"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?

Thursday, 28 February 2013

What Can I Do With Angel’s Feathers But To Throw Them Away?

I've had just enough time to...   throw away Angel's feathers and watch them come floating back

All the proof that the bird of the night was ever here in Carrey Island, Malaysia

The Angel’s feathers were all that’s left
Of the Angel and the theft
She came in a time of need
And left with Angel’s speed
She did not ask if she can come
She did not tell when she leave
Maybe she thought the healing’s done
Replacing the hurt with a greater one
I wished she had not come

What can I do with Angel’s feathers?
I could not throw them away –
They’ll just come floating back to stay
What good are memories
If memories haunt?
What good are Angels
If Angels do not stay?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I’ve No Arguments With Crocodiles

I've had just enough time to...   not to argue with crocodiles

Taken from the safety of the shore in Sarawak of the crocodile infested river

Under the blue umbrella
She waits
As gray water rushes by
She waits

The water has crocodiles
“I’ve no argument with crocodiles”
Crocodiles don’t need arguments
They are even sorry for what they did
Crocodiles being what they are
Would happily consumed you for breakfast
Or any other meals after that
That is their nature, that is nothing strange
What is strange are the tears they shed

“The waters are wide, the crocodiles are few
If one does come across and after me
Maybe that is my fate?

You could stand away from the water’s edge

“I could.
I know a boy from the village yonder
Full of life, spirit and wonder
On a clear cloudless day, he was struck by lighting
Burnt to a crisp and no one even heard the thunder
It was not raining, and he did not stand under a tree
And they said it is more difficult than winning a lottery.”

She said it all with a smile
And a resolve strong enough to poke a crocodile’s eye
I retreated and it was many steps later
Before the question surfaced from the muddy water
What are  the reasons she waits…

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Walking Alone On Lovers' Bridge

I've had just enough time to...   look at Lover's Bridge

Taken of the Lover's Bridge in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia

I remember the rickety old “Lovers' Bridge”
Where the waves slapped against the slanted legs
Letting out mournful sighs that I thought, was sweet
I brushed down my hair ruffled by the unruly winds
And enjoyed their vehemence for I thought, that was sweet
I smiled at the gray clouds for blocking out the intense sun
And was thankful the approaching storm was still far away
In your eyes, I saw no doubt only affection
And was happy that day, on Lovers' Bridge

Today, I walk alone, on Lovers' Bridge
The waves are mournful
The wind cruel
I am only grateful to the clouds
Kind enough for holding back the rains
And add to my misery

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Imminent Destruction of the Creeping Forest.

I've had just enough time to...   shoot the Creeping Forest before its destruction

Shots of the Creeping Forest in the "Beautiful Island" 

That day was a Sunday. It was also the first day of the 2013 Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Water Snake. I woke up early and drove towards the factory where I worked on the island named “Beautiful Island”. I do not what they call it before they call it “Beautiful Island” for there is nothing very beautiful about it unless you love mud flats and mangrove swamps. But every day as I drove to and from work, I will look out to a stretch of land which I called the Creeping Forest.

Use your imaginations

It is one of the last few patches of wild land left on the island that is undergoing rapid expansion and I know its days are numbered when they began to widen the road near it. It may only be weeks or months before part or all of this stretch will be bulldozed over and I will only be left with the memories that amused me every day to work. I will not make the same mistake as when I procrastinated too long before taking shots of another idyllic part of the island. Now, it is just an ugly vacant lot for sales that has been left idle for the last two years.

To see the fantastical creatures

The traffic was very light on this very busy highway exactly as I planned. I will feel self-conscious if I were to stop my car on a normal day to take photos as many people who travel this road may recognize me. But on this day, if they are not celebrating the new year, they will be enjoying the holidays which last until Wednesday and all factories will be shut down during this period. There is no one to ask me questions that I do not want to answer. 

That dwell in this forest (I saw a Keelin here every time except today, sigh...)

About a few minutes before reaching the factory, I pulled over to the laterite shoulder of the highway, alighted from my car and took my shot. Unfortunately, the light this morning was too bright and not slanted enough for the shadows to bring out the best of the fantastical creatures. For the real beauty of the Creeping Forest is what you extract from it through your imaginations. And the weather (cloudy or bright), intensity of light, time of the day (especially in early morning or late evening), windy conditions all play a part but none as important as the imagination of the viewer. What each of us sees may be quite different from the other and on a special day of moving clouds, the transformation happened right before our very eyes.

Visible only to those with the "sights".

As I inched forward in my car to take shots from slightly different angles, a strange bird with a black band across its eyes like a robber flew to settle on a branch in the open not more than 10 yards away from me. I shot quickly afraid that it will fly away immediately but I should not have worried. It perched there comfortably and watched me for the whole duration. That is kind of a strange behavior for a bird so I chalked it as one getting unusual rewards for doing unusual things. 

