Exit

She turned,
Just in time
To meet his eyes.

Teardrops
Could have been
Visible yet.

Childhood
Memories
Cheered hauntingly.

Bath play,
Piggyback,
Merry-go-round.

Funny
How they seemed
So yesterday.

This love
Was shared with
Much abhorrence.

But still,
She won’t trade
Anything else.

The roots
Had dug deep
In the muscles.

When cut,
They hurt with
Shameless muteness.

Lord Time
Had decreed
Their destiny.

Depart,
Both shall do
Both shall remain.

No words,
No cuddle,
And no secrets.

The eyes
Could just scream,
“I love you much!”

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Published in: on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 11:27 pm  Comments (1)  
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perhaps white?

you tell me.

you see, my wife and i had always wanted our little girl to quit being pacified by the pacifier just before sleeptime. as much as we tried, we just couldn’t get her to do it. but we did know that at her nanny’s place, Faith could sleep without the pacifier for she had bitten the teat into two pieces some months ago. so we thought we could do something to tarnish the reputation of the pacifier. one evening at bedtime, we told her that the pacifier was being bitten by a cockroach, a creature she very much fears. since then, she never sees or wants to see the pacifier.

are we guilty of misleading?

Published in: on Saturday, December 22, 2007 at 2:10 am  Comments (3)  
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Jenny

The trees and flowers
The lake and swans
Even Monet
Would have trouble
Painting these

Sitting on the bench
Staring into spaces
Jenny’s wrinkles
Display trains of thoughts
And experiences abound

A-ma! It’s time to go home!
Her grandchildren voice
Go away! I still want to admire this beauty!
She retorts

Char Kway Teow and Kopi-o
Nasi Lemak and Laksa
Surely food paradise here
Is better than
Heaven above

Chewing with the chopsticks
Gulping down the caffeine
Jenny’s appetite
Could’ve put Bourdain
To shame by miles

Ma! It’s time to go home!
Her children voice
Go away! I still want to taste God’s goodness!
She retorts

Teresa and Sok Hong
Fatimah and Ah-pek
Friends that loved
Neighbours that cared
Only memory remains

Standing at the doors
Looking down the lanes
Jenny’s busy mind
Constantly searching for
The distant recollections

Girl! It’s time to go home!
Her parents voice
Go away! I still want to reminiscent the past!
She retorts

The jade and the gold
The hanky and the panky
It would be difficult
For anyone
To grind them to pieces

Lying on the wooden bed
Tearing at counts of blessings
Jenny’s whole being
Is overwhelmed
With familiar emotions

Jenny! It’s time to go home!
Her husband voices
Yes, Dear! I am going home now.
She relents

The peace and comfort
The joy that lasts
Absolutely no one now
Could stop her
From going home

Closing the eyes
Shutting the breaths
Jenny’s soul
Is finally taken away
By her loved ones gone ahead

Published in: on Friday, December 7, 2007 at 10:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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Holly’s Wood

The seed came into her hands and went straight into the mud. Mum said it would grow into a fine tree, and Holly believed her.

So day after day, she would religiously shower a great abundance of water and everlasting love, knowing the seed would grow into the fine tree Mum told her. Water from the canister and love from her lips.

Days turned to weeks; weeks turned to months; and months turned to years. And the seed never grew. Even before Mum passed on in bed that day, she told Holly not to give it up, and that the seed would grow into a fine tree. So she never once relented and kept on in faith what she had been doing over the years. Water from the canister and love from her lips. Years turned to decades; and decades turned to…well…not quite centuries yet. And the seed never grew.

One fine day, Holly came up to me and asked, “Do you believe what Mum had said?” In all honesty, I never once believed, not just because Mum was a great liar, but also, she was a greater mother who would give anything to ensure that my down syndrome sister feel important and useful in this world. “Your purpose in life is to keep that seed growing,” she told Holly.

I looked at her and saw Mum’s image on her wrinkled skin. Seventy years. She had showered the seed with water from the canister and love from her lips for seventy years. Could I just squash her hope with the cold hard truth?

“Yes,” I struggled in uttering that word. She smiled and held my hand, saying, “Me too.”

It was morning when I said, “Take me there.” Holly pushed me to the very spot where she had spent seven decades kneeling and watering. I told her I had a surprise for her and that she had to close her eyes. She giggled and closed her eyes behind those thick glasses. I prayed silently, “God, help me.” I told her to open her eyes which she did almost immediately.

“Look at the tree in front of us. Mum’s right. The seed has grown into a fine tree,” I said, as we both stared at God’s wonderful creation in awe, admiring the beauty in all its glory. I held my sister’s hand tight and breathed my last breath……and Holly lived with her wood happily ever after.

