Let’s meet at the Blue Jay
Down the memory lane
Of high school days

Treat me a sorbet trio
Magenta, lime and lemon
Cool the after taste of
Of our bubble gum kiss

In those days
Evenings always came too early
There was no contact after six
Only your smile filled my journal pages

Do you remember
I bet you don’t
On a bed all tubed up
Obliviate to my existence
One of the scrubs
Attending to jumpstart
Your failing heartbeat

Moonlit Streets

memories are like sepia footprints trailing off
on those time polished cobblestone streets

lovers met by the bronze tiered fountain
leaning into the pool of silver moonlight
as the water cascading down
like a mermaid dress

she managed to shy away from his loving gaze
but the orange moon hung on the inky sky
turned her burning cheeks into a charred smile
left her pearly teeth echo the downpour of moonbeams

how many raw passion first kisses
how many lovers’ embrace
how many heartbreak stories
witnessed by the moonlit streets

Thoughts on Old Photos I

Why do you love
wandering along the beach?
Don’t you fear
the harsh wind
and blistering sun
rob you off your youth?

I hide
in the sea shells by day
and wear
the stars by night.
The ocean
keeps me vigourous
and she leads me
to wondrous bliss.

Photographed by Joe Femia

Once existed

Would you remember
I once was the wren
sang by your window sill
to cheer you up
in those depressive
teenager years

Would you remember
I once was the misty rain
so effortlessly blanketed your face
in your early morning strolls

Would you remember
I once was your go-to place
took in all your sadness and insecurity
in your alone nights

Would you remember
woukd you remember
I once existed
in your life
as sweet as the incense fragrance
as brief as the brushing wind
as faithful as the knight

Would you remember

Honest and hard earned

A farm girl decided to survive in a big city.
She tried all decent work to bring in income
to pay for their daughter’s education,
so she would not need to follow her footsteps.

She sold rubber sandals in the market.
She mixed cement, dug trenches
and laid bricks on construction sites.

She is 5 feet tall in sun tanned skin.
She rode on a 28 inch wheel bicycle
carrying an ice box filled with ice blocks.
She waited outside her daughter’s school
in many scorching summer afternoons.
Children swamped out the school gate
at the sound of the bell.
That was the best time of her sales.
Children were reaching their hands high
to pay for the ice blocks.
It looked like a vigorous bidding scene.

She barely kept up to collect the coins
while giving out the ice blocks.
Yet her eyes always spotted her little girl
once she appeared outside the school gate.
She reached into the bottom right corner of the ice box
to retrieve the special perfectly frozen vanilla ice block,
handing it to her daughter standing on the sideline.
She never kept any eye contact though,
for the fear of the children would laugh at
her little girl has a mother working as a petty street vendor.

She received great education opportunities
from her mother’s hard labour and vision.
Every time she sucks on a vanilla ice block,
her mother’s sun tanned forehead
soaked with hot summer sweat
comes into her mind.
The melting ice block,
her melting heart,
shows up as streams of tears
she is too proud to hold back.

– dedicated to my mother

Nads – The Friendship Collection

fishnet stockings, denim skirt,
checkered shirt and an enthusiastic smile
wherever she goes she takes a fun house with her
others are living the life
she is life itself

on a park bench we lazed about to share
vino rosso e formaggio
watching the blanket of flying foxes take off
to forage for food at dusk
she converted me to a Sydneysider


time passed
memory faded

we met
we played
we dated
we parted

never fought
never clashed
never debated
never communicated

no sad goodbyes
no turning back
no once more
no foever ever

time passes
memory blurs


walking on the pale sandy beach
spotting treasures in the sparkling sun
enough to whisk away the pensive mind

submerging in such shimmer
daydreaming the clouds to be
a motion picture of happy memories

until the edge of a rock or
a broke shell
cutting underneath her foot

the clouds turn into a violent swirl
brown bleeding out into the muted sand
from a place of torment

empty drink bottles
a monster broken capillary face
wild eyes flaming
savage shaking of a slim form

empty promises
an innocent blood drained cheeks
fearful stare vacating
prey falling off an arrow

how many times those cuts
drove her to the dark shadow
ignoring the brightly shining sun

gossamer waves reflecting off the water
old blood fading away into the saline foam
like the broken shells
in mock dismay

Don’t bring me flowers…

I often don’t understand why people love receiving flowers, especially a bunch of freshly cut flowers.

As somewhat a practical person, I much prefer a vegetable bunch, beautiful colour mix, thriving and ready to be consumed.

You may say that’s extreme. Ok then, let’s meet half way. How about pot plants or potted flowers in lieu of the freshly cut flowers? Don’t you think flowers belong to the garden beds? They look so at home and divine in their natural nursery.

I have had that preference for years, not remembering when did I actually start such weird preference.

Recently I traced back the times I did receive flowers. Sure enough, I finally realised the ‘Why’.

Firstly, in the second year I moved from Guangzhou to Sydney. I answered the door bell. There was Currier service delivery for me. After signing the receipt, I opened the box. There were a bunch of long stem red roses lying in the box. They didn’t make it all the way from Guangzhou to Sydney. They lain in the box, withered, lifeless. I counted there were 11 long stem red roses. I didn’t take them out of the box. I didn’t feel right to disturb them. I put the lid of the box back, neatly tied the ribbon again. It was like a burial. The 11 long stem red roses just lain in their coffin. The bundle of breakup.

Secondly, it was at the airport, I was greeted with a bunch of vibrant colour flowers. It was somewhat a surprise, at the same time, the dread feeling made my inside turned. What I discovered later prove my dread. The bundle of apology.

Lastly, I was at work. The office was busy as usual. I had a meeting out. When I returned, I was told there were flowers delivered to me. My heart sank. I reached the flowers, before I looked at the blooms, I read the card attaching to the bunch. I called the person who sent me the flowers, just in time to catch him out of another suicide attempt. The bundle of farewell.

There was grief relating to the receiving of these bunches of freshly cut flowers. The beautiful blooms, the fragrance, the artistic composition remind me of the tragedy moments in life.

The comfort is there are alternatives, be the bunch of fresh vegetables, be the potted flowers, or at its best, leave the blooms in the garden bed where there is life and pleasure to the viewers.

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib