I dreamt of war

by Chua Han Au

I dreamt of war, and of PM Lee
there he stood, mien of equanimity
handed me a gun and told me to defend
oh what war are we talking about after 50 years of peace!

there were people who had homes
of crumbling doors and straw roofs and insufferable air;
partially decomposed bodies and
of sanguine faces

everything was deafeningly silent
why stand here in this dreadful hour!

“Singapore disappointed TPP is unlikely to be passed…”
were the headlines of today
as blinding contrasts to
the stunning glories of Schooling, Hartono and our Paralympians

I (we) watch
as the
world spins
yarns of
disunity
hungry for radical change
as if education has done nothing but
developed us in independent thought
breeding individualism –
and the world now seems to progress towards a hodgepodge of hollers and protests

the scandal of Park and Choi
the insolence of Duterte’s remarks on Obama
the unprecedented victory of Trump’s presidency; his imminent repudiation of the TPP that will beget
grave political and economical ramifications; his idealistic protectionistic measures; his lewd remarks about women…
oh what now, what else!

the world is now in thorn and din
a garden of oxidised rotten cores

but I’ll say it plain:
many have died for today
in hopes of flowering faces
and singing children

let the voices of deceased poets
ring louder in our ears

Chancellor Merkel’s words are not for Germany and America alone,
it is for us all:
“[may people of the world be connected] by values of democracy, freedom, and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political views.”

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