02/10
revised 09/09/10

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-- Dylan Thomas

Thursday Poets' Rally

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2011

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Blogger Nanka said...

This is such a poignant story of a part in your life!! Indeed a great reminder of the passing of time!! I suggest you link this poem to "Its Thursday" hosted by Leo!! Beautiful poem!!

LOL!! I made a deliberate effort to find that game "Angry Birds"of which I was unaware. Took a few pot shots too!! :D Delightful!! Your comment on my blog made me ROTFL after playing the carnage game!! :D

04 November, 2011 01:35  
Anonymous Marbles in My Pocket said...

Fantastic write. So vivid, I felt I was there. Excellent!

04 November, 2011 01:41  
Blogger Mark Butkus said...

The things we take for granted, light being one of them. The dogs at bay indeed. Well done.

04 November, 2011 07:11  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes, it was a part of my life. we were dirt poor then, but strangely we were not unhappy. i remembered about the pressure lamp, because sometimes i light it up at evening time and it's quite a tedious process.

i can't seem to find the link to Leo's "It's Thursday". :(

about the Angry Birds, i played the game on my daughter's ipad, and can't stop playing once started. :)


thank you! so the poem is working right. :)

i read your poem about your mother, and it was amazing.

bar none group,

thank you! one of the things i always remembered about the village are the dogs. there are lots of mongrels, and most are strays which some households will adopt.

04 November, 2011 09:05  
Anonymous Ravenblack said...

Very vividly rendered atmosphere. It's simple, without any kind of even the simplest luxuries but the way you framed it, it seems like your family is lacking nothing, instead there's a portrait of peaceful family evening.

04 November, 2011 10:09  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

it was a much simpler world then, when life was so less demanding. the priority then (at least for us) is to survive, fill the stomachs.

thanks so much for your insightful comments. :)

04 November, 2011 23:00  
Anonymous The Orange Tree said...

light in your piece matters, regardless how small it is.

a insightful piece.

06 November, 2011 08:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

that's true, Orange Tree.

thanks for dropping by. :)

06 November, 2011 10:26  
Anonymous Nefarious X said...

This is such a great work. well written and relevant. The final lines was great. Amazing job.

10 November, 2011 21:31  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Nefarious X. :)

10 November, 2011 22:07  
Blogger ashok said...

Loved this post...

08 December, 2011 22:50  
Anonymous dsnake1 said...

thank you, Ashok!
do drop by again. :)

09 December, 2011 09:37  

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