Published in: on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 11:59 pm  Comments (12)  
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Be Nice

Jennifer and I took Faith to the cinema to watch “Bee Movie“, something we had promised our little girl who is slowly but definitely growing into a big girl. Before we bought the tickets, a young man came to us and offered to buy us the tickets at a discounted price. The usual price for one ticket was $7. But he had a member’s privilege card which could get us one ticket for $5.

Like any ordinary Singaporean, we were skeptical about this. Was this man trying to hoodwink us into something scheming? Why was he so nice to us? He didn’t really push it, but I thanked him and went along with it. He used his card to buy us two tickets at $10. We thanked him again and looked at each other, still questioning his motive.

Minutes later, we met him at the food court. I thanked him again and told him honestly that we were doubting him. He said there were others who did not believe him and refused his offer. I told him perhaps this is a “Singaporean” thing – we are not nice to people and we don’t believe that people can be nice. As I reflect on this incident, I feel ashamed when I think of times when I choose not to be nice to people, and worse still, I doubt people who are nice. The scant consolation could be that there are probably others out there who behave like me.

Well, I have been nice to people the last few years, but believing in people who are nice is something I’m still learning to do. Anyway, I offered to buy Fred (he told me later) a cup of tea. He accepted my offer, but had to rush off for his movie. It was a pity that I could not get hold of his number, for I think he really is a nice guy.

Anyway, “Bee Movie” is strictly not suitable for young children because most of them will probably not understand the jokes in the show. My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter said she enjoyed the show. I believed her. And I think she is falling sick. Have to observe her closely.

After passing my exam papers, I’m left with one more next week. Then, I will embark on a new journey.

My pupils’ PSLE results will be released tomorrow. I’m excited, and I believe my pupils’ feelings and emotions are stronger. Keeping all our fingers crossed.

By the way, I’ve finally got my hands on “A Half Life of One” by brilliant Bill, and he is a nice bloke. Looking forward to devouring his words this December.

Published in: on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:50 pm  Comments (5)  
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pray with us

bad news from a former colleague and a friend last week. her two-year-old son was admitted to hospital due to an extremely weak heart. he is still in ICU now. prior to yesterday, he was supported by an artificial heart. now waiting for his heart to respond without support. he has since shown signs of strength to pull through.

it has been a traumatic experience for both parents who have an elder daughter. friends and colleagues who had visited them were often brought to tears. as parents ourselves, we should understand their feelings, though not completely. haven’t visited them in person and don’t intend to. though we are quite close, not sure if we would know what to say if we are there. heard that they need some financial help, so without hesitation, we gave it to them. we are all praying that the young boy will continue to fight.

knowing what the boy has been going through moved me much. but i was never close to tears. then i heard that the father was more affected than the mother. and the reason made me cry – the boy, in his unstable condition, apparently uttered, “Daddy!”

Published in: on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 8:34 am  Comments (9)  
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climate’s changing, but are we doing anything?

just came back from downtown east. three of us had a great time yesterday at wild wild wet and the maze for kids at eXplorerkid. Faith really loved all the water fun and the climbing through the tunnels experience. as i watched her play, my deepest love for her surfaced from within which almost brought tears to my eyes. i almost always have this huge sense of gratitude whenever i look at my girl.

and sometimes, i shudder when i think of the kind of world she’s going to live in for the good part of her entire life. mad cow disease, SARS, dengue fever, H5N1, global warming and its effects, terrorism, etc. my word…..my girl needs to be strong!

i was at the supermarket with my family buying some groceries. as usual, it was packed with people from all walks of life. and like what we have been doing for the last few years, we brought along our own reusable bags as part of our own effort in being environment-friendly. but as i observed the people in the queues at the cashiers’, almost all of them had no reusable bags, ie, they left the supermarket with more plastic bags. some of them even requested for extra bags to contain their ‘heavy’ items. despite the less plastic bag campaign and its awareness programme, people are just not doing it!

i have been telling my kids in school that the effects of climate change (and global warming) are real, and they all agree. i tell them that they have to help to raise this awareness wherever they go. but i wonder how many parents and relatives actually listen to my kids and treat what they say seriously.

i was watching a little of saving gaia on CNA the other day, and was appalled by the type of pollutants present in the polluted air in Jakarta. how can we let this continue to happen?!! people are dying a slow and painful death there! and i know this isn’t just happening in Indonesia.

really, the threats are there for all to see. but people in Singapore here are just not doing enough to suggest that they care about the environment or the world for that matter. maybe because we don’t really feel the impact in a big way yet. do people really have to learn their lessons the hard and harsh way?

