Archived entries for poetry and prose

Non-rhyming verse

What is this thing called love?What is it about rhyme and rhythm which makes it stick in our minds so much more than poetry that doesn’t? Maybe the human mind is nothing if not a glorified pattern matching machine…

Here’s an as-yet-untitled poem from my archives, that doesn’t rhyme:

What is this thing in my mind
That permeates all my thoughts?

What is this thing in my heart
That makes it hurt when you’re not around?

What is this thing in my eye
That sparkles when I’m looking at you?

What is this thing in my soul
That rips open my emotions and betrays them to you?

What is this thing, and where did it come from?

A chance encounter

A poem inspired by the title of a painting (pictured, right) by my very talented young friend Lingsi. The piece won the “painting” category in the Imagine ’05 competition. The poem is dedicated to my wife, Jenny.


While watching workers passing by,
I saw a man without a tie.
“What right have you sir, if I may,
To be so naked in this way?

“Wherefore do you smile and grin,
So gay of step and high of chin.
When others ’round you, drab and grey,
Look down upon you in dismay?”

Accosted thus, he raised his palm,
Responding with a gentle calm:
“I’m sorry that my dress offends,
But what care I for fashion trends?

“My countenance displays to you
Most truthfully my every mood.
It speaks more than a tie could do,
Regardless of the stripe or hue.”

“But kind sir,” I interject,
“Have you so little self-respect?
So candidly you bare your heart,
And make known all your inner parts.

“Oh, that I could be blasé,
If all my thoughts were on display;
Won’t letting others see your mind,
Give rein for them to be unkind?”

“Answers I have few, dear miss,
But as you fret just ponder this:
I have faith in God above,
And put my hope in truth and love.

“Where I go, I do not dread,
I trust the ground on which I tread.
And whom I meet I will not hate;
Why more enmity create?”

I weighed his words and found them just,
His earnestness I longed to trust.
We spoke ’til late into the night,
Of many things both grave and light.

Then I: “‘fore day’s first rays are cast,
Please let me tell you of my past.
This hatred self so full of sin,
That joy stays out and pain stays in.

“How could you love one such as me?
Quite crazy you would have to be,
That you would know my deepest shame,
Still from my eyes each teardrop claim.”

He: “Let your eye be unimpaired,
Remain courageous, don’t be scared.
Let not your handsome face be marred,
No matter how your heart is scarred.

“I see why you your past disdain,
But count it not on you a stain.
Let sunlight pierce your clouded soul,
And take back what the darkness stole.”

Seeing the candour in his eyes,
I finally purged my own disguise.
And in my nakedness I saw,
That which I’d missed the day before.

No more ties or skirts or shoes,
Not greens nor greys nor browns nor blues.
Just various people black and white,
Trying to tell what’s wrong from right.

Then he took my hand in his,
And softly in my ear he said:
“Let your heart and mind be free,
And meet me in my reverie.”

So Wong it’s write

A snapped pencilI love words and working with words – the enduring nature of this blog stands testament to the desire of the words to escape from my head in some form. Ideas pop into my head quite frequently, so having something to say is not a problem, it’s turning these ideas from a concept into a finished product within a reasonable amount of time that I struggle with.

Take this entry for example. I started writing it more than a year ago, after reading an interview with Stephanie Meyer, the author of the book Twilight. The article spoke about how the catalyst for the first book was her status as a stay-at-home mother, a situation which gave her the freedom to write, and keep writing, as soon as the idea occurred to her in a dream. Oh, to have such luxury! The writing process makes the relationship between time and space so clear: writing with limited time is like trying to act in a limited space – maybe like how a tennis player would feel playing squash. Everything is faster, closer, more intense.

I’m working on a poem, which I hope to finish and publish soon (possibly my next entry here, the rate at which I post…), but my worry is that people will dismiss it as a trifle. They can hate it all they like – deride the subject matter, disagree with the sentiment, criticise the format… that wouldn’t upset me as much as if they thought I had cobbled it together with minimal thought and effort like I might have done on other occasions. This one was a hard slog… each word meticulously chosen, each line painfully scrutinised for both meaning and meter, and each stanza weighed against its neighbours to ensure balance. Despite this, the end result will simply be a single, insignificant mote in the vastness of cyberspace, resulting in neither fame nor fortune.

Hence I salute you, fellow authors and poets.

One of the important questions in life answered

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. But if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

(Caesar’s made up additions)

He picked a peck, then pecked the pick,
He pecked the lot, wow what a prick! (excuse my French)
All of the peppers, that Peter did nick
That Peter Piper,
The nicker of peppers
Pecker of what’s nicked
No trickier nicker
Did ever exist
So Peter Piper nicked the pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked!

Frontpaged and credited!

Exploding toaster ovenHooray! My writing exploits continue in their relentless march to bring me ever closer to fame (but unfortunately, not fortune). My short essay “My toaster exploded” is today’s feature on David Chin’s (direct link here).

Luckily, nobody seems to have discovered the “plot holes” in my accompanying essay, eg. if I got out my digicam to take the pictures after dinner, then why are the rissoles still in the toaster? :P

(Edit: oops, I just realised that in addition to the spelling mistakes, typos, bad plot and everything else, I got the brand of the oven wrong too! It’s a Ronson. Erk.)

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