Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Monsoon Season

For weeks the sun hides.
Torrential rain pours.
Rivers overflow.
Inundated plains - an eye sore.

Crops submerge.
Bridges and roads useless.
Cars and boats mere trophies.
Adorning homes only to please.

Farmers and fishermen imprisoned.
Their livelihood abandoned.
‘Tis the monsoon season.
Everything stood still for a reason.

Fish become a rarity.
Wet markets empty.
Meat, chicken and vegetables
are the food available.

Prices surely hike.
Local governments must strike.
Otherwise inflation will soar
as traders try to make more.

Unscrupulous devils do exist.
In all corners they live.
Waiting to fleece
as they please.

Fatal Attraction

An Angel face
The body of a Goddess
Move sexily
Voice silky

Glued my eyes
My heart in vice
My feeling battered
Imagination bewildered

Long to hold
Kiss and mould
Feel the bliss
Are all I wish

Willing to sacrifice
To win her love
Willing to die
To own her soul

Lo! An Angel to behold
Stunning beauty
Beautiful dolly
Everything about her perfect

A trophy for me select
Sit back man and reflect
They say beauty is skin deep
Inner beauty is for keep

I’m but human
Can’t resist the temptation.

Father

Father dear.
You were the Rock.
Firm and unwavering
even when mother left us.

You’re like the Great River.
Unchanged and eternally flowing.
We couldn’t fathom your emotion.
Nor turn around the situation.

You were like the virgin forest.
Keeping your feelings to yourself.
I knew you must had suffered a great deal.
Since mother left us, life had been uphill.

You withdrew into your own shell.
You never spoke a word to me.
‘Twas the curse of being in the middle maybe.
Nonetheless, I love you dearly.

You were absolutely numb.
But I yearned for your loving arms.
I knew you little.
As at an early age I left for the bigger town.

You once came to visit.
Couldn’t stay long you’re homesick.
Then one day when I was fifteen.
You fell sick and followed mother.

‘Twas what you were after.
‘Twas what you wanted most dear.
I hope now you are happy.
In mother’s loving company.

A Dinosaur Awakened

(The ex students of Tanjong Lobang School/College of the 60s and 70s have formed a cyber forum where we could interact and reminsce the good old days. Most of us are now in our early 50/60. We affectionately call ourselves "dinosaurs" or "dino" in short.)


A freezing wind from the Tundra.
A dinosaur awakens from deep slumber.
A rose blossoming, bees buzzing
sucking honey most sweetly.

Unbelievably this forum happens.
A chance to renew acquaintance.
To reminsce Tanjong days golden.
An era our mind couldn't fathom.

Like the blossoming rose
and the awakened dinosaur,
we want to relive the moment again.
But alas! They are in vain.

Never let go you guys.
This precious gem money can’t buy.
The Tanjong Forum is for keep.
Embed it in our hearts and spirits.

Never in a Thousand Years

(I am trying to be an artist trying to paint a picture of a distraught man).


Never in a thousand years
will I bear the pain again.
Never again in this life
will I swim the sea of tragedy.

Never again will I want to cry
and suffer a lifetime of sorrow,
in a darkened silence.

Oh! To touch the beckoning stars.
Oh! To reach the highest mountain top,
and bare my soul on the wind-swept peak
and shout my heart out.

Baring my soul to the world below.
Expunge my suffering and sorrow
into the freezing solar winds,
and pray and weep to the Almighty.

Why of all people it must be me?
Not again, even in a thousand years!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Mother

Mother dearest.
You left us for nearly 60 years today.
You are now far far away.
Among the millions of stars in the Milky Way.

I tried to remember your loving arms.
I tried but there was none.
You left me too early.
I was still a baby.

From what I was told.
You were a kind-hearted soul.
Helpful, hard-working bumble bee
An asset to the community.

I had one vivid memory of you.
I suppose a gift so true.
Minutes before your last breath.
I crawled to your side and you held me in a tight embrace.

Couldn’t forget that look in your face
The tears, the torment and the sadness
It had always haunted me
I didn’t know then what could it be?
Now I know - it was the pain
of abandoning your loved ones.

Mother dear, I may not have felt your love.
But I pray you are happy up above.
Have you met father?
He loved and followed you ten years later.

