Sunday, November 27, 2016

if we can come this far

It was not to be, but what if? And Time is a tough herder...

photo by dsnake1

if we can come this far

if we can
come this far

will time
forgive us

grasp tightly
what's left

what tender moments
can we salvage

like a scratchy reel
of film

a scent
a word

hold in our hearts
no dementia

no demons
can pry free

written 10.01.2009
revised 13.08.2012

Today is my birthday, & i am glad i can write about it.

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Shared on Poetry Pantry #330 at Poets United.

Song of the moment : Lady of Dreams by Kitaro and Jon Anderson.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

There must be wars being fought out there

This is a poem that was accepted and published in an online poetry magazine, The Sidewalk's End, a decade back. It was one of the first few poems I submitted for ezines. I am quite fond of this poem, maybe it speaks to me in a certain way.

photo by mzacha at

There must be wars being fought out there

After dinner, we sat on the verandah outside our bunks
smoking, soaking the breeze
watching the day going down over our camp.

The perimeter was just metres away
and through the chain-link fence, the rusted concertina
sometimes we see iguanas, monitors and wild dogs.

Today we saw the snipers on night exercise again
getting down from their unimogs
cradling their night gear & sniping rifles.

We waved at them, they sulked at us,
poor bastards, they are going to feed mosquitoes
and then they were gone, into the jungle, like ghosts.

My buddy leaned off the weathered planks
stretched his limbs like a yoga master
shouted fuck it! & lit another cigarette.

I wasn't sure what pissed him off
maybe the snipers, maybe the insects buzzing around us
or he was just thinking about his run-out date.

As if to offer moral support i said yeah fuck it
leaned back and took another cigarette from him
thinking it will be another humid night again.

The frogs and crickets are up and singing their songs
as the darkness descended over us
like a mailed fist.

I looked past the faint slice of moon
past the constellations, through the light years and
thought surely there must be wars being fought out there.


"What he meant, of course, was that there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that, too.
And even if wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Shared on Poetry Pantry #328 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, November 06, 2016


Some days are worse than Mondays. Especially if you think the world is out to get you...

photo by pedrojperez at


some days the sun is a magnesium flare
the people in the streets wipe sweat
off their noses, seeking shadows
to hide in, this town, and you
expect the walls and roads
to crumble and collapse.
you duck into a cafe
hoping there's cash
left in the pockets
for a set lunch.
you are surprised
the air-con is cold
the tiles clean, spotless
the clientele polite, making
just small noises, forks poking
at plates, you take the day's papers
the headlines, the black ink staring back

Paris Peace Talks Stalled
North Vietnamese negotiators walk out.

who cares about U.S. air raids when you just
want to look for the jobs vacant pages?
and then the girl brings you your food
she is plump, her hair tied in a bun
her thighs in a short short skirt
ravishingly creamy, fiery sexy
and you really thought of
making hot love to her
and outside the sun
just screams and
shines blindly
an exploding

ball of


"and all i could do was
sweat out the summer,
dripping with rage
while the days ran hot
and the rain trees bled
dead brown leaves,"

-- dsnake1, peace

Shared on Poetry Pantry #327 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday is not a good day to write poetry

Poetry Pantry, you can clobber me if you like.

image by dsnake1, done with Sketchpad

Sunday is not a good day to write poetry

Sunday is not a good day to write poetry,
because if you need to work (like i do),
the day is white-washed, you reach home frayed,
you think of food, and bed, and not poetry
(unless the muse sympathizes with you).

And if you need not work, you want to play,
suddenly the day flaps by very quickly,
(remember, there's always not enough time for fun)
unless the muse tags along, which is unlikely,
you may have a couple of lines, or stanzas
about your great BBQ party, or that hike in the hills,


Sunday is not a good day to write poetry.


Ah, some gibberish from my NapoWriMo archives. This coming Thursday, I will be on a course, some tech stuff (imagine me trying to stay awake), so Thursday is not a good day to write poetry too.

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

Shared on Poetry Pantry #325 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, October 09, 2016


Another from my SingPoWriMo archives, which seldom have many eyeballs. Reminiscing about my army days. This is one of those poems that "wrote itself". The muse kindly took my hand and glided it over the paper. Sigh.

photo by dsnake1


returning back
to camp
from the hills,
no one noticed
daylight had broken,
the toads
had stopped croaking,
our muddy boots,
our rifles rusting
from last night's rain
the grass,
green and
slick with dew.


"as the black shell of a sky fell on us
my comrades, my brothers
my thoughts, their thoughts we tumbled towards

-- dsnake1, excerpts from lonely when away from home

Shared on Poetry Pantry #323 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, October 02, 2016


At first the grief refuses to go away, you wear it like a coat. But it will go away. All you need is the space, and time...

drawing by dsnake1, done with Sketchpad 4.0


is the house too big now, for myself?
i come home switches on the old tv
there's something on the tube but

i am not sure what it was all about.

the hall is all quiet now. where are
the murdered songs, the off-key crooning,
the hi-fi begging for a rest?

i see the dust motes in the evening light
settling on the unwashed mugs in the sink
i light a joss stick to you,

your name on the altar
the incense smoke curling
like a hesitant hand wave.

i pop a beer, we used to love it,
but now the taste is bitter.
i stare at the words on the label

the house is too big now,
even the shadows seem longer
and the tv mocks in static

but i still need some more space.
                                more time

a moth flies in from the storm-
i watch it
still on the ceiling.


Between you & me, they should give
us less space.


from “Excuse the Strange Spacing” by Florencia Varela

This poem was inspired by the above lines from the Bibliomancy Oracle. It can work in heart-breaking ways.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #322  at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Why Write Poetry?

I wrote this piece and posted on this blog somewhere in 2005. Somehow, I think it is still relevant today as it was then.

Yes, you can say this post is partly inspired by Rosemary Nissen-Wades's excellent article at Poet's United.

photo by dsnake1

Why Write Poetry?

Why write poetry? Poetry don't sell, nobody reads them. Don't bet on that, but that's not the point. People write poetry because they love to. Just like you love a beer.

An author, I think it was Stephen King, once said that you are like an opened carton of milk in the fridge. You take on whatever flavour is beside you. But like he said, an author shouldn't just be that carton of milk. Yes, you absorb the flavours, it gives you different tastes, but you have to try to find your own voice.

My nephew once asked me about the secret of good writing. I told him there's really no secret. He looked surprised when I told him to read. And write. Lots of it. True, the two go hand in hand. It's like a guy wanting to win a marathon but having no time to do practice runs.

So go read anything you can lay your hands on, your thick reference books, the great SF masters, the Nobel laureates, pulp fiction, manga, your child's bedtime story books, the papers. And then go write some poetry. In your journals, sketchbooks, Moleskines, A4 papers, your blogs. And it will become your lifelong companion and friend.

I write poetry simply because I love to.

written 02/10/2005
revised 18/09/2016

"Those who read poetry do so for pleasure, for insight, sometimes for counsel. The least they can expect is that the poet who shares his visions and experiences with them do so with no hypocrisy. To compromise poetry through fear is to atrophy the psyche. To compromise poetry through expediency is the soft, small murder of the soul..."

--Lenore Kendel (1932 - 2009), "poetry is never compromise",

Shared on Poetry Pantry #320 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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