Tag: Inspiration

I must not sink

My fingers are ready to write, my mind is now ready to spill. My feet are thrown outwards, now my pencil will fill. I am far from the sea and you are the sky—all of you are. The suturing of them both is an idea copied and repeated. We believe in individualism but are drugged by the poets and the artists who marry us in harmony and make us believe we are one when we insist we are two.

We have become quieter, our lapses into madness fewer, and periods of an expected decency greater. Value does not exist without limit. So limit has been manifested under the short sunlit period today. We stood peaceful, like rocks beside a creek, listening to a busker singing “Stand by Me” by Florence and the Machine. Everything felt like a grand theatre and I was part of a performance that would never end. I now see why Virginia Woolf would prefer the violent jolt of London to the silent anaesthetic of Richmond. London is one with many voices, each apportioned an identity interlinked. It is a must for Charles Dickens to be born, for Jane Austen to be born, for Christina Rossetti to be born, for poets and artists to exist and immortalise the upset proportions of the world. Will I write a book? Why are we embarrassed by what we read? I must let the soul suspend and not always push it back to the body. I must write more and read plenty. I must not sink.

Brevity of it all

for the nights that I close
Dickens or Woolf,
sacrifice knowledge
for supposed fatigue,
I think, for an hour or so,
about the disagreed

for the mornings that I watch
the birth of the Sun,
forgo affections,
for supposed functionality
I think, for the rest of the day,
about that ability

Here lies a scar

of a decree unswervingly slit
as thin as grandma’s white hair

pain is literally the
only thing that grounds my whimsicality

had a talk with my Dad in the car the other night
listening to Carpenters had him smile most reminiscently
asked for a memory
and he said nothing, absolutely

he is powerful that way I guess
for memories affect him only briefly

I need to learn
techniques of dissociation and not look back

years later
where Quiet Inside is redolent
of those moments that are decadent

Of rivers and time

the ginger tea inflames the throat
if not swallowed delicately
my hands of cat-stained-fur touch the desk
I think I left a memory

that night
we heaved breaths of fire
we perambulated what shaped us,
we revived memories passing bronze leaves and grand sights
“I remember the staircase being really huge and now it looks so small!”
“Did we have a running track?” “Not that I can remember.”
we walked down memory lane, literally
of sheltered basketball courts and bigger fields and bigger classrooms maybe
yet what stayed were the designs of our canteen —
their signboards remained iconic
we laughed, so very sweetly

before nightfall,
we snailed our way through Botanic Gardens,
of rabbit-in-the-hole terrapins and monitor lizards in manbuilt stones
all was peaceful; all was well
there and then,
you told me
you preferred doing things
in solitude
and said my mind had changed
through the words we exchanged
you too told me people studied music for two:
one, to compose a piece if they did feel blue
or to play a song or two, of their loved crew

do you remember Yiruma and River flows in you; the jargons our clique came up with so very creatively, we could all be linguists and comedians hybridised; we could be a new species!

7 years happened
philosophies changed and changing, priorities stacking, troubles burgeoning
what abounds!
you changed but are the same
your melancholic disposition was fainter and now faint
I think we all grew
grew out of the husk and cocoon

we’re at the river delta, only 19
things yet to be felt most dangerously
with grave intensity
we never know where we’ll be
we’re at the river delta, only 19

oh dear friend,
you’ve read my writings all along
and I never knew
but I hope that some day,
I’d get to hear your music too

A Sight That Was Powerfully Evocative

There she sat,
  (I was fray)
Donned in red and full of festivity,
a nostalgic association with her youthful days

oh Grandfather

back and veins that are much defined
beneath her wizened skin

oh Grandfather

before her legs,
stood a stationary trolley
  I reckon it’s most probably full of Chinese New Year goodies
in her hands,
clasped a huge plastic plate of essential ingredients for Yusheng¹
in her eyes,
they were fatigued —
the momentum of slight chugging induced
a soporific effect

oh Grandfather

Every day at 6pm she hears the mantra of
indicative of “you are ready to go”

— oh Grandfather

She prepares to alight,
she lumbers as she holds the hands of
the trolley with trembling hands (oh Grandfather!)

After hearing the homely mantra
“Ang Mo Kio²… Ang Mo Kio”


Yusheng1: Teochew-style raw fish salad commonly eaten during Chinese New Year
Ang Mo Kio²: A name of a train station in Singapore

Winter oh winter

My spindly fingers were in contingence with the frosted window pane. Bitter cold.

