"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?

Friday, 31 August 2012

Go Faster at Red!

I've has just enough time to...   stop at red. 

Taken at the traffic light of a wet bird (or two?) on the way to work.

There comes a time we have to stop at red
But did we notice the change of light?
Do we accelerate at the danger sign
To salvage time for time wasted
For a little extra time we do not need

“Living Life in the fast lane
Involves breaking a few rules
They are small prices to pay
For the speed we need to make -
Through the landscape”

“What is the point of a journey
If not to a destination?
No time to smell the flowers
They are still there tomorrow -               
We have to get there today”

“Haven’t you heard time is money
It waits for no man
And once spent is gone forever
So what we need to do is faster -
Before time runs out”

 “So we will not stop at red 1”
So says the speed devil
Just before
A red light too many!


At a red light in the sunshine
On a Sunday
Nothin' to say
Don't even try

Some are comin' home
Some are leavin' town
While my world's crashin' down
On a Sunday
In the sunshine
At a red light

David Nail – “Red Light”

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Plastic Bags Have Their Say

I've had just enough time to...   witness the life cycle of the plastic bags

Taken on morning on the way to work

Three packets of plastic drinks with straws sticking out
Standing proudly basked by the morning light
Held up by half-consumed content
Near a monsoon drain cover
Where they were discarded
From a vehicle
Days before

It speaks a lot about the person who did that
It speaks a lot about the culture of that society
It speaks a lot about the management of the city
It speaks a lot about the problem of the country
It speaks a lot about the state of the planet
All in deafening silence


The Majestic Plastic Bag - A Mockumentary

Monday, 27 August 2012

Memories Are Not Written On Hard Disks

I've had just enough time to...   write more memories

Taken of two sisters taking pictures of their family on a memorable occasion

We capture moments to remember
Capture them to share
Capture them to store away
To recall another day

We use more and more devices
To capture moments aplenty but forget
Memories are not written on hard disks
Memories are written in our hearts


Whatever’s written in your heart, that’s all that matters
You’ll find a way to say it all someday (yeah)
Whatever’s written in your heart, that’s all that matters
Yeah, night and day, night and day.

Whatever’s written in your heart - Gerry Rafferty

Saturday, 25 August 2012

How Do I Get Out Of The Maze?

I've had just enough time to...   get out to get out of the maze.

Taken in the courtyard of Shangril-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

My life is a maze
And I can’t figure it out
I don’t know which step
Is in and which is out
Deep in the maze
Should I stuck it out
Or retreat to start
What if that had been shut out?
What if I am going in circle with no way out?

Am I in a maze?
How do I get out?


Ferris wheels and bumper cars are fun
But those rides just aren't for everyone

Bought my ticket I'ma have a run
In the maze (WHOOOO!)

If I don't come back or right away
Give me time at least a half a day
Don't just leave me lost and blown away
In the maze (WHOOOO!)

Welcome to the Dark Carnival's amazing maze
Over 5000 ways to get in, and no way out

"The Amazing Maze - Insane Clown Posse"

Dare you go into the Amazing Maze and listen?
Beware! Explicit language and explicit images. Be Warned!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I Fell In Love With The Guitar Man

I've had just enough time to...   fell in love with the guitar man.

Taken in a hotel in Johore Bahru advertising the presence of the guitar man

I fell in love with the guitar man
Or is it his music?
I cannot tell which when he is playing.
The guitar man has me at his finger tips.

How can I love a man so much –
When he is playing?
And love him so little
When he stops?

Please don’t let the music stop
Please don’t let the music stop
Don’t let it stop…


Who draws the crowd and plays so loud,
Baby it's the guitar man.

Who's gonna steal the show, you know
Baby it's the guitar man,

He can make you love, he can make you cry
He will bring you down, then he'll get you high
Somethin' keeps him goin', miles and miles a day
To find another place to play.


Monday, 20 August 2012

The Song of the Lonely Drinker

I've had just enough time to...   drink alone

Taken while sitting outside a pub in Kuching with the moon and others for company

I’m a lonely drinker
Making toasts to myself
And the ghost across the table

The ghost nods with its glass
Empty it in silent acknowledgement
And no advice for me

Nor do I have need of any, for
In the company of sympathetic ghosts
Who needs noise and companions?

