Sunday, November 15, 2015


when you are tired and on edge, and it is the middle of the night...

photo by hotblack
image from


there was no warning
no sound,
a chill
slithered down
the spine

the night was warm
shadows flirted
with the
gibbous moon

the perimeter
fence was



the metallic click
of the bolt
locking home
was reassuring
as i armed the rifle.


the eyes trying to
the shadows


the fingers snapped
off the safety catch
of the gun


the breathing went laboured
the fingers damp
with sweat

and then
and then

with the moon
a soft breeze
breathing scorn

i knew

the ghosts were not
out there
the demons
were right here

inside the brain

about to breach
the perimeter.


“It's sad when you learn you're not much of a hero.”

Tim O'Brien, If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home

I am not sure if it is okay to post a military themed work so soon after the tragic events in Paris on Friday. But damn it! The attacks prove one thing. It is getting more difficult to protect urban centres of major cities from terrorist attacks. The enemy do not play by conventional rules. They chose any target they like, they do not directly engage the military but attack so called soft targets, like clubs, restaurants, entertainment venues to extract maximum casualties. Security will increasingly be getting more expensive. We will lose a bit more of our privacy. We will get a bit more suspicious and paranoid and vocal. That is the harsh reality we will be forced into. But we will live life as normally as we could.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Blogger Jae Rose said...

I think it's ok to post any freedom of speech given the circumstances - and this poem is poised, dignified and relatable on many levels..paranoia invades the soul - particularly in the grips of sleepless nights and 'gibbous moon' is a wonderful expression

15 November, 2015 21:46  
Anonymous Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

This is a perfect response to what happened and how unsafe many feel...on edge...on the perimeter.

15 November, 2015 21:52  
Blogger Mary said...

Sometimes the enemy inside is more threatening than the enemy outside; but then again in a dream sometime it is hard to know the difference.

15 November, 2015 21:53  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, Jae. i was already planning to post this when the attacks happened, i thought it might be disrespectful to the victims of the attack. :(

15 November, 2015 21:54  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


that's true, sometimes the enemy within is more dangerous.


thank you. this was actually some event from my army days. :)

15 November, 2015 22:12  
Blogger Susan said...

I'd love this poem at any time! It is so vivid, and it is a truth. Not the only truth, but certainly one that ex-military and others report.

15 November, 2015 22:24  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Susan, those ex-military will know what i am talking about. :)

15 November, 2015 22:51  
Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

A timely and perfect poem.. depicting how we all feel after hearing about the attacks!!

15 November, 2015 23:14  
OpenID thotpurge said...

Excellent write..

15 November, 2015 23:27  
Blogger brudberg said...

I can still recall the absurdity of standing a guard... sometimes I think that the most dangerous person is yourself.

16 November, 2015 01:23  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

A visceral read and I said a big, inward "ahhhhh!" at the realization the enemy is in here, not out there. Yes. Well done.

16 November, 2015 02:34  
Blogger humbird said...

'the demons
were right here

inside the brain' ~ explains everything.....

16 November, 2015 06:52  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes, initial anger and fear at the same time.


thank you!


well, the signs on the fence say "Trespassers will be shot" so i guess they have to back up the claims. i don't know if they use cctv or still using patrols now, but yes, thinking back, it was pretty boring and useless. :)


ah, the enemy is our own mental state. :D


it does, isn't it? :)

16 November, 2015 11:05  
Blogger totomai said...

I can sense paranoia here - we actually felt it, one way or another. and with what happen, everything's now uncertain. thanks for the gripping read - dsnake

16 November, 2015 19:52  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

paranoia, yes, but mainly it was the wee hours and the imagination can really run wild. :)

16 November, 2015 20:47  
Blogger Loredana Donovan said...

I didn't expect the ending. Well done on portraying fear and paranoia in the dangerous world we live in ~ it does for some become internalized.

17 November, 2015 21:02  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

my own imagination got the better of me that time. :)
but yes, it can apply to the world we are living in now.

17 November, 2015 23:26  

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