Friday, 10 November 2017

The Wrath

The Wrath

Atop a rugged mountain range.

We strung out in ambush.

And waited for the enemy.

A cobra recoiled, ready to strike.

A spider, waiting for the slightest vibration

to sink its fangs and inject the poison.

Came nightfall, the weather declined.

Rain poured in torrents wild.

Lightning, flashes blinding.

Thunder claps, deafening.

No sign of abatement.

Our tents our prisons.

Perched high on rocky ground.

Opened to dangers abound.

Cascading waterfalls,

Thunder and fire balls.

I cringed with worry – intuition.

A while later, a shout of exasperation

from the nearest ambush position.

Dismayed that my fear confirmed.

Struck by lightning!

Four soldiers took refuge under a tree.

Three injured slightly, one seriously.

Four claymore mines blown off instantly.

Next day a winching point we looked.

Atop the mountain spooked.

To evacuate the injured soldier

to Base and recover.

Knowing the futility of our ambush,

the danger in the lightning strikes zone,

we moved to lower ground less prone.

God must have been angry.

That man should kill man - fiery.

That man should choose to disobey.

The price he’ll surely pay.

Instantaneous or delay.

Think – pray!

When Death Stares

When Death Stares

Death, grotesque, stared.

My mind snared.

Memories unrolled most revered.

Dear wife and children adhered.

Brothers and sisters remembered.

Worldly responsibilities unfinished.

Regrets unaccomplished.

What would happen

to my wife and children?

Who’d look after them?

Who’d love them?

What would happen when I’m gone?

I’ll miss them and they’ll mourn.

Their hearts will cry.

Their tears run dry.

That was a nasty dream.

It shook and gave me the hint.

What I should do to remember

all things I hold dear.



We know death will come.

Only God knows the outcome.

How, when and the manner

we’ll meet our Maker

is not for us to ponder.

Death is a fated fate.

Our fated duty performed,

depart we must to the world beyond.

The manners of our death will vary.

Violent or peaceful is not for us to worry.

It comes in the manner we live.

Ultimately, only God will decide all this.

We must never be unduly worried,

That our minds get carried.

Do your part to the fullest.

Your health is primary.

Your family is your responsibility.

As much as God is eternity.

Having known that you have done it.

You will not worry if God ask you to quit.

To rest sooner

and retire forever.

The Sacred Signal


The hills and jungle echoed

the sounds of the gong.

Pulsating, intense and urgent.

Penetrating every crook and cranny.


Arms holding axes, hoes and knives froze in mid-air.

Hearts stopped – gasping for air.

Intently deciphering the signal unmistakable.

Usually associated with news terrible.

Such signals were only for certain occasion.

All must return.

Failure to do so will bring bad tiding

to persons disobeying.

Normally such signals were sounded

when death occurred.

Sometimes, the presence of government officials

also warranted such signals.

Today, with the availability of modern technology,

the gongs had long ceased its primary duty.

Except during celebrations,

they are used as one of the musical instruments.

The Mourning


Life’s precious.

Deaths revered.

A loss to a family

Is a loss to everybody.

Mourning is the community’s duty.

Could stretch for days, likely.

Hard to depart

with one so loved

and of high regard.

One of the mourners, perches on a swing,

sings out all his life story.

All the good he had done for the family.

All the good he had done to the community.

Whilst she wails out the story, most sadly.

The others echo her

and cry their eyes out unashamedly.

The mourning went on the whole night through.

A feat not simply anybody can do.

To the Ibans of the old days.

A death must be revered thus – always.

Otherwise ‘twill be construed as disrespect.

Something unthinkable and black.

Money Grow on Trees

Money Grow on Trees

Who're we to fight the Almighty?

Who're we to fight reality?

Who're we to change the course of nature?

Who're we all these to alter?

Once in a while we must go home.

Despite having found Tanjong an excellent home.

We couldn’t and mustn’t forget our roots.

When the opportunity arose, go home we should.

Traversing the tempestuous sea,

To Kuching from Miri.

Going up the mighty Baram to battle the rapids.

‘Twas a way of life for the Kelabits.

Nearing the end of the semester holiday,

We had to find the money to pay

for our fares back to Tanjong,

our second home, where we belong.

There was no other way to earn the money.

We had to turn to the rubber and jelutong trees only.

They were the only dependable commodity

that we could turn to when we needed the money.



Coffee money.

Tea money.




Call it names you feel right.

It’s still a Bribe.

A rose by any other name

is still a rose all the same.

It’s an obstacle to fairness,

business and services.

It cuts queues and views.

Bias is one of the blues.

It’s a powerful tool.

Disobedience to laws and rules.

Protected forests can be denuded.

Procurement of projects included.

Fairness, eligibility, competency,

ability, quality, desirability

are often thrown out into the sea

all because of the monster called Bribery.

Beware brothers and sisters.

It can be the source of disasters.

You can lose everything including your country.

It may cause untold misery.

Avoid it at any price.

Otherwise you’ll live with the guilt all your life.