as Singapore and her people celebrate her 42nd National Day today, i hope people out there will not forget the fact that not only Singapore needs us. The world needs us too.

when i visited Verilion over at her blog, i read about this climate change camp at heathrow airport. some of these care-for-the-environment people wanted to raise awareness about the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. of course, they met resistance from the authorities. then i read some comments from this gentleman named Calvin Jones. apparently, he is very much involved in anything to do with climate change. i’m really heartened by the fact that there are people out there who bother to fight for gaia. hence, i’ve decided to support Mr Jones by helping him spread his message. do read it. (more…)

Published in: on Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 3:32 pm  Comments (3)  
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enjoyable, yet disturbed

had a rather great time in hong kong, though the weather was generally hot. all the shopping, walking, family bonding, partying at disneyland, etc. Faith’s really grown a lot. we all cherished our time spent with her during this vacation. the only problem we had with her was she wanted to be carried most of the time. guess she wanted to build the hercules in the two of us. 🙂

went to shenzhen (china) on wednesday for a day’s tour. other than the fact that we were ‘conned’ into various ‘unchartered’ locations, i must mention that this trip and my stay in hong kong had offered me some sights that made me think. you see, the backdrop of hong kong (and shenzhen) is often made up of short, old, run-down houses and tall, modern, well-built skyscrapers. this contrast of old and new, poor and rich, couldn’t be described in any way. and this contrast could be seen amongst the people on the streets too. one scene in shenzhen, in particular, will stay in my mind for quite a while. as we were walking up an overhead bridge, we saw this woman carrying a sleeping baby and sitting on the floor. she was picking and eating some discarded rice from an overturned garbage bin. i did not feel for her, to be honest. but my heart ached when i saw the baby. perhaps i have a girl myself and i know the needs of a child. i couldn’t imagine how this mother could meet her baby’s needs. i really felt and still feel sad for the young life. 😦

equality in the human race is just a myth. this, i acknowledge. but what can we do to minimise this inequality? we have people finding food from bins. we have p hilton getting away with a mysterious medical condition. we have african children walking around carrying fatal viruses. we have others splurging on lavish wedding celebrations. we…?

but of course, i’m probably looking at what’s obvious to the eyes. perhaps, deep inside every heart there is a soul that can be satisfied easily. all this soul needs is a rare gem called…

Contentment

Hell to those who despise
For they know not what we need
We may not have them all
But we do have each other
Which means so much more
Than what this freaking world
Could barely offer

You are all i care
You are all i have
You are all i need
And that’s fucking so enough

contentment

    and this is what i seriously need to cultivate in my own life.

Published in: on Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 2:10 am  Comments (3)  
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rather tight and dry

had been rather busy the last couple of days. at work, marking pupils’ exam scripts. left me rather dry at night (most of my writings were born and bred during these hours). so the brain cells couldn’t generate enough to write creatively. this weekend had been spent doing some more marking, and more importantly, relaxing with my two ladies. finally got my laptop – a brand new toshiba A200. watched the boring FA Cup final and Spiderman 2 on TV the last two evenings. absolutely no room for writing. tomorrow’s the beginning of the last work week before the 4-week vacation. plenty to look forward to: rest, play, more work, family time, Hong Kong trip, blogging, etc.

Published in: on Sunday, May 20, 2007 at 10:08 pm  Comments (5)  
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greece is the word

as if to give my little girl an early birthday present, my beloved Liverpool had just beaten Chelsea 4-1 on penalties in the Champions League semi-final. ahhh…memories of 2005 come flooding back now. will celebrate my girl’s 2nd birthday on 25th this month…and will probably celebrate Liverpool’s triumph in the final at athens. savoury, savoury!

Published in: on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 5:32 am  Comments (4)  
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Songs of the Father and His Son

love

David

Beholden with deep gratitude
Not knowing the grounds
Of which this grace came to being
An austere life devoid of fanfare
Hallowed nuptials with a gorgeous nymph
Wishing an epoch of gaiety
Along came an unblemished progeny
A gratification that surpasses my own love

Solomon

Yielded by the heavens
Farmed by the man and woman of old
Pure in the heart
Virtuous in the mind
Nothing in the avenue
To barricade the tender devotion
Reserved for the one
Whose embrace tightens my soul

Published in: on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm  Comments (4)  
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back on track

my lady and i had gone to see a specialist on thyroid. as long as we manage the condition well, having a second child is not a problem. the only problem is that this condition can be inherited. at least, it’s not a major illness. it can be controlled in several ways. one good thing came out of this condition though: my lady has slimmed down.

i’m glad to be back blogging. feel kind of rusty though. the brain hasn’t worked creatively yet. it has been busy at work almost to full-load. so it’ll take quite sometime before i could churn out another couple of masterpieces here.

have been working about 12 hours a day from Mondays to Fridays. tiring but satisfying too. not sure if this is really what i want in the long run. time spent with family, especially the little one, has been compromised somewhat during the weekdays. so really cherish my weekends now.

as for the 14-minute question, i’m still working on it.