We know you are together again.
Don’t worry, your children are in the right lane.
You’ll be happy to know
we have carried your name like a rainbow

Rest in peace both of you.
We love you so true.

Beauty

An Angel face.
The body of a Goddess.
Move sexily.
Voice silky.

Glued my eyes.
My heart in vice.
My feeling battered.
Imagination bewildered.

Long to hold.
Kiss and mould.
Feel the bliss
Are all I wish.

Willing to sacrifice
To win her love.
Willing to die
To own her soul.

Lo! An Angel to behold.
Stunning beauty.
Beautiful creation.
She's a perfection.

A trophy for me select.
Sit back man and reflect.
They say beauty is skin deep.
Inner beauty is for keep.

I’m but human.
Hard to resist the temptation.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Cock Fight




It’s no ordinary cock.
It’s a fighting cock.
A champion breed.
Trained by the owner
to be a money spinner.

Enthusiasts are specialists.
They could read, interpret and firmly believe
that colours and pattern of feathers,
scales on feet, eyes and beaks,
even abnormalities and deformities
have special powers.
Criteria for winners.

The day finally came.
An instant arena made
in the middle of the jungle.
Out of prying eyes meddle.
An open space surrounded by a wooden fence
to keep enthusiasts out and the fighting within.
From near and far they came.
‘Tis a mini festival in another name.

Two camps at each end they set up.
Both decided the fighting order.
Which fighter should first take the arena.
The owners knew the strength of their fighters.
Morning, afternoon or evening fight greatest?

Once decided both fighters
were brought to the centre of the court.
They were squared off and agreement reached.

Wagers were offered and counter-offered.
A three-inch, paper-thin and moon-shape knife,
sharp as a razor blade,
made to fit the fighters’ feet,
were skillfully tied by a specialist
to find the opponent’s heart,
sever main muscles and make incapable.

The fight was swift.
A mid-air clash.
Feathers flew and blood splashed.
The loser sometime admitted defeat.
Sometime the battle could last a few minutes,
with neither willing to admit defeat.
Until the knife found the artery.
Blood drained out from the body.
The gallant loser simply slumped to the ground.
Death was certain even before the ground it found.

Money exchanged hands.
Pride and happiness to the victorious camp.
A tinge of sadness to the loser.
Not for the death of his fighter.
But at the loss of his money.
He will find a better fighter.
To get his money back that’s for sure.

Today, cock-fighting is illegal
Deemed inhumane and cruel.
Rearing of fighting cocks is still unfazed.
Not for anything but their beauty craze.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Long House Ghost

The cloudless deep-blue sky.
The blazing sun burning high.
Larks fly in drunken flight pattern.
Chasing insects from their nest driven.

The long house under the canopies of fruit trees.
Farmers under heavy load bend double,
going up the ladder, steep, humble.

Inside there’re a hive of activities
Women weaving.
Children running, squealing and crying.
Breast-feeding.
Rice pounding.
Some engross picking lice.
Hunting dogs howling and prancing.
Begging their masters to go hunting.

Suddenly chaos at the far end.
Children screaming and scampering.
Seeking the security of their rooms.

As the commotion comes nearer.
What cause it, is clear.
A grotesque ghost.
Twice taller and bigger
than human is descending.
Hungry for children crying.
Red eyes bulging.
Sharp fangs baring.
Hands outstretch with razor sharp claws.
Running hither and thither, looking for kids crying.
To appease its perpetual hunger - starving!

As kids hide, trembling.
The ghost is seen to enter a house.
Behind the closed door its costumes derobe.
Satisfied his acting has achieved the desired mode.
The children are behaved now, he notes.

Strangled by a Ghost

The Big Clock chimed. Midnight!
All were dead still under the dim light.
Streets deserted.
Lights flickered.

The moon shone lazily.
Creating shadows dancing eerily.
I walked fast.
Reach home I must.

Dared not look about.
Evil spirits every where, no doubt.
Looking for the right moment
When I’m most uncertain.

My door was already open!
And knew ‘twas imminent.
I sat on my bed,
Pretending, trying to be brave.
An ancient wisdom of strength and solace.

The door opened slowly.
But I could see nobody.
I trembled and felt helpless.
Felt a vice grip on my throat.
Couldn’t move, couldn’t shout.
A helpless situation no doubt.