Drinking is best done alone
Drinking is best done alone
In one’s own company

Loneliness flavored the wine unlike any
It is silly to drink to be happy
Silly to try to drown anything
The only reason to drink is to make -
Loneliness a pleasant company

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Silver Threads of Fate

I've had just enough time to...   feel the trembling of the string of fate

Taken in an industrial loom in Yangon, Myanmar

The silver threads of fate spins
In the loom of the blind sisters
Trembling under their fingers
And another hero falls
Blind eyes shed no tears
See no sorrow
Feel no fear

The quivering threads sing
Exciting the tender hearts
With its seductive rhyme
And another maiden falls
Blind eyes reveal no love
See no blushes
Feel no pain

The blind sisters chuckle
Picks another thread, breaks it
With a snap and attaches it again
But no silver thread
Can mend the
Severed string
Of a heart shattered


Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold
Shine upon my brow today;
Life is fading fast away;
But, my darling, you will be, will be,
Always young and fair to me,
Yes, my darling, you will be,
Always young and fair to me.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Two Views of the Field of Gold

I've had just enough time to...   view the field of gold.

Taken in Sekinchan, Malaysia of the farmer surveying his field of gold

The farmer surveys his field of gold
That stretches to the blue sky above
And he sees a year’s toil

I stood there at the crack of dawn
To see the sun shedding its shine
And I see her hair of gold

The farmer smile
I too smile

At the prospect of a satisfying harvest
That the approaching night
Will soon cover that field of gold…

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Can Planting Concrete Be More Fun?

I've had just enough time to...   see more concrete being planted.

Taken in Cilegon, Indonesia 2 hours from Jakarta 4 months later of the same place as picture below.

On 3 January 2012, I put up a post with the title “Planting Rice Is Never Fun” where I explored the theme of poverty and progress. Is progress a necessary evil? It is not an easy question and the answer depends very much on which side you are from and in. For those who love the beauty of the idyllic farm scene as much as me, we often see the ugly side of progress even as we admit to its necessity at times. But why can’t progress be prettier, to encompass instead of just destroying nature?

This was the image of the field in November 2011.

This is how it looked liked in March 2012.

It is easy to, but I have no right to question whether this is right or wrong for one with no stake in it. I can only lament that the beautiful field of swaying gold is no more. Replace by these piles of concrete jutting out from the barren ground. When the wind blows, I will no longer hear its whispers through the heavy leaden grains but the deep sighs as it swims round stiff concrete.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Inspiration of Taiping Lake Garden - Part I

I've had just enough time to...   revisit Taiping Lake Garden

The beauty and serenity of Taiping Lake Garden and its town has inspired many of my posts. After the last post regarding the controversy surrounding the rain trees of the garden, I decided to revisit them and invite you to visit them together with me. (Click on the link to access any of the post)

The town is reputed to have the best “popiah” in the country. But it taste different from my distant memory so I compare it against first love.

There is something very sad about empty benches and these row of empty benches under the ancient rain trees seemed so melancholy to me.

 The political scene in the country is depressing with politicians trying to determine for us what patriotism is. I wanted to tell them what patriotism is not! The photo is taken in the museum near the lake.

As much as the area surrounding the lake is beautiful, there are also quiet places that you can visit for reflection like the war cemetery. Don’t think me odd until you have taken a walk with the dead.

As I read the names and inscriptions on the tombstones, I wonder how long will a name live?  If it is carved in stone, will it live forever?

I came across a crooked bridge in the garden and was confronted with this question “If Life is a crooked bridge, can you walk straight?”

Upset by the political scene, I was inspired to write a satire. If you are Malaysian, you should be able to understand at least some of the allusion. I was looking for an image to go along with it when I thought this in front of the Taiping museum appropriate.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Saving The Rain Trees of Taiping

I've had just enough time to...   see the rain trees saved

Taken of the Taiping Lake Garden, the most beautiful park in Malaysia

The rain trees lined the serene shore
Dipping its branches into the forbidden lake
Rippling the surface stirred by wayward winds
Sending a gentle cascade of dropping leaves
On wet grasses and empty benches
Providing solace to aching hearts and aching feet
Slowing down time to a slow crawl
Witnessed by the distant hills and century trees
Through the veils of morning mists and driving rain
A scene that soothes the heart with a gift of memory
That may not last as long as the trees
Only just as long as we live…

And they want to set up kiosks in this sacred land
To sell snacks and souvenirs!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Why Clean When It Will Be Dirty Again?

I've had just enough time to...   clean and clean again.

Taken of the boatman washing his boat in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia

Why clean when it will be dirty again?
It is a question the boatman does not comprehend
He cleans it because it is dirty
Not whether it will be dirty again
He does not think of the effort of cleaning
Just that the boat should be clean
And he will clean it as many times as it takes

The one asking the question
Thinks it wasted effort
And suffers the pain of cleaning
When the one cleaning does not

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