Published in: on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 10:48 pm  Comments (5)  
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it is

Thyroid, it is. Though expected after much research ourselves, she still cried. Not so much that she will suffer, but she’s concerned that it might affect our plan for a second child. Doc assured us that if the condition is managed properly, conceiving is not a problem. But first we requested to see a specialist who will probably work with our gynae and advise us if having another child is fine. It might take a year or two of medication, or even more. About 50% of the patient could recover early. A number of uncertainties if you ask me. We’ll wait till Monday when we see the specialist.

Not in the mood to write here now. Will take a short break from blogging.

Thank you all for your warm support! I never thought I could have a circle of friends in the community here.

Will catch up soon!

Really, thank you!

Published in: on Thursday, April 5, 2007 at 5:10 pm  Comments (3)  
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keeping our fingers crossed

my lady went for a blood test today. the doc suspected a thyroid problem. will only know the result tomorrow morning. we hope it’s negative.

Published in: on Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 10:23 am  Comments (6)  
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Helena’s Note

I was naïve
To think that I’d be cherished
I was foolish
To believe that I was the special one
I thought
I was brought into this world
As a result of a conscientious effort of love
I’d never imagine
That I was a reluctant and unexpected mistake
I could never tell
That grudges and resentment and worse would follow
That my name was conveniently given
Because the spot where you and you whored
Was under the neon sign ‘Helena’s Bar’

Of course I was too infantile to comprehend
The stress, the mental abuse and the physical torture
You and you contributed
All I could do was cry instinctively after every hurt
But when I began to make sense of this world
You and you added on to my already battered soul and bruised body
You labelled me the seed of the bastard
You called me the wasted product of the slut
You and you took turns to inflict psychological and corporeal wounds
And the only thing I could do each time was to weep
Was I capable of other things?

I honestly attempted seeing the positives of life
I genuinely trusted the friendly souls in my circle
(Of which you and you were never in)
I quietly admired the relationships fostered
I rather bitterly envied the beautiful experiences witnessed
I was beginning to realise
That the world out there is worth waiting for
That the people out there are worth living for
That perhaps I could count on the person God
That painstakingly I must grow up

However
You and you intervened again
Except that this time
You and you went beyond all that you had done
You and you decided on my destiny
I guess I’d owed both of you too much
To delay my payment

Now
I’ve paid the price
Not my choice
But your choice
And your choice
Which leaves me with only one question

You
The bastard whose desire couldn’t be contained
All you needed was a shot to impress
But it turned out to be a shot that killed yourself
I became your thorn in the throat constantly
Your target of explicit langauge
And your object of itch
Have you ever loved me?

You
The slut whose invitation to all couldn’t be resisted
All you wanted was attention and love
But what you got was attention and lust
I became your pain in the ass continuously
Your punchbag of fury and frustration
And your article of shame
Have you ever loved me?

I was commanded to honour you and you
Honour you and you I shall
But I always wanted to know
Have you ever loved me?
It is just a simple question
I guess I won’t know the answer, will I?

Published in: on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 12:59 am  Comments (3)  
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poor girl

Faith has fallen sick. After a rather nasty fall which had her lip cut (leading to two ulcers) last Friday, she now has a runny nose and teary eyes, and a little phlegm in the throat. Jennifer took a day’s leave to take Faith to the doctor who found a little ear infection as well. Our girl has succumbed to a virus. When I saw her after work, she was still energetic despite all the discomfort. But my heart ached (still aching) when I saw her sniffing her nose and rubbing the thick tear stains from her eyes. I really pray that the medication that she’s on now will work wonders fast. Pray with me, won’t you?

Published in: on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 11:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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FAITHfulness

The Chinese New Year break is over. But I had a good time with my family. Had been indulging in some serious FAITHfulness. Took lots of pictures of her. She’s grown a lot. Always count her twice when I count my blessings.

trying a new dress

she and her bear

smiling for the New Year

she looks great in cheongsam

with hair accessories

going nuts

through the tunnel

I love her very much! And, I love her mother too.

