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

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


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“It is necessary to understand
That a poet may not exist, that his writings
Are the incomplete circle and the straight drop
Of a question mark
And yet I know I shall be raised up
On the vertical banners of praise.”
“Sybiline” by Ern Malley

Once again Ern Malley not content to be
the proverb perched on the sole Arabian tree
descends with feline feet the staircase
of flesh to where in a shuddering embrace
of fluttering heart, he begins to prophesy.
And once again the dream of lotus eaters
calligraphed on the veils of dawn will refract
through prisms of dew to fall like Noah’s
rainbow on the mountain of the mind. And once again
I will cry, “This is real, I tell you, this which cleaves
the innocence of the hyperbolic is real.
Lazarus resurrected from the cave of my dreams
is real. Jonah spewed from the belly of a fish
swimming in the waters of my imagination is not a lie.”
Ern is not the faded cumulus receding
into the horizon. Nor is he the man
in the moon preaching the tenets of a third
testament. No, he is certainly not the sun
eclipsed by the moon of your making.
He is more! He is a tiger prowling in a cage
whose mind-drawn bars keep the zoo
out of his jungle. He is the breeze visiting
the reticulated skin of the Tree of good
and evil, tempting us with sibilant whispers
to climb to vertigo heights. He is the fiery
arrow that flies suicidal from the crossbow
of tradition into the red eye cauldron of noon
where his fire consumes towering infernos.
And I? I’m the servant, I’m the scribe
and I write what is dictated by the voiceless,
a poem motionless as the climbing moon,
a poem that is as dumb as an old coin
held between finger and thumb, knowing that
as I do Ern has split the infinitive,
and beyond is nothing and everything.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


"That which the heart seizes
as truth
is most beautiful..." Posted by Picasa



Making a poem is / taking charge of yourself, / your fears, incapacities, tears: / being tough, taking yourself / by the scruff and saying: / say it, you fool, / for how else are you going to know / what a fool you are - / which is, / as anyone knows, / the beginning of wisdom.” Lee Tzu Pheng. The following poem was written after reading the above and also after reading ‘Mirrors and Windows’ by Fadzilah Amin.

In the beginning God
created a room taut with darkness,
formlessness hovered over the face of silence.
We could not see where ceiling accosted walls
nor hear the sound of one hand clapping
nor understand why
the moon stood still
when our minds continued to move.

Then God created light,
the windows of this small room
gathered light like an inept
mountain gathering clouds.
And through the windows
we saw other Edens
where full breasted tulips
opened their pink blouses,
where resided the pure acetylene
virgin, attended by roses, by kisses.
But the alphabets in the Tree
spelt out hymns
that belonged to another tongue.

Then Man created the mirror
so that we could see
the image of God we were created in.
Through parallel mirrors
we marched into transparent infinity
where we discover the infinite
was no quirk of optics
in a far country
but a high fidelity print
in the album of the heart.

Mesmerized, we hung up other mirrors
and caressed them with questions, asking
“What is the most beautiful in the land?”
The answer from shimmering sheets
came in silver flashes
of reflected revelation,
“That which the heart seizes as truth
is most beautiful…………………..”
So now we live in this small room
with seven large mirrors
making our language as we go along.

Saturday, June 24, 2006



It is always light
in the heart where love
reigns, the only darkness
is the shadow
of a pterodactyl's wings.



“On the brink of an amen / the mystery retreats, leaving/ not questionings,/ not confidence,/ but simply a silence, / absolute, waiting.” (From the poem ‘ The Brink Of An Amen’ by Lee Tzu Pheng.) The following poem was written after reading “Silences May Speak, the poetry of Lee Tzu Pheng” by Felicia Chan.

Her verses are like the breath of jasmine
misting the dawn air!
She is wordsmith Extraordinary,
each word petals the air with hybrid fragrance,
each sentence the flowered branch
speaking ikebana grace into life’s wild garden,
each image the full bloomed flower strutting,
coquettishly bidding to draw you into its nectar,
each alliteration the stigma waving,
tremulously coaxing music out of the wind
blowing in your ear!

