Treasure

A depressed teenager, I was, and insomniac. People came and went like whirlwind on a daily basis which left me dizzy and confused. Music and books were my true friends.

I must have been fourteen or fifteen when I started to write poetry. I produced two poetry collections with themes in love and nature. They were more like scrapbooks filled with hand scribbles, doodles and glued on magazine cut-outs. They were the treasure of my teens, and probably the only treasure I proudly claimed mine.

I had a pen friend, yes, a pen friend. Strong and I shared a common interest in poetry. We had written to each other for over three years. We got to exchange our favourite pieces of own poetry. After so many years, he still kept my correspondence. I am grateful to him because he preserved a few pieces of my poetry from early days.

You may wonder what about those two collections. Well, this is what this short writing about. Be careful where you leave your treasure and who you trust.

My buddy Bupa and I were very close. We talked on the phone for hours every day.  We talked about anything but nothing. In hindsight, they were mostly harmless banter but also completely time wasting. It seemed to me at that time of my lonely years, Bupa was my only trusted friend. When I decided to come to Australia to start a new life, I asked Bupa to keep my two poetry collections for me under lock and key until I returned. He didn’t say no. That was summer in 1998.

In 2014, I finally met up with Bupa and asked him to return my two collections. He told me he didn’t have them anymore. He threw them away because of fear of his wife’s jealousy. I was beyond shocked. The painful realisation of the little worth of our friendship had a secondary effect to the loss of my treasure, the loss of part of me.

In 2018, by blessing I reconnected with my pen friend Strong via social media. He took photos of the poems I sent along in letters to him. That’s how I managed to reunite with my teenage self through those poetry.

Trusting someone who are not trust worthy is a lesson for me to learn.

This short piece has been stewing in my mind for a while. I wanted to be a meaningful piece so I procrastinated. Now I wrote it, it is like a weight off my shoulders. I didn’t realise it bothered me so much. Now this is history, done and dusted.

Here are the English translation for the preserved early pieces:

Mirage

Wishful

The Appointment

Pondering

Unsettled

Fragile

Perilous

Sweater

 

 

Ash – The Friendship Collection

I see you everywhere
I am afraid to look too close, too intently
you may evaporate from my thinning mind

I paid attention to the Guinness beer at the bar
I heard your say
“come on love, let’s have a fag outside”

I saw you run topless along Mona Vale beach
Your laughter was a string of bells
sent a sense of peace in the midst of roaring waves

I fixed my eyes to you in the powder room
you straightened the black laced body sliming coset
touched up your flaming red lipstick

I dared not to approach
You might swirl up in the cigarette smoke
You might disappear into the cloud
You might walk back into the dressing mirror

I still see you everywhere
I try not to look too close, too intently
then you may stay a little longer in my memory

 

 

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Vizzane – The Friendship Collection

You said your life was filled with farewells
Whenever you met a kindred spirit
they left before your smile settled

I left without saying goodbye
You must have pretended that I went solo sailing
You checked on the anniversary
and thought
the sea must have been a bit too rough that year

When I appeared like the sudden rain
You brought out beers to celebrate
the trophy of safe home coming

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We Share the Moon

When I sit alone
under the pastel moonlight
I imagine you sitting in solitude
sighing into the cosmic night sky

How many battles have you fought
How many dreams have passed you by

I stretch out my arms
in rolled up sleeves
trying to catch as many wishes
you shout to the universe
as my heart is able to contain
turn them into prayers
lighting up the dying dreams
of a warrior

 

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash.com

 

A Good Friend

Having a good friend
is like
having a timer
when boiling eggs.

It reins in distraction,
prevents my heart from hardening,
stops me collapsing in the heap,
and maintains my sense of decency.

– dedicated to Niks

In your presence

If I am sure of
the warmth of the sun on my skin,
raindrops on my lashes,
echoes of my voice….
then I am sure of

you came through dreams to my reality.

Kylie – The Friendship Collection

whenever I meet a psychologist
I feel uneasey about being psychoanalysed
especially you do that to inmates
I was on my best behaviour
until you cracked jokes
and shared about your missionary trip

sharing the same birthday
is no coincidence
you are the impeccable psycho psych
I am the airy fairy day dreamer
there is nothing we hide from each other
over 2 glasses of wine