I was slipping into unconsciousness.
With sheer determination and breathlessness
I managed to shout “Allahu Akhbar!”
Felt the grip loosening.

Like a drowning man I woke up.
Gasping and kicking!
The shouts in my ears still reverberating.
I was thinking and wondering,
Was it real or was I dreaming?

I felt the goose bumps creeping.
Indicating the presence of invisible beings.
That was a terrible dream really!
It left my thoughts tipsy turvy.

Knights of the Shining Crowns

Dear Readers,
We have two members with bald heads and another three with receeding hair line. They suggested jokingly that they should be called "Knights of the Shining Crown!"
As a follow up I decided to compose a poem dedicated to them.

KNIGHTS OF THE SHINING CROWNS

An Arena adorned with flags and colours.
Terraced seats overflowed with spectators.
King Arthur, Lady Guinevere and his Knights
At the Royal Box full in sight.

The Arena suddenly came alive.
A huge roar the adrenalin drive.
Two Knights appeared opposite each other.
Each led by their own Squire.

One was in full body plate armour.
Strangely, the other was only in chain mail armour!
‘Twas no protection against the lancer!
And an armored helmet replaced by a feathered hat!
Surely, this Knight was as good as dead!

As the trumpets sounded the signal all clear.
The horses galloped faster and faster.
Lances aimed at the heart of the opponent.
And lo! In a split second before the impact
the helmetless Knight took off his hat!
There was a searing blinding flash
and in the next split second
the other Knight on the ground crashed.

What magic! What power could conjure!
One by one the Knight defeated his opponents,
Until he stood alone in front of King Arthur.
Lady Guinevere threw him a bouquet of flower
to acknowledge his supremacy.
He took a deep bow and rode into the sun hurriedly.

“Who is that Knight?” King Arthur asks Sir Lancelot.
“That’s the legendary ZAM from Malaysia, Sire!
The other, Bob Lynn is from the United States of America.
They called themselves Knights of the Shining Crown,
As they could harness the power of light without a frown.
David, Uki and Reggie are still undergoing training.
In five more years their crowns too will be shining!”

Sunday, 6 December 2009

LOST AND FOUND

For sixty years I googled at the moon
Hoping it could come nearer.
I yearned to touch and caress it soon.
But alas! The longing remained a dream so dear.


For forty years I had suffered
The suffering of a love-sick silhouette,
Condoning the pain and hurt.
It was unbearable and I couldn't face it.


Tanjong Lobang was a heaven on Earth.
It had been a home seemingly eternity.
The principals, teachers and students
All live in goodwill and harmony.


It was a home and a learning institution.
Sarawakians of all races, rich and poor,
And from diverging family creation,
All came with one purpose was clear.


Grinded and milled by principals and teachers
From countries as far as New Zealand,
The United States of America and Canada.
Tanjongers, transformed, became the pride of the Land.


TLS produced leaders and professionals abound.
To serve, guide and administer
The Country, the Nation and the World around
With the knowledge and wisdom they had learned thereafter.


Today, as we can see,
Tanjongers are not only leaders in various fields.
They are scattered all over land and sea.
To lead, serve, administer and provide the shield.


Today, the group of the late 50s and 60s have since retired.
A few, despite having passed pensionable age
Are very much in the groove and still required.
They are proofs that Tanjongers could not be erased.


Some months ago a bright spark called Doc Hoi Hee
Toyed with the idea of rekindling lost friendships
That we had spurned and weaved in glee.
In no time, the Big Towkay had made the worthwhile trip.


We have found the magic that we have lost!
We have found the laughter and the smile!
We have found what we love most!
The TLS spirit that had binded us all this while!


Now each couldn't live without the other.
Sharing old and new stories.
Eagerly pouncing like a panther.
Young old boys acting boyish.


Spent ungodly hours infront of the computers.
Trying to talk to one another across the globe.
Barely aware of the real-time investors.
As they have to keep time for their job.


The BOOK is in the offing.
With Chief Towkay doing the writing and compiling
And Chief Editor Bob Lynn doing the editing.
Once completed, we'll meet for the launching.


