Sunday, January 17, 2016

please slow down

This is a response to the Midweek Motif prompt at Poets United, and the theme was "Food". I know, this is the weekend. The world is getting too fast for me.

photo by dsnake1

please slow down

all i had this morning
was a hasty ham sandwich
and a milo washing down
my meds

oh how i dream of my
steaming chwee kueh topped
with sinful bits of
preserved radish.

but time is a tightfisted
master swinging his whip
and there is a bus
to catch.

written 16/12/2015
revised 13/01/2016

Note : chwee kueh is a traditional Chinese breakfast food in Singapore and Malaysia. Literally meaning "water cake", it is a steamed rice cake with an oily (and cholesterol laden) topping of preserved radish.

"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”

Orson Welles

Shared on Poetry Pantry #285 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Blogger Jae Rose said...

That milo washing down meds swims in the stomach and resonates so loudly...sometimes it would be nice if the world paused for a moment and went -'s not so bad sitting down..

17 January, 2016 20:42  
Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love this - such a wonderful response to the prompt :D
Hope you're having a nice weekend :D

Lots of love,

17 January, 2016 20:48  
Anonymous Pearl Ketover Prilik said...

Stunning - gorgeous economy of words - leaving me feel this poem a beautifully wrapped jewel ! ❤️❤️

17 January, 2016 21:26  
Blogger Mary said...

Ha, I had to look up "chwee kueh" to find out what it is. I did. Smiles! Looks quite good really, but sounds a little complicated to make. I assume the preserved radish is the same as the Koreans eat. If so, I love THAT! Sad not to have time to relax before catching the bus. Maybe on the weekend......

17 January, 2016 22:21  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


ah, milo and meds, they are kind of inseparable in the mornings now. :(
how nice it is for everyone to slow down. every morning coming down from my apartment block, i see parents rushing their kids to school, workers rushing to work.


thank you! i was such a slowcoach. :)


thank you! "beautifully wrapped jewel". i liked that! :)


thank you! a little bit of our local culture. :)

it's a bit complicated to make, to get the correct texture. i only eat them. in the past, i used to get up a bit earlier, get to a hawker center, get a fix of this food (or some other dish) and a smoke before going to work. but those hawkers have relocated or passed on, and i began to wake up later and later and that's it. my own fault, really. :)

17 January, 2016 23:27  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

luv this craft og imagery especially Verse three

Happy New Year Cheong san

much love...

18 January, 2016 00:15  
Blogger brudberg said...

You are so right there is the element of time in food... the best spice ever... I only cook in weekends... but then I let it take its time....

18 January, 2016 00:32  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

I know that feeling! Great work.

18 January, 2016 01:09  
Blogger C.C. said...

I loved your personification of Time as a "tightfisted master swinging his whip"---very effective and clever. On a side note, I remember from living there that the #1 National Past Time is eating and the #2 National Past Time is Talking about food. No wonder, with so many amazing things to eat there. Ah, how I miss Singaporean food.

18 January, 2016 01:43  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so resonate with the speed of life........I long for it to slow.........(especially at my age, LOL). Great response to the prompt! It provokes the appetite.

18 January, 2016 01:55  
Anonymous Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

Now that sounds like a tasty dish. I love being able to make in the moment and savor each bite....not rushing anymore. Bit oh it is hard when one has a bus to catch!

18 January, 2016 02:10  
Blogger SuyashJ said...

yes we all need to slow down once in a while

18 January, 2016 02:21  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Excellent! (Poetically, if not in content, lol.) I particularly love the last verse.

18 January, 2016 06:46  
Blogger Toni Spencer said...

Breakfast looks good! My breakfast always varies. Most of the time it is an odd mashup of American Southern food and Japanese (grits and picked veggies, miso soup, fruit or, scrambled eggs, toast, homemade jam, bacon...) the permutations are endless. But only get to enjoy on the weekends when I don't have to zip off to work - fight the traffic monster. But I do enjoy a nice long breakfast. Spencer is Kanzensakura

18 January, 2016 09:21  
Blogger Susan said...

Such a hungry poem. I've had mornings like that, though I've never been a slave.

18 January, 2016 20:35  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! a happy New Year to you too!
i think most island nations have their quirky and distinctive cuisine, including your Caribbean countries.


there is not much time to cook during the working weekdays, and yes, that left only the weekends, and sometimes i don't even have time for that. :)

Mama Zen,

you have to catch a bus too? :)
thank you!


haha, our National Past time is eating! perhaps it's true. it is a melting pot of cultures here. even among the Chinese there are different styles of cooking according to dialect groups like Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew, not to mention the Malays and Indians and Eurasians. i could go on and on!
and you can find food at almost any time of the day & night. from street vendors in night markets to Michelin starred restaurants.

do come back for a visit! :D


at our age, the body rebels and begs to slow down :)


oh yes, chwee kueh is quite a tasty dish if done right.
i cannot function properly in the day if i missed my breakfast, so it's quite a big deal, but nowadays, it seem to be harder and harder to manage time.


i am trying to... :)


ah, you are looking at the structure of the poem. :)


breakfast, some said, is the most important meal of the day.
you are making me hungry with the list of food!
i used to enjoy my breakfast slowly before going off to work, but now it seems the work is demanding more attention, not to mention the traffic situation is getting bad.

18 January, 2016 21:16  
Blogger Sumana Roy said...

We all sometimes indulge in such 'sinful' delights! :)

18 January, 2016 21:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


ever since my angioplasty, i have to take a cocktail of pills every morning.:(


probably too much of those 'sinful' delights landed me in above-said angioplasty. :D

18 January, 2016 23:27  
Blogger Wendy Bourke said...

I suspect there is quite a bit of "you" in this - making the best of the crushing confines of modernity with a bit of a droll quip. Loved this!

19 January, 2016 08:58  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

oh yes, it was me whining all right. :)

19 January, 2016 20:15  
Blogger A Cuban In London said...

I loved that last line. Very zany. Thanks. :-)

Greetings from London.

21 January, 2016 07:00  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, Cubano! :)

21 January, 2016 23:39  

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