Category: poetry

And the Water Washes Up the Shore

YOU full of the

love and the light, lucky

 

creature, having swallowed

the SEA – mother of pearl,

the world is definitely

YOURS to conquer,

 

dart into the oyster! before it

slams SHUT and seaweed

sneaks all over your EYELIDS.

 

Hello there! After attending the Singapore Writers’ Festival, I bought two books [LONTAR] and also Equatorial Calm, a lovely anthology. 

Haikus penned by the coolest poets ever (But Why Is David Wong Hsien Ming’s Accent Great AF?), poetry transcending languages (three tongues, guys! English, Japanese and Mandarin). What/A/Steal . Really glad I got the title page signed, too 😉

My inspiration was of course the Daily Post, but also Equatorial Calm and the very exciting concept of a Haiku – that encouraged me to try my hand(re:INTENSELY EXPERIMENT) at breaking out of my usual…er, style (can it be called that?) of weaving words and

a thought or two, into a poem.

Please enjoy ❤ and biggie thanksie to Lynette Tan because of this :’) Oh, tears of joy.

eighteen steps

We are close yet so

far apart. How is it that

our footsteps imprint on the sand,

 

on the beach. Longer than

the time we have left, and that

says a lot. Because wind tends to

blow all the sand grains around,

 

a foot, no foot, left behind. Smooth

surface, sand grains coming together,

falling seamlessly, afoot,

for tiny crabs to crawl.

 

We leave our own marks on paper,

on the corners of your favorite

chapbook, dampening pretty pages

with tears and while I think that your tears

fall from a very pretty face,

I still wish you wouldn’t cry on my

poetry.

 

You loved to read from a book,

you like the paper between your fingers

and the black ink right before your

eyes, but nowadays even reading

glasses can’t help you. Fragmented, you’d cry,

it’s all fragmented and I don’t like the world

I am seeing! Oh dear,

 

I have never loved the world I have been living

in; perhaps I should have been born somewhere,

else – but you always told me to

stop with the nonsense! be thankful for

the life you have. In your company, I am actually

glad I wriggled out of your womb.

 

I, You. We don’t come together nicely,

our skin doesn’t coalesce like how I,

foetus, embryo, egg, non-existent, grain

of a being, used to nestle in your protection. Under

your care we fit together for nine months,

flesh and skin running along

 

the same seam. 9 months, 36 weeks, eighteen

days, all multiples of three. Although we’re

a family of two, I know I’ll miss you

enough for three. Baby steps, we shall take,

to prolong the time we have left…

until

 

you close your eyes

and I wish you hadn’t.

 

i’m back! after a ton of exams and a 

bout of inspiration, i am finally OMG [writing grind, that is] 🙂

I’ve recently gotten a copy of LONTAR, #7! It’s great and I’d recommend it to anyone who feels a little down in the dumps :).

 

 

 

Recollections of a Banana

I poke at mother’s steaming dumplings (laid on one of those fancy china plates)

with a pair of chopsticks. She then scolds me for my improper use of the chopsticks;

my cloddish grip,

my butter-fingers,

the way my dumpling-prodding is unsightly. Apparently, I am

never to use chopsticks like this again.

Mother iterates this like the chiding I have earnt is parable;

Unwittingly, I cut into her hemming and hawing,

brutishly, unanchored – like how I held the chopsticks.

Then why don’t I just eat the dumplings with a fork?

Her response is short and punchy, like what poetry websites want

in contributors’ submissions’;

 

                        How dare you

say that? Then don’t eat dumplings, don’t eat dinner – eat air with a fork!

My face crumples,

but I go on to tell my children How dare you when I realize that my

unsightly prodding,

my butter-fingers,

my cloddish grip

has been passed onto them. Sigh.


I am fourteen years old, easing into the Asian-way of things – fumbling throubh various steamboats and lo heis on Chinese New Year.

This clumsiness is an annual affair.

