Sunday, November 24, 2013

our old home

When I was a child, I lived in a squatter colony in a hut my father and grandfather built. Life was hard but us village kids always had time for some fun exploring the forests, beaches and quays around the area. The highlight of the weekend was to sneak into the British army camp to catch their movies. It was definitely a simpler time.

Paul Klee's House on the Water
image from wikipaintings

our old home

looking out of the taxi from the viaducts
of the expressway

i saw the lights in the huge yards bathing the port
like day

the containers stacked as neatly as colourful
lego bricks

the cranes over them like metal brachiosauruses
breathing steam

once upon a time my cousin and i
catch catfishes

where the giant ships at the wharves
now berthed

not caring about the stings
or drowning

today as the last evening lights
scattered off

offices and warehouses ringed by a
chain-link fence

casting shadows and memories on a
concrete strip

there used to stand a house where I
called home.


“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

― William Faulkner

Shared on Poetry Pantry #177 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2013

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Blogger Sherri B. said...

This is beautiful...the visual imagery is fantastic and I can see your childhood memories so clearly. Thank you for sharing!

25 November, 2013 00:19  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Sherri, thanks for visiting! :)

25 November, 2013 00:37  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is lyrical, lovely, evocative and imbued with reverie. A beautiful write. You made us see those little boys, through the older eyes now looking back. A wonderful write. Loved it, kiddo! Wowzers!

25 November, 2013 01:11  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

very nice....great job setting the scene...times changes...whether we want it to or not....made me think of how the town i grew up in has changed and areas once familiar no longer are....

25 November, 2013 01:51  
Blogger Natašek said...

this poem developed in a way i didn't expect.. love the ending lines... leaves you with a certain feeling of sadness, yet also joy of what happened in the past.

25 November, 2013 04:24  
Blogger Mary said...

I love this kind of memory poem, especially those of simpler times such as you wrote about. I loved your 'weekend highlight.'

25 November, 2013 05:06  
Blogger ZQ said...

I really like what you are doing. I read it a few times and enjoyed it each time. I wanted to chase the "ghost" (home) further.
...under the strip the shadows ?? just a thought :-)

25 November, 2013 10:21  
Blogger Ravenblack said...

A lot of places where one used to play when one was a child are gone. Preserved only in memory.

25 November, 2013 10:32  
Blogger Sumana Roy said...

nice visuals...

25 November, 2013 18:58  
Blogger rallentanda said...

Sad to think your home has is still alive in your one can take that!

25 November, 2013 20:25  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


oh yes, very much older eyes now. :)


yes, the one constant is change. sometimes, i go back to the places I grew up (some not very pleasant places) just to have a look, and all have changed. property or land is a good investment, no doubt.


yes, there's joy in those memories, and also the reality that the home is no more.


thank you! we didn't know which is more thrilling, watching the movie or the actual act of sneaking into the base. :)


what do you mean "ghost"? :D
umm, i think it could be under one of them containers. :)


glad to hear from you!
yeah, a lot of places are gone. space is a premium. but i think the powers now are seeing the benefits of play. :)


thank you! :)


thank you! but sooner or later, the house will be gone. we were squatters, after all. :)

26 November, 2013 00:18  
Blogger Pealogic said...

Very poignant and so simple and unpretentious. Superb.

27 November, 2013 14:50  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, pealogic.
sometimes, the poem writes itself because of such memories. :)

27 November, 2013 23:29  
Blogger Liz Rice-Sosne said...

You have done a brilliant job of taking us back. It is easy to speak of a "simpler time." But you have actually woven for our view, that simpler time. I felt it and really enjoyed your weaving.

03 December, 2013 23:49  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Liz, thank you for your encouraging words. :)
it's simpler then , maybe because the main motivation was to put food on the table. and for us kids, play was how creative we can be with what we have.

04 December, 2013 22:17  
Blogger ashok said...

very nice!

06 December, 2013 19:29  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, ashok!

great to hear from you. the abstract artist in you must have liked Paul Klee. :)

06 December, 2013 21:25  

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