Sunday, January 27, 2013

words on a dusty pane

I am very busy with work this week, so I am posting a poem that I had published here a few years back.

I kind of like this poem. It's moody, reflecting my mood when I wrote it at that time. It's about a district where I used to live. It was not a pretty place to live in. First there was the nearby gasworks. You wondered when it might flatten the whole place one day. Then there were the sawmills, backyard factories and workshops. And the denizens are just as varied. Besides the shabbily dressed workers of the area are triad members and leftist activists. And us poor folks trying to survive.

sketch and image by dsnake1

words on a dusty pane
circa 1970s, Kallang

Outside, the city lurches by
in frames of moving headlights
and mottled skies.

tonight there are no screams
from the shadows of concrete,
no clash of metal blades, no sirens.

through the windows the night
snakes in choking with prejudice
and soot from dying sawmills

when hours earlier the rain
had pelted the decaying streets
like swarms of stinging wasps.

soon it will be dawn,
the first slivers of light
promising hope

painting peeling walls
and rusted steel
with bold strokes of liquid gold,

shinning through
angry words
on a dusty pane.


"Oh, I tell you baby this increases my paranoia
Yeah, like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car"

-- David Crosby, Almost Cut My Hair

Shared on Poetry Pantry #134 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2013

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Blogger Brian Miller said...

great intentional use of language in this to set the stage...the angry in that last that...and the light coming through it...

28 January, 2013 01:17  
Blogger Mary said...

I like this poem very much as well. It could reflect so many urban areas really...places where it would be a good night if one didn't hear gunshots or sirens or screams. You capture the mood well and also the hopefulness of another dawn! A wonderful share.

28 January, 2013 02:50  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

This poem makes me feel the energy and grit of the city. You take your reader there very effectively, and add a layer of the emotions of those who live urban, with all of the stresses that go along with that. Your closing lines sum up the experience so well. Great write.

28 January, 2013 06:20  
Blogger Kim Nelson said...

You took me straight into city-center with this image-filled poem. Well done.

28 January, 2013 07:33  
Anonymous Ravenblack said...

Awesome urban imagery. Hard, harsh, soften by play of light at the end. :) Nice!!

28 January, 2013 13:05  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


we used to write expletives on those dusty panes. :D the use of the sunlight in the poem is to mitigate that anger a bit. :)


yes this could be any city anywhere. i like the reader to know that despite all the bleakness, there is still hope.


Thank you! i liked your words,"the energy and grit of the city". :)


thank you! glad you enjoyed the tour. :)

28 January, 2013 13:05  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

yes, harsh, as most of my works are. :)

ravenblack, thanks!
i must be typing the above replies when your comment arrived.

28 January, 2013 13:26  

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