Taste-Tester

Taste-tester 1: Overflowing sinks

These days there is nothing I want to actually do, except for

mope around like the saddest animal alive, ravaged,

hair bloodied and sticking to my back like cold prickle. The heat is

definitely overwhelming, creating red haze and decorating my

nose and forehead and gaps between my fingers with beads of sweat..

Every time I pick up the scoop with its silver

surface and its mint handle, I watch the chocolate dribble down its edges and feel the

freeze of ice cream trickle down my wrist before I actually

spoon it into my mouth. The brown colour leaves streaks into the whiteness of my clothes

and I am reminded of how my actions dirtied others who probably

who get stained way too easily, anyway…

I tell myself to wake up from my stupid songs and silly daydreams but the hurt of reality slices into me far too deep; and

 

... I find myself hesitating,

halting, tears slipping warmly down my cheeks like the open faucet of a sink;

I will not try, today, although I want to, because it doesn’t matter if I get

strong when all the doctors hear is a weak heart-beat inside of me. Instead, I leave

speak to anyone who will listen; telling them that I’m not strong enough to turn the tap

off so I’ll just leave it running, and wait for the sink to overflow.

 

My sincerest apologies.


I wrote a little paragraph of poetry to keep myself going – I must live out the blissful holiday-days slowly but sweetly, savouring each bit like ice cream melting beneath my teeth, on top of my tongue.

P.S please leave your truthful feedback in the comments, or drop me an email at thepapergutspeople@gmail.com to talk more!

 

 

Hammered Sunshine

Please let the sun bathe me today, I think, throwing up the bed-sheets, searching for  my elastic hair-band under my pillow. Please let it.

I feel tired, with all the rain

slipping into my soul and watering dark corners

where scraggly weeds grow.

 

I am drowsy, sickened hearing the continuous

thrums of the voices chanting in cacophony,

in symphony, in harmony, in the most dreadful of

melodies, telling me to hurry up 

get on with life there is little time to waste i told you would

regret not waking up early, regret not eating lesser for lunch,

regret not studying for that test, regret not packing your ruler in your pencil case,

regret not accepting help when hands were extended to you,

regret yelling at your mother, your father,

your brother, your dog,

myself.

 

I am angry; boiling rage simmers within me and

licks of it escape via nostrils and ear-holes and dilated pupils,

flashes of red and smoke unfurling from my fingers and words as

heavy and as hot as coal volley out of my mouth;

broken lips, broken lips

I chap my own lips and scratch my own throat with curses and with

sarcasm as harsh as the

glare of the sun.

 

I regret. I sink into an oblivion that threatens to swallow me whole,

oh dear, mom please help I’m sorry dad I should never have said that

God I didn’t mean to stick my middle finger up to Heaven. I really

didn’t.

And I regret, please. In my teary rage and depression,

all I saw was grey slates and red skies and blossoming guilt

blooming in front of my eyes

like some kind of ugly flower.

 

I just wanted sunshine to hammer into my soul

and screw it into my brain

and feel it deep in my heart and my rib-cage amidst the thumping of life processes;

I just wanted to feel the sunshine.

i’m sorry.

 

image source

Childhood’s Shadow

Whenever I catch myself weeping wearily of the good ol’ past, I tell myself that I have reason to: This moping about sweet childhood days usually occurs during the weeks of rigorous, hellish end of year examinations.

But today, I’ll look at childhood in a different light.

The claws of childhood sink deep

into the flesh of my arm, like pincers

of a red crab I once saw on the shores when I was six, seven,

unwilling to let go of my arm. The bitterness of childhood days

seeps into the solid resolve I had built up; it dilutes the sweetness of celebrating

the present.

 

I am catapulted into the past once again-

the prickling sensation of the past creeping up on me,

delving into my being like a shimmering second skin, blatantly

and so cognizantly forcing itself into me. The feeling is akin to that

of the time when I was two and had lost my first two front-teeth;

single-negatives : the pain of losing them, the blossoming happiness symbolizing

development.

now I just cry in double-negatives, carrying both the pain

in my shoulders,

the pain in my head,

the painful bite of growing up

hurting more than it ever did.

 

Poem written in response to the Daily Post’s Prompt