Once the BOOK is launched what then?
We must not lose our noble intention and friends.
Whom we had painstakingly lured from their dens.
Now that we have found each other, let the gaps we mend.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

My Retreat

My Retreat

(Having worked so hard in trying conditions, there will come a time when you want to have a complete rest and shut out all else from your mind and soul. You want to rejuvenate your mind and body. Each one of us have different ways of doing it. In my case I want to go to my retreat and be surrounded by nature)

The brook gurgles its way down over rocks and crevices,

In unhurried pace in a timeless world – priceless.

Its silky sounds soothing away my battered mind.

Unraveling the knots the world has bind.

A gust of the eternal wind caresses my face,

wiping away the dust and frustration’s haze.


Deep in the shade, my mind rejuvenates.

My spirit returning and strength mended.

Against the cloudless blue sky,

Birds hither and thither fly.


Riding and chasing the pregnant wind.

Living a simple life, pure and clean.

As I lay down, the soothing sounds my thoughts drown.

I’m floating, uncaring and devoid of frowns.


Gazing at the unfathomable and infinity dark blue sky.

What lay therein are beyond the comprehension of you and I.

At night a million friends keep me company.

Even a few light years away the stars twinkle down on me.


The moon smiles and brightens my retreat in soft gray light,

Bidding me a sweet dream and a good night

This retreat of mine is really an amazing magic.

A couple of days are enough to iron out the tragic

effects of the world gone mad.

My retreat, my rejuvenator – I’m so glad.

Friday, 30 October 2009

My Tanjong Lobang School

My Tanjong Lobang School
(Built on an exclusive plateau by a cliff facing the South China Sea. I studied in TLS from 1962 - 1967. I left in Lower Six to take up an offer to enter the Royal Military College in Kuala Lumpur as a military Officer Cadet. I was sad in leaving the school and all my friends behind. It had been my home for the last five years. TLS will always remain in my mind.)


Possibly, once a marshy, steaming land
where dinosaurs roamed.
A land once kissed
by the frigid artic
and interstellar winds.

Maybe during the time
that Earth was once a hissing ball,
this piece of priceless land
was once part of the molten core.

It was empowered.
Otherwise, how'd you account
for the magical hold
it had on us all?

I once sat on the cliff
overlooking Hick's Bay,
carressed by the cool sea breeze,
under a darkening, star-studded sky,
gazing at the horizon as far as eyes could see
and wondered what lay beyond the sea.

Today, I looked back to reminisce
on what was Tanjong Lobang
that held my mind to ransom.
Life then was simple yet awesome.

I searched my tattered heart,
but couldn't find the answer.
Was it the place? Maybe.
Was it the friends? Possibly.
Was it the teachers? Could be.

Then, it dawned on me.
It was the mixture of all three
that had made Tanjong Lobang
into what the world should be.

The Broken Chain

The Broken Chain
(Many years after WW2, the young men in my long house became restless. They were gripped by the spirit of "bejalai" (literally to walk or looking for greener pastures).


Four years had gone by.
No war planes in the sky
that could rain down destructions
at anything that attracted suspicion.

Sense of freedom we felt.
The life we had put on hold
was back to normalcy's fold.

'Twas back to farming.
Rice planting.
Hunting.
Fishing.

Though the War was over.
Never far were uncertainty and fear.
They held the hearts to ransom.
Only time could heal the reason.

The young men were restless.
Yearning for life beyond the horizon - curious.
Breaking free from the clutches of poverty.
Dreaming the eternal dreams for the family.

One night, three young men disappeared.
'Twas a paralysing blow to the community.
Irreparable loss and a huge liability.
Life in the long house changed immediately.

'Twas a blessing in disguise.
The community couldn't see otherwise.
Many years later they made good.
Two had joined the Police Force
The third disappeared and was never heard of.

'Twas a brave move by the young men.
To have ventured into the unknown, then.
Today, 'twas nothing strange
Migrating to big cities for a change.





No Pain No Gain

No Pain No Gain
(I paid the price for leaving my long house)

Plucked, half-starved
from the pit of poverty.
Heavy was the price
for discarding
the long house life.

Leaving the nest
was a heart-rending wrest.
The current was too strong.
All I could do was go along.

I pined day in and day out,
wishing I could shout.
Eventually, married to my job,
I simply must cope.
I realised then
there'd be no gain
without the pain.