Published in: on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 10:25 pm  Comments (4)  
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only she

I was spending another short but great evening with my daughter. Just the two of us. As I watched her draw, sing, dance and bounce; as I showered her, cuddled her and dressed her up, I couldn’t help but feel a great sense of gratitude. What have I done to deserve this little girl? Despite the rebel in me and my foolhardy deeds, this beautiful soul in front of me is here to make me proud. I don’t deserve her. But she’s here to teach me precious lessons. Probably her greatest lesson for me is taught through her name – Faith.

Published in: on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 10:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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succumbed

After weeks of working in a small air-conditioned room with six other sick colleagues, I have finally fallen ill.

It all started on Sunday night when I felt my body warm. My temperature was a little high. I took two pills and went to bed early. On Monday, I felt fresh and was ready to work the whole day which I did. Worked ended at around 6.45 p.m. Got home, had dinner and spent some time with my wife and daughter. Then, I carried on working till after midnight. I went to bed shortly after.

I woke up on Tuesday feeling soreness at my throat. The sign was there. I went to work and had one and half hours of English lesson with my class. Returned to my workstation and started marking my pupils’ assignments. That was when I first experienced a series of headaches. Then came a few minutes of breathing difficulty. I could also feel my body temperature rising and bones aching all over. I knew I was in trouble. Nevertheless, I carried on teaching and even attended a briefing session in town for two and a half hours in the afternoon. The whole afternoon was terrible. No appetite, headache, fever, weak body, etc. I managed to drive home safely, thank God!

Back home, swallowed two pills and took a nap after discovering that my fever had gone up to 38 degrees. Felt better after the sleep. Went to have dinner. Wanted to consult the doctor. But goodness me, the clinic was crowded! Gave up and headed home. Took another two pills and turned in early. I was still harbouring hopes of going back to work today.

Woke up this morning, feeling fine. But somehow I knew I was not strong enough to go to work. Informed my colleague that I would take one day off. After breakfast, I left for the clinic. Dr Jasper Yang was as friendly as ever. He prescribed some medicine and even gave me a two-day medical certificate.

Now, back home, still waiting for the right time to take the medicine. I guess I must have overworked a little in the last few weeks. Always trying to clear as much work as possible. Perhaps, I should change my mentality. Since I know work is never ending, I think I should balance my life more. Now, I have decided that work should remain in school. Family life and rest should take precedence at home. Hope that I can follow these principles.

Published in: on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 10:18 am  Comments (1)  
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new beginning

2007 promises to be an exciting year for me. Expectations are high and I’m keeping my fingers crossed on what are to come.

Family has to be a priority. Jennifer and I are into our 5th year of marriage. Faith is turning two. So lots of family bonding to be enhanced.

Work is going to be challenging. Taking on a leadership role is not going to be easy. But I’m looking forward to exercising my leadership skills and management intelligence.

Hopefully I can spend more time reading this year. Have always enjoyed reading, but always struggled to be disciplined enough to read. Things could be better soon.

Blogging is another avenue for me to spend time thinking and reflecting. This should help develop my life further. I’m hoping that I could also spend some time writing more and making music more this year.

I guess I’m not ambitious. These things should be sufficient to keep me busy in 2007. Hope that it’s going to be another successful year.

Published in: on Monday, January 1, 2007 at 11:50 pm  Comments (1)  
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a very short holiday

Since I’ve been so busy during this vacation period, I could not afford to go overseas for holidays. Moreover, Faith’s still too young to travel far. But still managed to book a night’s stay at Marina Mandarin on Christmas’ eve. Check-in was delayed by the hotel, so they allowed us to stay til 2.00 p.m. the next day. Spent some time at Marina Square. Got back late in the evening. After putting Baby to sleep, Jennifer and I joined the countdown to Christmas at the corridor. Took some pictures and recorded short clips. After reviewing the pictures taken, our verdict is out: our Nikon machine must be replaced soon. Went to the swimming pool the next day. Then, after some loitering at the shopping centre, we checked out. A very short holiday experience. Similar to our Marriott and Downtown East one night stands in June and August respectively. But far from our fantastic experience in Switzerland in 2004 and Ritz-Carlton a few years back. Plan to go somewhere further in 2007. Australia, perhaps.
atrium lounge (view from 12th floor)
moments before midnight, party-goers gathered in anticipation

balloons
all hung up, ready for midnight release

suntec convention hall

pan pac and conrad hotels

self-explanatory

Merry Christmas!
balloons released…crowd went wild…balloons popped…

boxing day morning

atrium lounge boxing day
hotel staff were efficient in cleaning the party mess

Published in: on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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