Gazing out of that mullioned frosted window, there was a carpet of white that beckoned me so enticingly.

Out there on my neighbour’s lawn, the grasses were stiffened with frost, the remaining brown leaves clung to the ends of an oak tree, icicles hung from roof eaves — threatening to fall. A sheer layer of ice on the concrete road — slippery and treacherous.

Snowflakes fell from the empyrean. Graceful and gentle. Like how the crisp copper leaves would fall from the oak tress in the autumn wind.

The bejewelled snow crystals that formed on the glass window pane were so beautiful. Mesmerising.

Winter was without a doubt, a dishevelled beauty.

Inside, it was toasty warm. I sipped my hot chocolate, glancing out at the hazy fog and neon lights. Christmas was coming.

Spending the winter days alone in my abode was probably what I asked for.

After a month, the extreme desolation began to seep into the very blood and even the winter wonderland around me could not jolt me from that isolated feeling.

It was I who let thou go. It was I who let thou forget. It was I who let thou loathe.

And now, I can only regret. Repent for myself.

There was nothing much I could do now, could I?

The more I reminisce the good old times, the more I fall deeper into the quicksand of bittersweet memories.

Victor Hugo was right:  “Those who do not weep, do not see.”

Tears are such wonderful magic. They cleanse the soul, evoke our compassion and most importantly, allow us to see objects that one could never see when embracing happiness.

I miss you. Your care. Your concern. Your alertness.

When I was overshadowed by blues and woe, you knew it all. I don’t know how and I don’t ever want to know.

Let this be a mystery that I can always fall back to and embrace with infinite rapture.



The lucent moon was surprisingly bright tonight, like an ornament hung perfectly on the midnight sky.

The snowflakes danced and pranced in the crisp dry air.

The fireplace was a blazing inferno, the sound of hissing sparks and ashes warmed the abode. The flames, too, danced around the fire-wood, bright tangerine and blinding.

Winter is indeed a wonderland.

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember

Your statuesque figure had dilapidated — you crumbled.   

You were so strong during our presence but fell apart after his absence.

I remember…

His purple lips stood in vivid contrast to his cadaverous features. His hair, thin and ashen. An original raven black metamorphosed into pallid grey. His delicate eyelids concealed his cerulean eyes and were never again seen. The outlines of his wrinkles were like spider webs, stretching further away from his canthus. He laid in a foreign gurney, with a blanket pulled all the way up just below his half-shaved chin.

Your hands hugged him in a manner that evoked genuine empathy. Your hands acted like wings of a mother swan, surrounding his cold torso, with copious tears flowing from your puffed eyes. You crouched over with your thin lips in contingence with his bare, wizened forehead — a hushed kiss that bade him farewell and expressed gratitude.

Your heart shattered silently — pain that you could fathom but hoped otherwise. We stood by your side, comforting you. But at that point in time, that wasn’t what you needed. You needed personal space; a timeout; a time to recollect and reflect. 

That last call that you made with a fraction of reluctance turned out to be the most fortunate phone call you had ever made. Both of you conversed and solved misunderstandings. Both of you were happy. 

Little did we expect such a dolorous news four days later. After the 24th of March 2013, you let it all out whenever you had the chance to. I could hear your sobs in the bathroom and your muffled weeps as you wrote poetry which pertained to him. Every night, your pillow will be soaked with tears.

You had changed. It were as though your soul had dissipated to someplace, locked and never returning. You had that frazzled outlook on your face, telling others, “Please don’t bother me, I need to be alone.” 

You complained about how you should have visited him a week ago. You lamented over his death, raising questions that pertained to his afterlife. Would he be happy? Where would he go? Would he still remember us?

All you ever wanted then was to have one more moment with him. Just one. A moment for better explanations and a wave of goodbye —  promising him that you would visit him again a week later.

It was a cathartic experience I agree. July. We have come this far, you were back to your usual self. However, I still feel that a part of you is missing. I am unable to pinpoint what exactly it was. Maybe you hadn’t changed at all and perhaps, I think too much. Or maybe, his death took a part of you. I don’t know.

All that I can remember was the pain you experienced, the woe you tried concealing, the days whereby we had to hold a wake for him, those nights when you slept while tearing.

You could not bear to leave him. I know how you had felt. I genuinely did. In fact, we all did. But no matter what, just remember, we will always have your back.

Stay strong, my beloved Mother.


Written in response to WordPress’s Weekly Writing Challenge

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