Even when she stumbles in a sentence
& stalls because of despair,
her paragraphs are bouquets Against The Next Wave*
And when she pauses,
we stand with her at The Brink Of An Amen *
& tremble at the Prospect Of A Drowning*
in her perfumed silence.

And in that silence, absolute, waiting
are the words of the Spirit, unfurled petals
yet impelling a fluttering of our hearts
& testifying that her silence is always loudly

Read, hear that breath-bated silence between
words & then like the breeze-tossed Vanda
Joaquin, dance the Lambada By Galilee*
to a music of no sound.

(* Titles of four volumes of poetry by
Lee Tzu Pheng)

Thursday, June 22, 2006



To peel away the ceramic
mask and to discover
that because I have worn
it too long, my face
has been created in the image
of the mould;that is the beginning
of prayer. Posted by Picasa



“For me, behind every poem or maybe within every poem, there is a kind of large silence. By which I don’t mean a void – the silence is not a void. It depends on the reader’s capacity for receiving a sense of those other silences that are behind that poem.”
Lee Tzu Pheng in Silences May Speak.

The last syllable
of your poem
ran to the edge of the page
and fell into scripted silence.
And I was left holding
the alphabets of your whispers,
wondering if you will once again
gather the clouds of your words
and etch the calligraphy of the heart
across the azure lines on my sky.
Your answer is the star-pierced
quiescence of the night sky,
the vast emptiness of the flyleaf
mourning the loss of verse,
the inarticulate maze of dead letters.
But your silence is not voiceless
for you taught me
that silence is an earlier language
learned from the womb of creativity.
Unless I return to the womb
I will never know
the delight of being born again
into the poetry
that comes after your poetry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006



“There comes a time in every person’s life when essential stock-taking becomes necessary-one thinks, reflects and writes as if impelled by something from deep within. No, this is not hallucinatory or even visionary but simply necessary. It is almost as if one writes to exorcise, get rid of something dirty which has been gnawing away and which has always demanded articulation.” Kirpal Singh in ‘idea to ideal’.

The throbbing of creativity
will no longer lie dormant
in the volcano of his heart.
Creation will answer Creator,
this inferno will erupt
& splatter the white of paper
with the lava of words.
Pick up these molten voices,
liquid fire will lay waste
the dead leaves that litter
the garden of your past.
You will be set aflamed
yet not burnt,
consumed yet unscorched.
Stand afar, a spectator,
not a hair will be singed.
His words will be no more
than flickering embers,
soon to embrace frozen darkness.
No phoenix will arise
from their ashes.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


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A Muse Amused


And I must go with stone feet
Down the staircase of flesh
One moment of daylight let me have
Like a white arm thruist
Out of the dark and self denying wave
All must be synchronized, the jagged
Quartz of vision with the asphalt of human speech.
Ern Malley in The Darkening Ecliptic

I am roused from etherized slumber,
alive, yet so much like the dew that flies
suicidal into the red hot blades
that knife darkness from dawn.
And suddenly I’ve become J. Alfred Prufrock
wearing the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
I am delirium in Fever 103 degrees,
my head a moon of rich, rice
paper burning like a Chinese phoenix.
I am reliquary of unsung hymns,
the cathedral of a thousand hills
sheltering unrepentant Jews & Gentiles.
But you say that I am the sole Arabian bird
perched on a camellia, juxtaposition of
verbal baubles on a string of broken lines,
tattered cloths sitting on barb wires
that weave a canopy of lies.
You say it is all modish, full
of wise saws & modern instances.
Look within the well of your heart,
see that far tunneled reflection
of you that is me, interloper
brighter than 10,000 suns
impinging upon the macula,
louder than the remembered thoughts
of adultery, nearer the jugular
on your neck. I’ve split the infinitive.

