Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thinking of poem ideas... half-addicted to Travian (you know what I mean, Whitle!)...and I finally learned to play 'O Lord of Hosts!' on the violin! Yay!

Bats are Dancing Round the Tree

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The little bats are dancing round the tree,
Trying their luck at pretty, yellow mangoes,
Trying to latch onto it,
Just long enough
For a little bite,
For a little bit,
Of juicy, thick, sweet mango,
And golden droplets ticklling their faces.

The bats are dancing round the tree,
Searching, searching, searching,
Playing with the Moon.
Spinning, spinning, spinning.

The bats are dancing round the tree.
Hiding in the shelter of the night,
No sun to stop them,
No taunting crows or ravens,
Just silent, happy, flying round the tree,
Sweet like ripened mangoes.

The bats are dancing round the tree,
Like flurries of Beating wings and Prickled ears.
Dancing, dancing, dancing

Car in the Show-room

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I’m the car in the show-room,
All hidden there, behind obscure,
Glass windows,
Looking at all my brethren, zipping about on the road.

Release me, release me.

I stare out, and wish,
But this surly prison only
Makes the dream so hard to
Keep dreaming, here.

Free me, free me.

Perpetually the humans come,
To see my leather seats,
And spacious trunk,
And locking system.

Liberate me, liberate me.

They come to see little
And nod their heads
Then they shake them at the prices.

Take me! Take me!

It is lonely here,
All those dispirited,
Dead, cars next to me,
Not hoping for higher things.

See me! See me!

And every day I look at those zooming new models
Leave the parking lot,
With new owners and new petrol.
And I look on, longingly.

Just let me, let me!

But one day, some day,
I’ll get there,
And they’ll lovingly give me new petrol,
And let my tires hit the road.

Free me, free me!
I’m the car in the show-room
Still hidden here, behind obscure
Glass windows,
But soon I’ll be with my brethren, zipping about on the road.

Release me, release me!

Aloevera and the Blossomless Bougainvilleas

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It was just four years ago.
When I saw you planting aloe-vera
By our blossomless bougainvilleas.

They were young, unlike you,
Grandma, (I called you “Mah-mah”)
They, bursting plump with jelly-like pulp inside,
You, with calloused hands and thinner lips,
And that old smiling face.

And the Aloe-vera flourished,
Growing bigger, and more, and happy-looking,
But the bougainvilleas, oh, I don’t quite know,
They never quite did it,
Never quite thrived,
But I still, kind of, hoped they would.

Then jaundice came and went for you,
Then cancer came, but you went,
And I saw you one last time, through the icy, reflective, impenetrable
Glass opening in the coffin,
And the ashes of the cremation were tossed to the sea
To swallow the sorrow of lost life.

And how I cried then,
Missing you, Mah-mah,
Not knowing for sure,
Cause you accepted Jesus,
Then said you later gave up.

Where did you go?

But the silent aloe-vera,
Carefree, happy,
Free to think of better things,
They grew, taller and taller,
Withstanding weeds and birds and those kinds of things.

And then, about six months ago, the neighbor came (for the garden was a bit out on the Condo corridor of our house)
And he asked if he could plant a garden there.

We said yes.

But Mom kept one plant of Aloe-Vera,
Just one, and planted it in a pot in our balcony
Before the neighbors face-lifted our garden.

The neighbors came to clear up things,
Adding pretty rocks and flowering plants (but the bougainvilleas they kept).
And it looked better that way.

But I missed the Aloe-vera
Grandma had planted.

Oh, but I missed you.

But one day, I was at the balcony, lamenting a little over the loss
Of our beloved aloe-vera,
When I saw the little green sprouts,
All around the only one we kept
In the pot.

And I closed my eyes,
And felt their tender little spikes on the edges,
And the smooth skin wrapping them,
And smiled.
And wondered if their mother-plant (or the un-thriving bougainvilleas) remembered
A pair of old, thin, kindly arms planting them there.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Went to see the Dead Sea Scroll Exhibition in Singapore. It was very, very, good trip.

WE went to see the scrolls on the second day. It was held in a big museum-like building near the parliament. The exhibition had three rooms, one containing scrolls, one containing books, and one with a lot of biographies about people. The people and book rooms had lots and lots of old bibles, sheets of information and copies of the books and lives of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bunyan, and Luther (not in that order!). They displayed centuries-old copies of the King James Bible, Geneva bible, Spanish and German manuscripts, and even one of the first-printing editions of "Pilgrim's Progress." I kept snapping pictures and pictures and pictures. It was such an odd, interesting feel to be so near such old things, handed down from one generation to another.

But the scrolls were the most eye-opening. Just four little fragments of paper (only a few pieces were released to exhibition), very old, weather-stained, and hard to perceive until you looked very closely. And when i peered through the glass, something flashed in my mind. Some old Jewish scholar, a rabbi or Pharisee, perhaps, squinting in the evening light to meticulously scribe a letter into a word.

Line by line, as each drop of precious ink was exactly meted out for each character. Each sentence unmarred with any grammatical or contradictory errors. What thoughts went through this poor rabbi's mind as he spent such time and energy into copying out the sacred Word of God.

