What is it about an idea that withstands the noise of time? Julian Barnes posits that it is ‘only that music which is inside ourselves – the music of our being – which…over the decades, if it is strong and … Continue reading
Walking through a house of heartbreaks
littered with the corpses of failures
hanging lifeless, upside down,
displayed for all to see.
Uncanny gallery of battle wounds
the scars still hurt
after they heal.
This is not another broken-hearted poem
but it is about love
Worried about losing the now
because things could always be much worse.
Taking the slaps
because it is easier than losing a home.
Wanting less pain
but not fighting for it because somehow
we’ve learned to believe
that we get what we deserve.
And that suffering builds ruggedness of character.
And the hurt increases with each ask…
risk that heartbreak
follow that dream
(and make it real)
is no more than
the others before.
There is nothing more depressing
than wandering with the ghost of a dream
and living each day
in exactly the same way as we did
50 years before.
Keeping to the same limits
prescribed for each of us
with boundaries drawn in for us
in accordance to our merits
(determined by someone other than ourselves)
Dare we pursue the possibility of being
much much more than a cog in the machine
of one man’s dream?
This is not another broken-hearted poem
but it is about love.
08.03.15 What is the new?
it was international women’s day and the pressure to say something about my position on women and prove that i have something to say based on my unique and original experience of being a woman, of being me.
But I’m only still learning, still retracing the steps of others, still trying to catch up. wait for me.
I haven’t managed to find my voice yet/can’t contribute to the women’s movement yet/i’m still using the words of others/don’t know how to say my own thing yet/still finding my way…sorting out my thoughts about what kind of woman i want to be and how the bad habits of the woman I am right now keep me from this (never mind what kind of woman I’m supposed to be) – gotta pick your battles you know.
The familiar craggy surfaces left their mark on my hands that had become soft. Too used to smooth surfaces and repetitive precision jumps. I forgot to listen, to play with the city.
The wall I used to climb was now boarded up on the other side. The plants above this wall had died – too much trash that was never cleared and it knew its days were numbered. Neglected. Overdosed on alcohol, cigarettes and sugary drinks.
As I sit atop the wall and mourn, two girls walk by and one catches my eye. I give her a mischievous grin, silently inviting her to try climbing the wall too.
I’ve been spending too much time thinking about me, worrying about whether I’m strong enough to do pull-ups and trying to work on building strength when I should be talking to the city, listening to its surfaces, breathing in its dreams.
Bare trees. Sculptures of winter.
Sunlight pushing out the cold.
Dark blue berries tangling my hair as I crawl past.
Whispering stories of resilience.
The ambiguous gender I perform gives me freedom – and I like it
Hot crunchy grey concrete layered with cool smooth marble.
A shiny skate scooter squeezes between Orpheus and Eurydice.
Annoyed at the bewildered, slow-moving lute player,
he jumps into highways and disappears.
The blip of a smartphone camera.
I emerge for air.
Sometimes, feeling like you’re falling is the only way to land
safely, on both feet.
‘I am the girl who ran and kept on running, who ran herself to the ground.’ (David Lane, FREE, 2014).
Blood red crevices, striated upon my back.
A dull throbbing bass pulls my legs down, taunting me to escape.
216 more minutes to sunrise.
Tears dissolve the incense dust as prayers take flight at Waterloo.
Sticky palms covered in concrete grey
no. it is just my sweat finding comfort in the dirt
knowing that it is where I will return one day.
But for now, let me #reimagineplaces.
This poem was written in response to a line from David Lane’s FREE (as seen above), during an amazing workshop with ADD Academy’s Ben Boeglin and Fagan Cheong, Laurent Piemontesi (who was in-residence at ADD Academy SG) and 10 participants from DADP at Singapore Poly.
Photo Credit: Bernie Ng
In response to ‘Gravity’:
‘Sooner or later, for each of us, gravity came calling to shackle our ankles and dreams. But, for a time, we were free’. (Jacob Sam-La Rose 2006: 22)
Awkward blue railings
black hands like tarred walkways.
to that time when we were free
transgresses the present.
Spinning in and out of…
leaping onto walls
a brick falls
as she hits the ground. she calls it a day
Gravity can shackle only that which has mass
reminding us that all things decay
and all architectural monuments
disintegrate with time.
We will be back to play…
Just push me with your littlest finger and
I’d shatter into bright splinters of white light.
George Sand stares at the pianola in ION shopping mall performing Chopin.
She traces the ghostly movements of the keys
remembering where his hands would…
I see green in the back of my throat
my insides keep turning, playing catch-up
with what I see and
where I want to be.
It only feels better when you close your eyes.
The higher you go the harder you fall – they all say.
Wonder Woman afraid to fly.
The invisible plane is a harness,
not a means to escape that glass ceiling.
One step in front of the other.
Light green leaves on dark brown branches
tickle my face.
Do not be tempted to rely on them for support.
Focus on feet.
Not accepting praise.
Or asking for recognition.
“It’s the team”, she says
She decides she’s gone high enough
And steps down.
A squirrel nimbly shows the path,
scampering leaps over uneven bark.
Blue sponge floors decorated with purplepinkgrey craggy stone rocks.
Can I trust myself to land precisely, turning slightly in mid-air?
Fear is rounded edges of a slide seen from a sunshine yellow slabs of concrete.
It’s not the distance or the height.
Legs feel leaden and inept.
Little rivets on a smooth round rail unbalance me.
My toes pay attention to grey craggy juddering.
One inch of a 2-metre wall taunts me.
Pink shattered glass on sombre remnants of a shelter that used to be.
Puddles make my shoes slip, my body tenses to compensate.
Taking one less step each time,
feet seeking familiar places.
White boundaries crossed out by silver slides.
Remembering when I had no fear of falling.
Stimulus: ‘But getting the wind kicked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air…your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal…’ (Sarah Kay, If I Should Have a Daughter)
Black cold fences with slippery rails.
Menacing guards to black shop fronts, black concrete black grating over sewers.
Dull gold tips pointedly dare you to trespass.
Falling into expected rhythms, the cop in my head says overcautious neighbours will report my playing as ‘suspicious behaviour’.
Green fuzzy weeds tickle me as I monkey crawl around jagged flower pots.
A marble bench with pig ears transforms into my shore, my lookout, my rooftop.
People stare though I’d like them not to. It’s setting off alarms (in my head) and I pretend to look at the menu of a Korean restaurant till they walk past. I’m slipping between worlds: stone grey pavement gives way like twisted ankles.
Unevenness and blind toes lead me to small yellow flowers.
Hope looks beautiful in the harshest environments.