Toys

There was no concept of toys in my childhood.
For fun,
I trapped cicadas and fireflies,
caught dragonflies and tadpoles,
grew silkworms and hatched eggs,
made kites and kaleidoscopes,
slid down banana trees and swam in streams.

I had a 14-key toy piano in middle childhood.
I played Auld Lang Syne and
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The Barbie I had was in adolescence.
My father took a bicycle ride
with me on the back seat.
He saved 12 packs of smoke to
spend on a Barbie for me.
I was thirteen.

I made Barbie a studio apartment
with shoe box, handkerchief,
match boxes and play dough.
Two AAA batteries, an electric wire
and a light bulb in an old pill box
made Barbie her reading lamp.
I took pleasure in hand sewing
all Barbie’s dresses.
The favoirite gown was made from
cellophane lolly wrappers.

Wherever I go, I take these
wonderful memories and
treasures with me.

Childhood memory

my memory of school holidays
are of the farm life

the rooster crowed at daybreak on roof top
careless with the chimney smoke

the forest green tea plantations
dazzled in the spring rain

early summer crickets sang
amidst the bamboo bushes

village children’s twinkling eyes
fixed on pebble stones roast chestnuts

burning charcoals snuggled in the terracotta bowl
covered by a hand knitted bamboo basket

the card games and craft
under the kerosene lamps

firewood smoke and wet soil smells
connected me to my childhood
through the time tunnel
decorated with fireflies

Vision of you

I saw you
I saw the boy in you
full of love for the world and
the people in it

I saw you
I saw the boy in you fell off
over and over again with
no one dusting you off

I saw you
I saw the boy in you sobbing for
the unheard words
and unfelt love

I saw you
I saw the boy in you trapped in
a shattered glass heart
bleeding into glimpse of hope

I saw you
I saw the boy in you
puffy cheeks and a million dollar grin
fading away in a politically correct world

I saw you
I saw the boy in you
a pure and innocent soul could not be unseen
Truly I saw YOU

The bitter root

I love this city in dark silence

The vibrant and intellectual day fades into alluring artistic night scene

The hills lay off a man’s duty by day

The boy in me leaped out walking the streets

The songs came again from the car radio afar

My lips were chanting the familiar melodies my father once loved

I tilted my head up towards the moonlight

Holding the rolling tears in the well of my eyes

Big boys don’t cry!

Perhaps it’s the invitation of the blood moon night,

the open arms of the January assertive silence

I let out the forbidden wailing

Anguish to the lies, to the betrayal, to the abandonment

The boy in me were fueled by rawness of hurt

My howling to the moonlight returned needles on my skull

I grew in rage

Forcefully a man rose to stand tall

Declared vows and judgements

only God will break

The girl in the wardrobe

The sound of the wardrobe door closes is the best sound in the whole wide world. The wardrobe is like a hedger keeps the outside noise away. Mum’s endless sighing, sometimes sobbing…Dad’s jokes which only his drunk friends would laugh and his limited praising phases: that’s my girl… you are smarter than me and your mum tally up, or just shouting:” what the fuck is wrong with the internet now….fuck the copper WiFi shit…..”

Before we moved into this house, I had to screen out these noises by playing music in hip hop, house, trap genres with my earphones on. I felt my hearing was declining. My school friends told me I couldn’t hear them most of the time. I had headaches sometimes because so much noise.

This house is great, it is only a rental, but it is heaps better than the house we had before, solely for this full length wardrobe. It smells timber and feels grainy. When I close the door, it muffles a bit, but it is so quiet. I finally remove the earphones and stop playing the music. I read, write, draw and play on my tablet.

Winter vocation is coming. I am so excited because I can spend more time tuck away in the wardrobe. I have prepared a blanket and a cushion so I can even take my nap in this world of mine. Oh I also pulled out the reading lamp from the storage. It’s one of those rechargeable lamps with a clipping end. I envision myself reading under the warm light after diner in a cold winter evening.

The trashy TV sound, the storm created by human beings, the agony caused by unhappy marriage and unemployment, are all shut out by this squeaky timber wardrobe door. That is how my childhood will be preserved. I am determined that as long as I have my sanctuary in this wardrobe, I will grow up to be happy.