It is not with the lyre of someone in love that I go seducing people. The rattle of the leper is what sings in my hands. Jane Kenyon

Thursday, May 25, 2006

An Old Master

"Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you.
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile.
Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken Heart?"
Sung by Nat King Cole, 1950


I am climbing up to chapel
ceilings, scaling refectory walls.
I am recalling renaissance
wizardry to frame your Mona
Lisa fire. I am making
a mystic smile. I am drawing
dreams that dance at door-
steps. I am immortalizing the face
that is love's patented prison.
I am adding last supper
colours, burnished brown of clenched
fists, Good Friday red
of a heady wine. I am working
on a cornerless cloth, nailing
it to the stars, moons, suns,
hanging it on the wall
of my left ventricle. I am painting
you on the canvas of my mind.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Blue Rhapsody Dreams

 
"I tell you, this dream is real.
And one day, I the dreamer
shall fade into the infinity
of its stunted shadow.
But my dream will be the
exalted banner in the sky,
immortalised in the reason
of my being." Posted by Picasa

Rude Silence

 
"My quiet is inhabited
by inner voices,
the solitude of silence
is but an illusion." Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Colours Of My Palm

  Posted by Picasa

The Kingdom Of Decimated Bells

Sssh-ilence
I am thinking about silence……the sounds of silence, a cliché, the silence of sounds, the uncircumcised ear of Jeremiah 6. Descriptions of the kingdom of decimated bells…….Hush: Living room, black and white photographs on one wall, digital coloured prints on another. Mute: All the king’s men when they discovered Humpty Dumpty climbed the wall to see the Emperor’s new clothes. Lull: When the lalang in the wasteland of the heart is transplanted into the greenhouse of the left brain. Muffle: Mona Lisa without Da Vinci code to decipher the agnostic gospel of the smile. Aphony: ( A phoney) Plagiarism. Quite quiet: Opus Dei, opening of the seventh seal. Museum silence: His Master’s Voice in the hearth. Messiah silence: My Master’s voice in the heart. Silence born again: An empty manger, no more hay of the flesh to feed the animals of desire!

S T O N E D

It is not the forbidden
I eat but the fruit
I bid for with the widow’s
two mites of my flesh
and now the serpent of the tree
is the Medusa
of the head, its stare
has turned the apples
of my conscience into stones
to silent a prophet.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Another Poem For Mothers' Day

P A T C H W O R K

My mother was good at patchwork.
She painted the days of our lives
with the colours
of discarded fragments of cloth.
Prim and proper squares,
mystical triangles,
rumbunctious hexagons,
cut, trimmed, matched,
and joined together by the common thread
of her pain and tears.
Her deft fingers weaved the harmony
of surrealistic magic
and unfurled in splashes of rememberance
a blanket to warm our nights.
Mother is gone now
but I still hear her speak
in the flowers, colours, patterns
of this extraordinary patchwork
which is love's tapestry spanning time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You Are My Mirror

"I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful.
The eye of a little god, four-cornered."
from "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath

I remember when you laughed
and I laughed and you suddenly
said, "You are my mirror!"

The breeze moving through green leaves recited pantuns
the field of lalang waved in gentle riposte
.

I answered, "Yes, I'm your Snow
White mirror who each day
answer your step-mother question
saying, No, you are not
the most beautiful in the land,
you who come again tomorrow
will be more beautiflu than you
today."

I'm like a child who scooped water from a basin
and discovered I have stolen the jewel of the sun.


I am the silver and exact
eye of a little god, four-cornered,
not cruel but truthful, so I said,
"When you look into me
you are so near I read
the map of your iris, yet always,
always, the glass like a glacier
separates us. When you trace
the topography of my cheeks
your fingers run like rivulets
of rain down the window pane.
This sheet the glazier cannot
cut holds the silver that allows
you to come again and again
to me at the back
of the mirror where truth
continually lies."

The moon tired of making shadows shorter, stops its climb
up Jacob's ladder, hid in a pergola of dream-cumulus.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Poem For All Mothers

Remembering Mother

Once again
I'm an exile in this room
where the walls are painted
with the baptismal white
of dawn's first light.
And once again
I remember you mother
who gave me first lights.

The walls I face is naked
save for the wooden frame
that has captured in monochrome
a moment of your life.
I see not the black and white
of time and space in distant past,
but the inimitable colours of love
that like a rainbow spans
the eternities between our worlds.

On the opposite wall
the whites of the room coalesce
and recede into the infinity
at the back of the mirror.
But on the surface,
the looking glass catches my image
and I see you mother in me.
The reflection tells me
you never really went away.
You could not have
for this room has no door,
and this is where your shadow
has been gathered into my dreaming,
in this chapel of the heart.

This poem, in memory of my Mother,
Khoo Siew Ching, was first published
in the New Straits Times (Poets Corner).

Friday, May 05, 2006

Joy In The Tree Tops

  Posted by Picasa

A Haiku To Make Your Day High

One Umbrella

And if I had a second left,
or a million too few,
I know I would live it
in one instant,
if only, with you.
from Beyond A Certain Point
by Daren Shiau

in my dreams, we hug
I wake, find my pyjamas
wearing your contours

the whole universe
is one umbrella, beneath
just the two of us

you walk past a stream
eddies clamour to mirror
your diamond dimples

ring on fourth finger
like belt on middle age waist
the sparkle, teenage

i read your letter
then run fingers over lines
read what my eyes missed