How tired he must have been, and then, to think that the work of this weary scholar was to be smashed apart by Roman swords! To think, that, one little fragment from this entire piece would itself a spectacle of wonder to the world. To think, that one man's efforts to preserve the law would end up giving evidence pointing to its, powerful, uncorrupted, message. To think of all the people who had worked on this bit of ink and paper, not realizing what this parchment would do to ring down eternity? The skinner of the goat, the scholar who wrote it, the ink-maker, the editing priest, the scholars-in-training who may have read it -how could they have known?

It is interesting, really, to think how much difference one person's work can do.

Moon-maidens and Hidden Tree

Thursday, September 10, 2009

There were two of them; Moon-maidens, as we call them.
And they stood in the Wood of Voices.

"It was there! I saw it, Rian!"

Rian blinked, and stared at it again.

"But I don't see it."

"But it's there! Just at that point, between that tree and that one, over there!"

"Leraia, look again, there is nothing there but a little brook with a lot of turquoise-colored rocks. Come; let us go there, to see it, if it truly was there."

They walked along a path, long trodden on by weary feet and weary with the weight of leaves. It was a tired path, but sturdy.

They came along, and searched at the little brook. But there was no tree.

"Oh, but it was there, that tree, all green and leafy, all, well –perfect."

Rian laughed. "But we are in a wood, and the green-leaves are everywhere. How can you ask me to see one little tree?”

“Oh, I don’t know any more, but I thought I saw it.”

“Maybe you’re a little tired, little sister, for the day is long and the night shall come soon.”

“I suppose, but I really thought I saw it. . .”

Then Leraia’s eyes flickered suddenly.

“There it was! Again! Over there! Right between those banyans, by the brook we talked about!”

Rian turned her head to look again. “Leraia, you are dreaming again. It is not there. What is this tree you see? My eyes and heart sense naught, and Leraia, listen; there is wind, but I hear no more trees rustling than it has in three years. How can there be a new tree I do not see?”

“Oh, but I see it no more.” Leraia paused, as she pondered a little more on what she had seen, “It was tall.”

“How tall? How wide? Can you see through the trunk and count the rings?”

“It is tall, and I can say no more, it was wide, wide and sturdy; like it all the world pressed on it could not crush it,” she squinted, “And the tree rings –I cannot say, for I count so far two thousand rings, but the rings do not get smaller inside, only bigger, and wider, and more.”

“You speak riddles, little Sister,” she sighed, “as you always have. But tell me more. Tell me of its branches. The life within it. Tell me of the leaves, and their color, for I perceive little of that which you say.”

“The branches, there are but two.”

“Only two?”

“Only two, one stretching to the east and one to the west,” Leraia stopped, and continued, “But there are no leaves I see. But the scent of them is there, as is the scent of the wind. It is there, though I see none. I do not see the color, but I sense something, so very hauntingly familiar to color, only better.”

“You talk in riddles again.”

“I can smell this color; it is a good scent, something like a blend of spices, like music and emotion, and hues of blue and green mixed up together. It smells . . . like new life, like sadness, yet like joy, like some hidden hymn that I cannot sing, like something, a spirit perhaps, is pouring His might upon this tree.”

“But if a Great Spirit is pouring itself on this tree, why can I not see it?”

“Because you do not want to, Rian. I think He wants to reveal it to you, but you don’t.”

“Who is this spirit, Leraia, can you find his name? Could this be . . . the Pourer of the Waters?”

Leraia looked at her sister. “I cannot find His name . . . I only get this word impression . . . something –I am, something –I am, something.” Then this young Moon-maiden, who had waited for so long, heard something.

I am He, who sets the Sun a-burning,
I am He, Lord of the Wise discerning,
I am he, who made this green-leafed forest fair,
I am He; upon this solemn tree, rest thy cares.

I am He, who rekindles and revives,
I am He, Lord of Things Alive,
I am He, who slew death when I fought her.
I am He, Pourer of the Water,

I am He, come and touch my leaves,
I am He, let Me thy pains relieve,
I am He; show thy friend my wood,
I am He! If only they all understood.

“So who is this spirit, Leraia?”

Rian turned. “He is the I AM.”


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A silent little lad, that Moon,
Always walking about in the evening,
Usually whispering with the silent stars,
Who smile and nod
Like sleeping dreamers.

But sometimes, sometimes,
Silent Moon comes out too early,
In the late afternoon,
Around 4-5 PM,
And all the day-clouds give him the funny look,
That you're-not-supposed-to-be-here-but-we'll-act-as-if-nothing's-happening

That Moon, good fellow,
But doesn't sleep easily.
Unlike the clouds and stars,
Who sit about doing nothing,
Or the sun, who shines and sings in
A low, baritone voice.

So sometimes, when he comes about too early,
You hear little moon sing in a lonely, hushed song,

"Cause I've woken up too early,
And I can't get back to sleep,
This busy time is far too bright,
And I can't get back too sleep."

All the humans talking,
And the sun is much to hot,
The sky is harsh, the stars all hide,
And the moon can't fall alseep.

"Cause I've woken up too early,
And I can't get back to sleep,
This busy time is far too bright,
And I can't get back too sleep."

Sometimes, sometimes, you can hear the Moon, talking to God,
Asking about why 9/11 happened,
Or why the hurricane was brewing,
Or the man over there is crying,
And he talk of the sadness of the world,
And its joys and sorrows,
And sings with them with restless sleep,

"Cause I've woken up too early,
And I can't get back to sleep,
This busy time is far too bright,
And I can't get back too sleep."