Soon a family I raised.
My problem deepened.
More walls were erected.
Like it or not,
religious and cultural
walls I cannot hassle.

I resigned to my fate.
Thankful and grateful
for my family's full plates.
Though I couldn't quench
my inner and deeper thirst,
I realised it was God's wishes.

For after all,
without pain, there'd be no gain.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A Tribute to Marian Mckonkey (School Matron)


A Tribute to Matron Marian McKonkey

( Miss Marian McKonkey was our School Matron (Tanjong Lobang School, Miri, Sarawak) in the early 60s. At that time she was about 60 years old. She was sent under the United States Peace Corps program. She lived to be a centenarian. In her final years she was cared for in nursing a home. In 2007, we came in contact with one of our Peace Corp teacher, Robert Lynn who told us about her as he used to visit her. I wrote an article which involved her and passed it to Bob Lynn who read it to her just before her health deteriorated. It brought smiles to her lips. Shortly later on 29 April 2008, she passed away. May her soul rest in peace.This poem is in her rememberance)

The sad news came today
that she has passed away.
Being a Centenarian we knew
she would soon leave me and you.

But deep within us we wished
we could turn back the clock.
A piece of us is gone with her passing.
An era of our past seemed missing.

Something’s tugging at our heart’s string.
The mind’s broiling and thinking
of the days when she was around,
caring for our youthful life abound.

She was always there when we were sick,
prescribing medicine with professional restrict,
trying to ensure the best for each of us,
as she went about her jobs without a fuss.

Like a breeze she executed her duties,
making the rounds to ensure cleanliness
in dormitories, refectory and other premises.
I can vividly see her with her old bicycle
wearing a thick, round, black horn-rimmed spectacles.

Thick skirt that reached down to her calves.
Always wearing the smile that’s her soulful mask.
Can’t help wondering who’re her kins?
Who cared and loved her in her final spin?

Bob Lynn, you have done a noble job.
Keeping her company and keeping out pain of sorts.
You’ve been the bridge between us and her.
Through you, hopefully, we have made her happier.

Thank you Marian for giving us a part of your life.
We are grateful and wish you an eternal happiness.
We wish you all the happiness up there my dear.
Surpassing what you had had down here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Life so Brittle


A life So Brittle


Today
she came
to share
her laughter rare.

Her heart
she poured out
like there’s
no tomorrow.

Strange!
We knew
she was a person
depressed
with problems
excess.

Normally,
She was
a quiet lady.
But today
she was
unusually
happy.

The next day,
My God!
She was gone.
In the dark
without looking
left and right
she crossed
a busy road.

A car
with a demon
behind
the wheel
mowed her,
and she
was gone
forever.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Hearts of Gold


Hearts of Gold

( Ibans’ hospitality is legendary)


Hearts of gold.
Unparrallel generosity.
Legendary hospitality.
Sharing is a way of life.

Share animals caught.
Share fruits they brought.
The unfortunate will have sympathy,
and kept from going hungry.

Heavy works they make light.
A single community truly might.
Alone they are prone to failure.
Combine they could success ensure.

Fantastic!
In environment most basic.
Could breed the purest of feeling.
Considerate and caring for fellow beings.

How could that be?
What ingredients could we see?
Basic and primitive they may be.
They have hearts of gold
that the world should mould.

Anguish


Anguish
(Just trying to picture an anguish woman at the loss of her loved ones)

A woman bends double over a lifeless body.
Little lifeless hands dangling.
Little feet stark white.
Cheeks glued bathe in tears.

Tears streaming , flowing unending.
Storm of emotion triggered.
Making pleas to the Almighty.
To return her Heart and Darling Baby.

Why O Why must it be my boy?
Just when You have blessed me with joy.
Now You are taking it back - cruelty!
Your punishment is beyond humanity.

What’s there left for me in this world?
What wrong, what sin have I stir?
Take my life! Take my soul!
There’s no reason left for me to live.

You have taken all that are dear and bliss.
My mother, then father, husband and now my son!
You love them more but it was blunt.
But why so soon before the full moon?

What is there left for me to croon?
Life’s an empty shell.
Life’s void and a vacuum.
My heart and emotions doomed.

Take my life now I implore You.
End my misery, I love them too.
Life is meaningless to me now.
My world has collapsed somehow.

