Walk that unmarked path into the woods, endless timber
Of tears, fears, joy… the trail rediscovers, uncovers
And when you return in ten months or ten years
In the mirror, there is a new creature, a new calibre.
The Moment ~ Poem by Margaret Atwood
(A poem on the pride of man, and the grace of nature)
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and having a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there, and say, I own this
is the same moment when the trees unloose their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language, the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe
No, they whisper. You own nothing. You were a visitor, time after time,
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you, you never found us.
It was always the other way round.
The speed of life accelerates with eyes glued to a phone.
It doubles when it comes to swiping the ice-pucks on super portables.
Don’t even get me started on the rocketing effect that laptops have on time.
(Think Sims 3 and Minecraft:
Games that take us hours to build and draft)
When I sing a slow tune, or call up my grandmother
Read a book from cover to cover,
Write and reflect on what i’ve gleaned:
never to say “never” and
not to believe the phrase “all these, I’ve seen”
The clock slows down, and I hear me breathe
What time was lost,
now is suddenly found (for, there is just no time to grieve).
It wasn’t anything special, really. No fireworks of epiphany, nor people trumpeting things, loudly in my face.
I was on the way home after work today and I caught sight of an indian man’s wedding ring. It was wedged uncomfortably on his oversized fourth finger – and it looked to me the most ordinary thing on earth. Haven’t I seen enough rings and bands? Then a thought jumps into my mind.
Behind every wedding ring, there’s an extraordinary story. A story so powerful it brought two utterly opposite worlds together, driving all opposition away. A story that survived and fought through time. One that bore the marks of giddy happiness, irrelevant nonsense, inside jokes, cuddles, melancholic flavours…
And as I gazed at his pressed hand against the tampered glass of the MRT seat, I wondered deeply. What was his story like? Was he still very much in love with his wife? How long have they been married? What was his first feelings like? Did he know he was to marry her? Why did he love her? I had so many thoughts.
With no probable answers in sight.
Then the indian man got off a couple of stops later.
His hand left a mark on the glass, and I was still in my dreamy state. I made certain one thing: I knew I’d want a wedding ring with a beautiful story that lasts. Really lasts.
Wedding Ring Poem
Till the sun wears out or Mars burns dry
Till the moon stops shining or the stars fall and die
Till the dreamers stop dreaming
And the oceans part ways
The creatures within stop singing
Till rain is no more
And the skies melt away
Till the clouds dissolve
And the earth give way
I cannot stop loving you.
Said the homeless sparrow to the pigeon:
“My heart is like a little kingdom
And you, a trapped pigeon
If only I could let you out (But I cannot)
And I’ll have my freedom,”
The pigeon kept silent.
Sparrow continued to sing,
“Your mind is like a little nest
And I, your happy sparrow
If only you would bid me stay
I’d promise never to go my own way.”
But the pigeon didn’t answer again –
She ruffled her feathers with a tearful sigh
Threw a last look at dear old sparrow
And flew far away, higher than high.
The furry monkey clanged cymbals
In a blind stupor, timelessly;
and perhaps too, sympathetically.
Gaston tells a murky love-tale
A fairytale of reality, one littered with broken stars
Of easy laughter, makeup, and singing
Of dancing feet and colourful masks
Ushered into the very soul of a lover
Where we numbly watch
For him, the poor phantom, Erik –
he never could quite get over her
he never could get her.
Tears and anguish tell the story –
she would’ve gone nowhere with pity
Even with all his might, power, wit and gall
he was powerless against love’s mad rush,
jealousy’s unyielding grip –
his own self.
And yet to think that after all…
“He was only but a man.”
Erik wasn’t a monster
but indeed, mere man.
Purple, blue, brown, green
The colours of love aren’t always in shades of red
Pink, orange, turquoise, grey
Portrayed in Jesus’ words, back in his day
Yellow, cyan, lilac, violet
“Make up the heavens’ hues,” says a lover-pilot
Even white or black, trace them back
It all first were birthed in his mind
Colours – whatever for?
God is creator
He makes colours soar
Like brillance of rainbows and planet’s moons
Of colours and even the colourless
Let’s not speak too soon
That he is dull.
“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.”
– Wystan Hugh Auden