SILENCE

 

Silence
Hollows the reed
For
The wind’s song

Silence
Tunes the heartstrings
For
The story

Silence
Readies the self
For
The embrace

RECONCILIATION

 

Our bruises
 

Red and purple

Black and brown

Forgotten

Forgiven

Forgiving

We run through green padi

Our cheeks meet

Pink and rosy

Under watchful clusters of dragon eyes

Our fire crackles

Orange and gold

AFTER LAST NIGHT

 

I'd sip some now!

Lingering Xinjiang Summer,

roses and raisins,

saffron

soaking

last night's tea

Should it matter?

Midnight flyers,

dawn crawlers

are drowning

Drunk in their share.

WOMEN IN MEN'S ROOMS

In my grandmother's house, we knew what was what and who belonged where.

The bedroom was my grandmother's. Although she shared it with my grandfather, the legal owner of the house, there were only two signs of his occupancy in the room. The first was a wooden clothes stand on which a freshly laundered bajut tutup was hung each day. The second was a commode which smelt faintly sour. The rest of the room was pure Mama - the large double bed dressed in monogrammed linen; the teak dressing table with tiered shelves, hinged side-panelled mirrors, and drawers filled with her kerosangs and what seemed like a life time's supply of Penang rice powder; the pervasive Mama smell of wintergreen and 4711 eau-de-cologne. Even the armoire contained no hint of my grandfather's occupancy. When one opened its doors too quickly, it was her collection of kebayas, sarongs and bead shoes that fell out. To this day, I have no idea where my grandfather kept his clothes.

Other areas belong to my grandmother were ...