Time is Running Out


TIME IS RUNNING OUT

(Yes, as we grow older, time is running out for us)

Only sixty years ago,
we had plenty of time to grow,
smile with the sunlight
and in a star-studded night.

Oh! The sweet childhood memory,
fruits grown on a golden tree
has my mind in a velvet shackle,
imprisoned emotion in wind-swept tunnel.

Why, despite the successes I had made
I couldn’t bring the sunshine to light my heart?
Why do I feel this deep abyss of emotion
that time has kept frozen?

Suddenly, I realised time is running out.
Like it or not ‘tis the prophecy of creation.
Oh! I don’t want to ride the moonbeams.
I want to keep dreaming the impossible dreams.

Many dreams I haven’t realise.
God! Give me a second life
to better the bitter life of my folks.
God-willing, one day, it’d stop being a joke.

Oh! How I wish He’ll grant my dream
to paint colours into my colourless world,
to straighten crooked edges
and to bring laughter and cheers.

Let me close the gaping abyss.
Let me put on the lid
on my bottomless pit of emotion
before You end the life of your creation.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Forever Lost


Forever Lost
(After 50 years, the face of my village has changed. Some were lost forever)

Sixty short years had passed – magic.
So much have changed – nostalgic.
Many childhood friends and relatives had passed along.
Only their deep and fond memories remain strong.
Even the sky and the mountains that once were blue
Are now somehow of different hue.

Fifty years ago they held me in awe.
Shrouded in mystical stories – a lie.
Spurned with tales of the supernatural,
Home of the mythical warriors immortal.

Somehow now, the mountains are nearer.
Somehow, they aren’t as high for sure.
Somehow, they are not that blue anymore.
Has Earth shrunk and fallen sick of sorrow?

Once they stood majestically.
Guardians of our ancestral land eternally.
Once they looked like an invulnerable fort.
Keeping out enemies of sorts.

Today they looked ragged.
An old man overspent - tired.
Scarred by a century of intrusion,
Uncaring brutality emboldened.

Left scars unhealing,
Barren and void it bring
Choking.
Silent.
Lonely.

Alas! Where is the youthful beauty
That I once behold, really.
Where are the calls of the hornbills,
The barking of deers shrill.

The cry of the gibbons?
That once the jungle enlivened?
They all had long since disappeared.
Over fished, over hunted and speared.

Indiscriminate clearing of the jungles.
Are also contributing factors to the bungle.
Sad loss we never could regain.
Can we hear the calls of the gibbons again?

Or the calls of the deers and the hornbills?
Maybe, but not before the forest we heal.
And return them to the sanctuary we steal

So Near Yet So Far

So Near Yet So Far
(I pined for my home and my folks)

So near yet so far.
My hands could caress.
My heart could embrace
And plant with kisses.

My soul reaches out.
My heart calls out.
My emotion yearning
To cling and embrace the feeling.

But alas! They are only shadows.
They are rainbows.
They are silhouettes.
Emptiness and guilt!

Long have I yearned
To get closer to all that I have missed.
Family, friends, the river and laughter shrills,
The pepper gardens, the rice fields and the hills.

Let me feel the love I have lost.
Let me feel the life I have abandoned.
Let me feel the pulsation and vibration
Of the Bee community.

But alas! The current is too strong.
It’s dragging and pulling me along.
Faster and further away.
I’m hapless come what may.

I know this is my destiny.
Anguish that I may be.
Try as hard that I may see.
I still couldn’t be in proximity.

I leave my fate to God.
He can see what good He brought.
That I follow my destined path.
To my very last breath no fuss.

The Pain of Leaving TLS


THE PAIN OF LEAVING TLS
(For more than 40 years I had to live with the thought that I had made the wrong decision in life. I had quit school while in Lower Six to pursue a career with the Malaysian Army, the Malaysian Rangers in particular. It had been a painful decision and even worse was leaving Tanjong Lobang School (TLS). It had been my home for five years. Many ex-TLS I think, shared my sentiments and feeling.)

I was ungrateful
To have left abruptly – a fool.
Seemingly without a thought and consideration.
Only God knows the pain and the yearn.

After five long years,
After having interwoven the threads of friendship dearest,
After having embraced all as brothers and sisters,
And accepted TLS as a home and a stepping stone.

