"The sharp knife of a short life

I've had just enough time..."

- "If I Die Young" The Band Perry

I see Beauty in many things. And like the ghosts that only speak to you if you notice them, they tell me wondrous tales. With my camera and my thoughts, I captured these as faithfully as I can to share with you. And by doing so, they gave me the reasons. And though the thousand reasons may not all be sweet and some indeed bitter; they are still reasons to live. Come to think about it, that is Life, isn't it?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Lament of An Old Park Bench.

I've had just enough time to...   sit on an old park bench.

Taken of this old park bench on top of Maxwell Hill that has seen better days.

I met an old park bench
Looking kind of sad
Or maybe a little mad
From the way it blenched.
When I am about to sit
It shrieked “Don’t do it!”
When I asked “Why Not?”
It said “My purpose is lost”

“I used to be happy
To do what I do best
To provide a respite,
A little rest.
But when they prefer the grass
I know my time has passed,”

I sat down gently on the dirty bench
Cradled its arm around the bend
Sat with it silently into the night
Till it was just us, and the starlight.

The next morning I went back to the park
To where the bench and me shared a spark
But the bench was nowhere to be found
Just a puddle of dew left on the ground.


A sea of smile and a river of tears
A flood of memories
Imagination will take me back
On an Old Park Bench
Old Park Bench
Old Park Bench
Old Park Bench
A summer's night, the stars aglow
Did more than light the sky
With fortune, fantasy, and fate
We dream on an old park bench
I take your hand in my hand
You hold my soul in yours
One touch becomes eternal
When falling in love

Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Little Pebble To Create A Tsunami

I've has just enough time to...   throw a little pebble to create a tsunami

Taken while cruising Tanah Merah lake in Taiping, Malaysia.

I told them if -
I throw a little pebble into the sea
It could create a tsunami
But they would not believe me

They say -
Crabs walking sideways cannot learn to walk straight
The dodo birds cannot sprout wings and take to the sky
The lemmings who stop the march will get run over
Why rock the boat when it is still over the water?
Which ostrich can stop running from its own shadow?
Who will be the fool to shout “broken arrow”?
The silent men may get passage to the ivory tower
The rest will be used as cannon fodder
Courage cannot put a meal on the table
Suicide can be done without a knife
Go shoot yourself in the head
When you’re done shooting the toes
You will not live past midnight
Because you will not listen

The hollow men speak without moving their lips
Together all at once disharmoniously

I threw my little pebble out into the sea
Waiting for the waves
To blow them over!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Discarded Gloves, Where is the Respect in That?

I've had just enough time to...   sympathize with discarded gloves.

Taken of this pair of discarded glove on a boat in the West lake, Hangzhou China.

Used, Discarded
Reused, Discarded again
Where is the respect in that?
Like discarded gloves
On the dirty floor, felt like
Discarded gloves on the floor

Kept your hands clean, we did
Kept them warm in the cold
Protect your hands, we did
Protect them from the blows
Take the blows ourselves, we did
And we take on the woes

Now, we are worn
Lost our shine and colours from the weather
Dirty and soiled, disheveled and battered
And those hands we protect
Just threw us on the floor
Just threw us on the floor
Discarded gloves, where is the respect in that?


I'd like to tell a little story
Thats been told time and time again
About the foolish men who chased me
My discarded men

They used to tell me they loved me
But I knew better than them
I'd find them looking around the corner
My discarded men

Eartha Kitt: My Discarded Men

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Nature Has No Respect for the Monuments of Men

I've had just enough time to...   try to earn the respect of Nature and it is not impressed.

Taken outside a temple in Nepal of Men's imposing monument and its scan respect by Nature.

Nature has no respect for the monuments of men
Whether they be of Kings or Goddesses
It runs by its own rules and shall prevail
Even when it is overrun by men and their constructions
Do not lament the demise of nature and its destruction 
But lament instead the demise of men and their destruction 
For nature will still be here and prosper
When the last of men has long disappear

Nature as is its nature, patiently waits...
For the end of men to return to its true nature.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A Stranger Through The Eyes of A Child.

I've had just enough time to...   see myself in the eyes of a child.

Taken in Kunshan while wandering around

“He doesn’t like me”.

Maybe it was not because he does not like me. Maybe it was because I witnessed what he did. Or maybe it was because he was protective of his little sister. His sister, who was looking at me with questioning eyes.

“Who are you?”
“What do you want?”
“Why are you taking our picture?”

She could not figure me out yet. So she was hesitant with her response. Maybe she will smile if I say a kind word or two. Maybe she will run away. But I kept my distance. I have no right to intrude.

Her brother, he just glared at me. I am a stranger. I can be up to no good. I cannot do anything for them except getting them into trouble. So he challenged me with his look. If I put on a fierce expression. Maybe he will run away. Maybe he will call for his family. I am after all a stranger and an outsider. So I kept my distance. Smiled, and backed off. I am after all an intruder into their world and I have to respect that. (I was in Kunshan with a couple of hours to kill and I’m not going to do that watching TV in the hotel room. So I wandered out into the street where ordinary people lived.)

Earlier, I “caught” them playing with the stainless steel bolts and washers that they somehow dismantle from the railings of the steps and overhead bridge. I tried one with my bare fingers and found it to be fast secured. Maybe, they have found all the loose ones or maybe they did it with some tools though I did not see any. If they construct the railings so poorly that children can dismantle them, then it is not the children’s fault for you can expect a child to do exactly what they did. I did not want to encourage them though so I checked my smile and moved away wondering what did I learn from this encounter to have it so strongly registered in my memory.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Newspaper Boy of Myanmar.

I've had just enough time to...   acknowledge the newspaper boy of Myanmar.