Artists (and poets) sometimes describe the Muse as the “paranormal nature of inspiration”. It is thought to be a faculty that resides in the realm of the unconscious. G.C. Jung called this entity Philemon. “Philemon,” he contended, “represented a force which was not myself. I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I. I understand there is something in me which can say things I do not know and do not intend, things which may be directed against me.” This “paranormal” is the fertilizing agent in true imaginative conception…………………………………

This is no opium-filled vision
of lotus eaters,
but the dream of the ancients.
This dream naked in its slumber
becomes fully clothed when it trespasses
into the night of my wakefulness.
Like Jung who found Philemon
and Rimbaud who discovered an other,
I awake to find my dreams real.
This is he who treads
on the arc of a time unseen,
inhabits the place of space unformed,
yet occupies the whole circle
of my knowing and unknowing.
This is the voice that explodes
into the sky of my conscience
and gathers clouds of verses
saying things I do not know,
speaking words I do not intend.
These words are no dead letters,
no modern hieroglyphics
embalmed in an ancient scroll.
These are words that live on
in the winds that romp
across the lines of my face
and dance to the rhythm
of the longings of my heart.
These words live
a life greater than their own
a life bigger than my own,
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.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Do You Know Ern Malley?

Ern Malley

“What they seem not to have heard of is the very real existence
of the Muse and the belief attested to by true poets that on every occasion of writing a poem, the poet is in effect invoking her presence, which becomes manifest in the persona that inhabits and “speaks” the poem. Rimbaud wrote in awe, almost in terror, of that presence outside the self in the famous letter to his teacher Izambard: “Je est un autre” (literally, “I is an other”).Wong Phui Nam in “On Invoking the Muse”

Ern Malley
is no shrunken interloper
who scours dead men’s dreams
for visions of the living.
He creates art out of the
ashes of mental verbiage.

He is in me,
yet more than me,
the sum total of my being
is a hill beside this mountain
that steals through the
maze of the unfathomable
outback of my mind.

He is the paranormal that peels
away the fa├žade of pretence
from the material world
plumbs the dark secrets
of the fourth dimension
sees the quintessence of my soul
& translates the forbidden
& sacred into living verse.

He is the white swan
that treads on my familiar
unreflecting waters.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fire In My Heart

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Haikus To Disciple The Da Vinci Code

Haikus To Disciple The Da Vinci Code

“The Da Vinci Code” is handsome, expensive-looking and filled with impressive
castles, churches, chateaus and museums. It even has a few provocative theories about history. The only thing missing is actual human beings.” David Ansen reviews the film in Newsweek, May 29, 2006

1 only thing missing

peopled, yet lifeless
like hereafter, only life
is the fire of death

2 the mona lisa

beneath crescent smile
is moon laughter deriding
eclipse of reason

3 no morse code

the da vinci code
long dashes of fantasy
stopped by dot of truth

4 last thursday’s dinner

no trite travesty
on john’s face, the cosmetics
of the last supper

5 the holy grail

the grail is no veil
for secret bride, it’s the cup
judas coveted

6 the dark con

a con when you trust
man’s wisdom, i will rather
be a fool for god

7 licence to write

write the wrong, never
wrong the right, licence must not
become the lie’s song

8 the knights templer

it is a dark night
in your temple when you make
knights templates for lies

“Well, I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the
front, saying, ‘This is fiction’.” British actor Ian Makellan, mocking demands that screenings of his most recent film “The Da Vinci Code” should run with
disclaimer stating its fictional basis, Newsweek May 29, 2006

9 right to disclaim

the famines have passed
we the stiff-necked pharaohs have
forgotten joseph

10 the bible code

the code of the heart
dashes in pursuit of god
full stop of fool’s talk

11 the gamaliel warning

and let them alone
men’s work will come to nothing
asses to ashes

12 to change history

the last temptation
is not sex, it's to rewrite
his story your way

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sunrise And Sonrise

"The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
with healing in His wings."
Malachi 4:2

sunflowers in the sun,
Son flowers in the sun,
sun flowers in the Son
Sonrise! Posted by Picasa