Cheong Lee San
I helped her up from the bed,
her frail bony body trembling,
the bedsheets damp from the pain,
and fed the painkillers into
her parched mouth hoping
it will ease her sufferings.
There was fight in her eyes,
she will not give up easily,
as i forced a plastic smile,
hoping she will live till Christmas,
as i repeated to myself,
damn it, no tears, she will not want it this way.
I was at her grave, with the flowers
and incense, her ashes just a stone slab away,
and i ran my fingers down the indentations
in the marble that was her name.
I remembered how i had ran these
same fingers down her svelte body
in a darkened room, when we were
younger and unsure,
the soft moans, the mad entwining
of hot bodies,
and i smiled and cried and called her name.
of the sunlight
on this bleak
as shadows chase
of train viaducts
of rain trees.
what are the
the silvery slice
of cold moon
like a scimitar?
the last rays
dip and play
over the city
over the trains
The Gods Are Watching Over us In The Morning
in the half light that is the dawn over
the blocks of flats, when the night wind
gently slaps discarded papers and dead leaves
along the long expanse of corridor of our block,
i leave for work, my cigarette smoke mingling
with the perfumed incense my old neighbour lighted
to the God of Heaven, praying for safe passage
through the day for her and her loved ones.
then i walked past doors protected by talismans,
bogus, even crucifixes, past homes guarded by waifs
of pomeranians that snarled from behind locked gates,
their barks, shrill and indignant, in the cool air,
go past flowerpots with plants badly in need
of watering, down the stairs through the coffeeshop,
through harsh fluorescent lights and whiffs of toast,
past grizzled old men drinking coffee from saucers,
then meet the hordes of sleepy-eyed children
sleepwalking to schools, the grandmothers
shuffling to the wet market to haggle over
fishes and vegetables.
the same gods are watching over us all.
the sky was rocking
as white light slashed
across its face
as in pain.
i leaned at the window
as my cigarette smoke
in the rain.
My Old Sergeant
my old sergeant
calls to me
from a bus stop.
he still remembers me
maybe i am the nerdy one
i don't give him trouble.
we are old men now
how time has aged a soldier,
he walks with a cane today.
was it not long ago
i saw him dismount
from an armored carrier
carbine slung across
walking through a haze
of red dust
by battle vehicles?
about the old days.
cough a bit
go about our