Taken on the way to the wholesale market outside Yangon, Myanmar

My Boy
He dreams
Of striking it rich and
Buying me a house to live in.

My Boy
He worries
About my health and
Saving to buy me new crutches.

My Boy
He wishes
To give more than love and
Love all the more because it is all he can give.

He wakes up early
Sells newspaper at the traffic stops
And dream of better days to be.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Safe In Your Arms, Mother Of Mine.

I've had just enough time to...   remember I was safe in your arms, mother of mine

Taken in a sculpturing workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam

I remember though the world
May be crumbling down all around
I was safe in your arms, mother
Safe in your arms, mother

But now I am grown
And can do things on my own
Won’t you let me leave you arms, mother
Let me leave your arms, mother


Mother of mine when
I was young
You showed me
The right way things
Should be done

Without your love,

Where would I be?

Mother, sweet mother of mine

Thursday, 12 April 2012

We Always Reap What We Sow.

I've had just enough time to...   continue sowing...

Taken during near a river bank in Kuching, East Malaysia.

“We reap what we sow”
Not always

But it should not be for lack of trying
It should not be for lack of hoping
It should not be for lack of sacrificing

We do what we can
And hope for a bountiful harvest
Not always

But we should not give up
We should not give in
We should just sow some more

And hope for a bountiful harvest
Not always for

It may not be what we hope for
Nor the harvest we look for but

“We always reap what we sow”


The Harvest Song

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Dog In The City Of Cats.

I've had just enough time to...   be a dog in the city of cats.

Taken while wandering around in Kuching, the City of Cats.

I’m a dog in a city of cats
But they don’t seem to mind
I find it easy not to chase them
When I could be the one to be chased around
I turned my attention to mice
But I wish they were of rabbit’s size
My woofs now contains some meows
And I licked my fur the cat way now
I sing shrilly to the hanging moon
And add a howl or two as I croon
I learn to appreciate the smell of fish
No longer holding my nose in anguish
But not lifting my leg to pee
Require some effort you see
For I still do that quietly
When no cat is watching me
I’m a dog in a city of cats
And they tolerate me
But I always wonder -

What if I’m a cat in a world of dogs instead?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Here Comes The "Kok Kok" Candy Man!

I've had just enough time to...   taste the Kok Kok Candy Man's sweet again.

Taken in Jonker Street in Malacca, Malaysia.

We heard him before we saw him. “Kok Kok! Kok Kok!” We rushed out of the house to the back lane to greet the arrival of the Candy Man.

Riding somewhat unsteadily in his old bicycle, the old man weaved his way to where his young customers were eagerly waiting. He usually arrived in late afternoon but the days when he arrived did not fit any regular pattern. Maybe it was because in those days, only the children of the rich has pocket money and if he came around too regularly, there will not be enough paying customers. He needed to space out his visits for them to save enough dimes to pay for his sweet.

When he got off his bicycle and parked it, the cover of a large round aluminium tray secured at the back was lifted displaying a single large piece of candy filling almost the whole tray except for those edges that had been chipped away. With two pieces of metal, he will strike the one shaped like a wedge with the other that looked like a hammer producing sharp metallic sound “kok kok! Kok kok!” Even those of us who could not afford to buy will crowd round him to watch. Sometimes, one of our richer friends may give us a small piece and make our day. But more often, we were taunted and had to swallow our saliva instead.

The candy man disappeared from the scene as the country modernised. We thought him extinct for a long while. But there is a revival of interests in traditional snacks and we found him again after all these years. And every time I hear that “kok kok” sound, it reminded me of my youth in a bitter sweet way.

Friday, 6 April 2012

How Can A Heart Hold So Much Sorrow?

I've had just enough time to...   hold some sorrow.

Taken in Taiping, Malaysia under the Rain Tree.

The still water 
Beneath the Rain Tree
Gathered the tears 
Of a thousand drops
Of hanging leaves 
Distressed by August tales
Of wandering clouds 
From a distant land
Where morning songs
Were drowned 
By thundering hooves
Stirring up a dust storm
Swept through the land
Into every home
Choking and stifling
And when the rain came
It was no salvation
Except burying everything 
In mud
Except for the tales 
Carried by the wind to 
The drifting clouds
Caught by the Rain Tree
Into the pool beneath it

How can a heart hold so much sorrow?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Young Boxers of Lumpini Stadium.

I've had just enough time to...   watch young boxers fight for their family.

Taken from the ringside in Lumpini Stadium, Bangkok of the young fighters.

“Violence is not the way to a better life.”
Try telling it to these children from the slum.

“It is not!” You insisted “The solution”.
Do you have a better one?

“But it is not right! Having children to fight!”
No it is not. But you live in a different world.

You do not know hunger. You have a roof over your head.
They do know love. Their fists look after their family.
Ironical isn’t it? Love, I mean.
Bashing the daylight out of your opponent so your family gets to eat.
They will bash you too if you get into their ring.

You know what is wrong but you do not know how to put it right.
What good may I ask, is that?
So leave this world of broken noses and bloodied lips,
So you can get some sleep,
In your world where children don’t have to fight to eat.


In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains

Simon And Garfunkel The Boxer

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Make A Wish, Make It Quick!

I've had just enough time to...   make a quick wish.

Taken when all the lights were switched off in a stadium in KL

Make a wish
Make it quick
Before its light is extinguished.

When it is made
Blow the candle, leave the place
Go! Fulfill the wish that you made.

For a wish is not a prayer
Nor is it a wishful thought
But a seed waiting to be planted.

Dig a hole, put in the seed
Water every day
And may your wish come true.

A wish is something to do.


Make a wish, it's up to you
Find the strength inside
And watch your dreams come true
You don't need a shooting star
the magic's right there in your heart
Close your eyes
Believe and make a wish

Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker - Make A Wish.

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