Sunday, January 14, 2018

Shifting Gears

I find it difficult to write poems about sports. It took me a while to write this, and it is about one of my favourite sports, cycling. I used to do off-road riding during most weekends, but recently have cut down considerably. Firstly, there are no more off road tracks near my home (making way for high-rise homes for the people), the few trails that are left are far away. Then I have this little angioplasty operation. But that will not stop me from riding...

photo by dsnake1

Shifting Gears

The sun beats down on the bike track
that stretches before me
like a brown, sunburnt snake.

i check the meter on the MTB
and pedals off the start line,
knobby tires crunching gravel

the click of shifting gears
loud in the hot air,
forks eating up the bumps

provides scant comfort
to numb arms
clutching rattling bars,

dirt dug out in clumps
as the bike lurches and brakes.
a faint cloud of dust tags

like exhaust smoke
behind the rider,
muscles straining

the momentum carrying me
over humps, sand , fallen twigs
past wild flowering shrubs,

lightning blackened trees,
as crows overhead caw
in agitated flight

as i loop the course
to return
15 minutes something seconds,

to the shifting down of gears
the clicks lost
in bre a t h l e ss



"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels."

-- Heinz Stucke, traveler and long distance touring cyclist.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Sunday, December 31, 2017


Recently, I came across a video of a youth orchestra and choir. And in those young earnest faces, I wish to see the hopes of the coming year. Not a kid cradling a kalashnikov in some ruined town, or one begging for food in some urban slum. 2017's path has been lined with bramble and bracken. We fight beasts with puny weapons. Lies are taken as truths. This has been the terror of uncertain days. One more mistake. Just one more! The Pinball Machine tilts! And it is game over, no reset buttons, no credit slots.

Have a safe and peaceful 2018, friends!

digital drawing by dsnake1, with pencilmadness


the dawn light lands on my face and slides across the worn linoleum floor.



here's another preamble that's longer than the poem. :)

"Help me, Goddess, to be the always hopeful..."

-- dsnake1, prayer

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2017

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Monday, November 27, 2017

thank you for your love

if only we could just relive those moments...

photo by JessicaGale at

thank you for your love

it was andy lau on the hi-fi.
his mandarin was awful, i said.
he should stick to cantonese.
she was in the kitchen
slicing some mangos
deshelling some prawns
to go with the vodka
and blue curaco
that i have poured.
but the song's nice, she said.
beautiful love song.

and then we lit our cigarettes
ate our mangos and prawns
stood at our apartment window
lifted our glasses
of blue poison
to the golden sunset
that was spreading
into our house
and all the while
andy lau was on the hi-fi
singing about love.


"Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold"

-- Zelda Fitzgerald

She loved this song. I liked it too. We used to kill it on the karaoke :
谢谢你的爱 / Thank You for Your Love

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2017

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

beyond reason

“I'm afraid I can't explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

digital montage by dsnake1

beyond reason

damnit we did chop down a tree to get at its fruits

the other day i swing a sledgehammer to crush a fly
do you have to drop that bomb on hiroshima?
do you need a blowtorch to melt that snowflake?

the succubus dances and flirts in the neon night
meth peddlers holler your name in dim alleys
we are snakes, coiled and uncoiled, wary

but we were younger then, we live on air alone
the night is our lover and wears a cheap perfume
who are afraid of snakes in the weeds?

the pen looks at me, gives a finger and goes back to sleep
it does not want to speak of battles and love
we just like to do things this way, lots of drama


in the dark room 3 a.m. i wish for the rain to come
but instead it is a police cruiser, silent, no sirens
the blue red of its strobes flutter on the panes

damnit, do you need to call the cops because you can't sleep?

written    : 15/07/2014
extended : 19/12/2016

Yes, I am really not myself. You see, my desktop PC decided to quit on Chinese New Year's eve, and with it went a chunk of my poems and scans and photos. Arrg! what an idiot not to backup all the stuff. And man, it is the Lunar New Year, and that means a couple of weeks of spring cleaning, heavy spending , inadequate sleep and binge drinking.
Normally, I will write something nice for the new year. But, well. I am posting from a borrowed MacBook, so yeah, please bear with me. ☢

You will wonder did I make all that fire just to kill a snake?


from “Bombyonder” by Reb Livingston

This poem was inspired by the above lines from the Bibliomancy Oracle and the current crazy state of wold affairs. It can work in mind-altering ways.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2017

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Sunday, January 08, 2017

7 days (what i saw in the neighbourhood)

How to start a New Year post? Oh, about a week of shenanigans in the neighbourhood, and some colloquialism thrown in. 😎

What! New Year was last week?

digital collage by dsnake1

7 days (what i saw in the neighbourhood)


Friday Nov 27

only this empty greasy table
noodles i must have today
bak chor mee will do nicely
no cake, never mind.
mother said so


Monday Nov 30

girl in the bus frowns
thought i was staring at her.
great legs though.


Saturday Dec 5

glossy brochure, 2 storey house in JB 1180 sq feet
my malaysian friend pointed out, very cheap
RM330K only

where the fuck do i get RM330K?
how much you paid for your singapore pigeonhole then?


Sunday Dec 13

hey auntie, your dog shits anyhow anywhere
ought to clean after, i wanted to tell her
but her face like her pug's.


Wednesday Dec 16

does anyone still dial 1711, friend asks
check time lah
crossing carpark, saw car with plate 1711
a sign! a hint!
buy the number on 4D, same day, zilch.


thursday Dec 24

a pair of sloopy looking papier mache reindeer
at mall entrance.
small kid looks at it and walks away.

only a drenched plastic santa
in the rain.
diners chatting at coffee shop


Tuesday Dec 29

on way to lunch same JB friend observes, before elections your gahmen give you one chicken drumstick to shiok shiok. after elections, they take back whole chicken. hahaha!
dammit, he may have a point.
shall we have chicken rice, Ken?

various days, 2016

For you folks out there who are lost with some of the language :

bak chor mee - minced pork noodles, a staple in Singapore's hawker centres.
JB - Johor Bahru, the Malaysian city nearest to Singapore
RM - Malaysian Ringgit, the currency of Malaysia
4D - Our local numbers lottery, of 4 digits
lah - a slang word, an interjection commonly used in here and Malaysia to complement almost any sentence in a social conversation.
gahmen - Our Singlish way of saying "government", usually as a cynical or sarcastic usage. popular in internet chat.
shiok - Usually used as an expression to convey pleasure or excitement.

still not sure, just google them lah.

boy : Dino!
cat : meow!!
nice to know that the community cat has a name.

(this makes it the 8th day?)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2017

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Saturday, December 31, 2016


It has been quite a bleary year, but still kind.

image by dsnake1, done with Sketchpad 4.0


as footprints in the sand
that will be erased by the tides
so do the past years go

and do we appreciate we lived
a little longer
by a leap second?

we do make very strange decisions as a collective
so the guns are no more silent as last year's
the princess of the galaxy is gone
we do fear the ceiling falling
the want ads are ambiguous
there is no more beer
in the fridge

but let us not be anchored down
by fear and apathy
fear of the other
fear of the unknown
we will live
for the tomorrow
for the sunlight
for the ones we cared.
deep roots do not fear frost


Happy New Year, dear readers! May the new year be healthy and kind and cheerful. 😁

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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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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