Unsual rewards for doing unusual things or maybe this bird understands me

The creeping forest may just be wild trees with overgrown creepers to some but to me, it was something more, something much more. I know I am going to miss it when it is gone. So I made this post to remember it by. As I drove back to the house to begin the celebration of the New Year, I can’t help but wonder – am I the only driver who notices it and who feels this way?

I will miss it when it is gone...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Valentine – Saying it with Orchids & “Desired Things”

I've had just enough time to...   say it with orchids and desired things...

All these orchids are taken in my garden in their as many different moods as us...

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day so I’ll postpone my intended post to wish all my readers a “Happy Valentine” and I’ll say it with a dozen of the orchids that I decorated my garden for the Chinese New Year. It has become a yearly ritual to bring more colors into my surroundings. Roses are lovely and I love the fragrance but few flowers last as long as the orchids which I think makes it a more appropriate flower to declare your lasting affection with. 

And I will also take the occasion to share a poem “Desiderata” (Latin for “Desired Things) by Max Erhmann which though is not a romantic poem is romantic in spirit for it concludes that “it is still a beautiful world”, “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy”. It is something I like to share. Try something different this year, say it with orchids and a poem (not necessarily a love poem) and see what happens. :) 

"Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story"

"Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

 "Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time."

"Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism."

"Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass."

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness."

"Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."

"And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful."

"Strive to be happy."


Sunday, 10 February 2013

2013 – Taming the Water Snake

I've had just enough time to...   try to tame the Water Snake

 Taken of today's newspaper's front page - "The Snake Year"

The snake year begins today and it is a water snake. Oriental fortune tellers all over the world are debating and forecasting what the Year of the Snake will bring. Let this fortune teller throw his hat in the mix. Before I begin, let me tell you that my prediction last year on the Year of the Dragon was dead wrong. It was one of the most miserable years of my Life while most people were expecting great things just because the picture of the dragon looks majestic. So the hospitals did not have enough beds and there were reports of mothers giving birth on the floor. And 7 years later, the schools will not have enough classrooms. And more planners will die from stress…

The next 3 shots are taken of the first house I visited this CNY.

For this year all the hospitals will lose money and 7 years later the classrooms will be empty just because people don’t like the image of the snake. They tried to “cutify” it by making the snake friendlier without much success because taking off the poisonous fangs is acceptable but eliminating the forked tongue is not. It makes it look like a worm instead. So the toy companies are losing big money during the best season of the year and that brings down the bank because we all know how much bankers like to lend to business of fantasy. And this spirals and slithers down to a recession…


And they all blame the poor snake
Even when it bit no one
Nor does it intend to
They just run from it
Or worse
Kill it with flying stones
And a long stick

If you are born with poisonous fangs
You stay hidden in dark places for
No one trusts your heart of gold

Breathe easy. I was wrong in the Year of the Dragon. I will probably be wrong in the Year of the Snake. But adoption of pet snakes had already increased several thousand percents!  I just know it that several years later, it will not be safe to wander anywhere near a monsoon drain but that is another story…

p.s. But I did something different from any other year. Will share this with you in the next post. Wishing all my readers a Happy Chinese New Year and may you find the success and happiness you have been looking for this year in spite of my prediction :)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

I Will Give You Life

I've had just enough time to...   give life to...

Taken on the road north of Hanoi...

A block of marble
Cold and rigid
Shapeless, sterile
Elicit no emotion

Chiseled and hammered
Ground and polished
Brought to life
By imagination
And memory

If a block of stone
Can be given life

Imagine what


J.R. Richards – I Will Give You Life

And take all my love and hate

For I will give you life

I Kissed A Frog Who Became A Prince & That is That

I've had just enough time to...  kiss a frog that became a prince...

Taken of the lily pond and dozens of little green frogs in the Borneo Highlands... 
(if you can find them...)

I met a frog who told me
“I am a frog who was once a prince
And will be again if you kiss me”
“Me? I thought you need  a princess for that!”
“Can you imagine a princess doing it?”
“Then, it had to be you”
“And what makes you think I will?”
“You’re a dreamer, aren’t you?”
“That I am.”
“That is why
So I kissed the frog that talked
And it became a prince and that is that.

Keane - "The Frog Prince"

An old fairytale told me
The simple heart will be prized again
A toad will be our king
And ugly ogres are heroes

Then you'll shake
Your fist at the sky
"Oh why did I rely
On fashions and small fry?"

Friday, 1 February 2013

Did You Notice The Flowers Or the Crack In The Wall? – Part II

I've had just enough time to...   differentiate between the flowers and the crack

Taken in the same place in Malacca as the last post, all inside a building :)

 Are you more concerned –
About the further widening of the crack
Or the imminent fading of the flowers?

Will you –
Patch up the crack
To enjoy the flowers?

Or will you –
Enjoy the flowers
And not worry about the crack?

Maybe, you did not notice –
Either the flowers or the crack?

Maybe, you are –
The crack or the flowers?

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