Magic Man


A cupboard full of curious shells

each one a voice from a distant shore

You put one to my ear and told me I would hear the sea.

A gazillion coin tricks

ok…maybe more like 5 or 7.

You’d rub a coin into your arm

then make it appear from behind your ear.

A dark mottled brown shell

the sound of a tempest far away

you were the wizard who could

steer the boat safely to shore.

A slim green shell

that could hold a cigarette.

You made smoke come out of your ears

after taking a breath from this ‘pipe’.

An almost translucent white shell

barely a whisper of a wind.

Your life was full of mystery

stories that could not possibly fit into a lifetime.

Opera troupe performer, manager of a tin mine,

surviving the second world war,

bicycle shop, Leong Hin Electric.

Today, people dedicate their lives to a profession.

10,000 hours and so on.

You adapted to whatever was needed

for those times.

You survived.

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