My heart was torn into shreds.
My mind a mass of thorny beds.
My feelings were battered.
Reality won and decision honoured.

My tender long-house life was a struggle for survival.
My father combed the jungle,
Squeezed his rubber trees and ancestral land.
Herculean effort to keep us alive and made amend.

I was most fortunate elder brother took a city job.
Took me along to ease father’s rot.
Six years on I found Tanjong Lobang School,
Where I grew up and came out of my spool.

Five short years later, the Army found me.
It was love at first sight – absolutely.
For fanned by myths and legend of heroism
I took and accepted it like duck to water – infatuation?

Blinded, I couldn’t see beyond the horizon.
I couldn’t visualise what lay beyond the mountain.
I didn’t have enough depth in my thinking.
Vivid and clear for me to see through things.

True, there were some pangs of regret.
That it was a hasty decision I made.
Successes though I had earned.
However, deep within me, I wished I could return.

I wanted to gaze at the crimson sun set
Over the horizon of the South China Sea.
I wanted to walk and swim along the jagged coastline.
I wanted to be in the work party keeping the School pristine.

I missed the morning run.
I missed the meager breakfast, dinner and lunch.
Which, by today’s standard, would have us half-starve.
To us then, they were nice and just enough.

I missed the days when we had to walk to Miri town
To attend National, State or District events abound.
To participate in inter-school and community activity.
To remind us, we were a part of the Society.

I missed the days when we had to look for jobs.
To find that elusive Money and the good it brought.
To buy necessities and a taste of Gemuk’s niceties.
To us then, our need was negligible and hardly no worries.

More than forty years had gone by.
These feelings still held me in awe.
What were there in TLS
That held me in ransom no less?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A Tropical Rainstorm

A TROPICAL RAINSTORM
(In my long house in Sarawak)

Dark Clouds blanket the sky.
The sun disappears so shy!
They seem to touch the mountain ranges.
Guardian of the horizon and rivers.

Gusts of wind ruffle the trees.
And scatter withered flowers and leaves.
Those are its eternal responsibilities.
Since the beginning of Time and Mist.

The inky sky!
Bolts of lightning and thunder!
Little patterings on roofs.
The scampering of feet and hoofs.

The wind gathers speed.
To show its strength indeed.
It howls and the trees bend double.
In show of respect O so humble!

Within minutes the inky clouds
unload its load of rain to end the drought.
Drench anything and everything
seemingly with lavish spending that's nothing.

Men, women and children run for shelter.
Chicken, dogs and pigs scurry helter skelter.
A farmer bends double with loads on his back.
Trudges on slippery and flooded jungle track.

Lightning bolts light up the sky.
Claps of thunder - defeaning O my!
A reminder of a just concluded Catastrophe.
That Mankind must avoid to be carefree.

Kids' shrill shouts and laughter filled the air.
Muffled by the pour of the cascading downpour.
Running and splashing in the instant pools
Having the fun of their lives, it is school.

Shouts of "pulai! pulai!" broke the chain.
Worrying parents are a pain!
Lightning strikes should be respected regardless.
We must not play with nature's wrath.

The storm shows no mercy.
Leaking roofs and shallow drains
will show and speak for itself,
and make the builders blame themselves.

Yes, we enjoy the rain, unless it gets out of hand.
Kids all over the world are the same.
Little rain, torrential rain are enjoyable.
Like all else, a little of each should be the Bible.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Fate


Fate

(We cannot change the course of our lives that the Almighty God has laid out for us)

Holding scissors to cut strings.
Cutting loose offsprings.
Fate is blind and heartless.
But fair and just, nevertheless.

A path in life for each of us.
A chosen life and a specific task.
A mission to fulfill.
To carry God’s will.

Who are we to deviate?
Whatever you do is fate.
However far you may detour,
You can’t change nor alter.

In the process we are scattered.
All over the world – it’s fated.
For sure, it’s not by human mind.
If blame you must, it’s fate’s design.

God has a way to weave and wound
The intricacies of human evolution.
Only He knows each single sinew.
To mend and sew all things anew.

Peace and harmony be to all.
Play our parts and pass the ball.
For the world’s a stage.
For us to play our acts envisaged.