"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?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Your Window to the World

I've had just enough time to...   open my window to the world

A lovely window that I chanced upon in Malacca...

How you look at the world
Shapes how you look within
Your window to the world is
What It sees when it looks in
You see more through the views
Of others than what you yourself see

Look at the world
With love and compassion
So that the world
Will look at you the same

...said a lot about the owner.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Lady in the Flower Cheongsam Promise Me Love

I've had just enough time to...   deliberate on the complexities of Love & Life

The Lady waiting on the stairs by the street of Malacca

The lady in the flower cheongsam
Promise me love 
But I don’t have the currency 
She said she doesn’t mind 
But many do 
And do I 
Mind we are of different worlds 
Mine beneath hers

What about pride?

Love conquers all when you’re in love
But love is like soft petals on sunny days
All too soon it fades away while
Pride is sharper than steel and
Harder than the boulder
That stood in our way

Love on her mind

Coward! She cried
Your pride is too fragile
Hitting me where it hurts
How do I make you understand
A man’s pride is his being
Without which he is a bitch
I can give you my life
But I can’t sell you my pride

What about love?

What about love?
Without love a man can survive
A lesser man he may be but a man still
Without pride a man is a dog
Its tail licking its heel

Life in the way

I am a woman.
I need no pride which
Makes me more a man than you
I am willing to die for love but
I am not willing to die for pride
I am willing to give up everything
For that sublime feel
You are not willing to accept heaven
To your brittle pride you yield

She stood at the top of the stairs
I stayed below
She dared me to go up
But all I could think of
Is the same promise
Made by the farmer’s daughter
One love is as good as another
But a shattered pride
Stay shattered forever

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Looking Out The Window With A Smile

I've had just enough time...   to look out the window into the world with a sad smile

The clown looking out the window into the world in historic city of Malacca

Looking out the window
Into the world
With empty eyes and a smile
The small kid runs, laugh
And pointed
He likes it best on hot afternoons
When only stray dogs
Roam the silent street
On cloudless night when pebbles
Reflects the moon’s silvery lights
On rainy days when heaven’s tears
Spear the lonesome Earth
Always with the same smile
The same empty eyes
Looking out the window
Into the world from behind bars

I was wandering through the street of one of my favorite city. The historical city of Malacca where there always new discoveries to be made. At a corner building of the Ironsmith Street “Jalan Tukang Besi” away from the maddening crowd, I saw a Chinese Clown in a T-shirt looking eerily out a window of the brightly painted orange building. Its fathomless eyes unreadable and its sardonic smile uninterpretable. What are its thoughts to be looking out the window every day? I tried to imagine but it is not easy to be a clown with sad eyes and an uneasy smile.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Hooded Cyclist on a Green Bicycle in Downtown Surabaya

I've had just enough time...   to have an encounter with the hooded rider of a green bicycle

Caught this hooded cyclist in downtown Surabaya

In the busy street of Surabaya
Competing with trucks and cars
A thick hooded cyclist
On a green bicycle emerged
Face masked against
Spurting fumes of
Noisy vehicles all around
Who is he?
What are his thoughts
What makes him what he is?
I would have run after him for answers
But I was not, and he disappeared
Into the traffic leaving questions
Hanging like smoke in the polluted air

I was in a car squeezing through the afternoon traffic in downtown Surabaya when from nowhere I noticed a hooded cyclist. That is very rare in a tropical country especially it is made of thick clothes as the one he wore. Must be very hot and sweaty under that. With the hood and the mask he wore, one cannot even make out his features. His attire is different from the locals and he wore heavy boots and rode a green bicycle. With the cars moving slowing due to the congestion, he whizzed through the traffic and disappeared in front of us. He is very interesting and I found I wanted to know more regarding this strange character. So if anyone recognized this hooded cyclist of Surabaya, be sure to drop me a line and satisfy this itch-like curiosity.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Broken Bowl of Rice

I've had just enough time...   to smash my iron bowl

Found this broken bowl of rice in Kuala Lumpur, will I deliberately break mine?

He had an iron bowl
That cannot break
So he cared not
If it dropped
Till it was replaced
With one of clay
To his chest he cradled
But it accidentally dropped
Smashed to pieces
Overcame with fear
He lived on edges
Till he discovered
His life was saved by
A broken bowl of rice

In another section of the hall opposite to the one with the sculpture of sealed lips (see last post), was one exhibiting works by different artists employing the same theme “bowl”. Though this is not very original, it is still my favorite as it resonates with me and reminded me of all the fears we experienced worrying about breaking our bowl of rice. But same as the sealed lips, it may not necessarily be a bad thing to go beyond our comfort zone. And sometimes, we need a disaster to push us out of it. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

If my lips are sealed

I've had just enough time to...   have my lips sealed

Taken of the sealed lips in an exhibition in Kuala Lumpur

If my lips are sealed
I won’t be able to compare
Thee to a summer’s day
Or express in how many ways
I love you

If my lips are sealed
I can only love in silence
Like the undisturbed snow…
Pure and unadorned
Unadulterated by words

I was waiting for a charity event to begin and I wandered as I’m prone to do. I stumbled into a gallery and I liked this exhibit. The first thought was political – about how much we cannot say in this country. But when I draw out this photo to write, I find I did not want to go down that path. I want to write about love. And what can happen if one can’t express it. It is not necessarily bad.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Happy Faces of Octoberfest Parade - Part II

I've had just enough time to...   hunt for smiles

A Generous Smile

Around the fire, the hunter illustrates
A sea of faces is not the best hunting place
Crowded heads and hurried paces produce only
Frozen smiles with insipid tastes, we hunt
The wild antelopes that leap from hidden bases

A Cheer-ful smile

A Bald Smile

A Smile in Every Direction

The best lure for smiles is another smile
Dredged from the depth, still smelling of blood
Excites the hearts, setting them aflame
Spreading quickly through the land of game
Smiles will rise like a flock of startled birds
On a sudden charge of stampeding herds
Smiles after smiles the hunter aimed
Smiles after smiles the hunter claimed

A "watch out for the horse shit!" Smile (woman) & A Careless Smile (old man)

A Hidden Smile

A Saluted Smile

A (not so successful) Covered Smile

That cold October morning, the hunting was good. I hunted and caught smiles after smiles. I hope to catch a few with this post. I still remember the lesson taught - “the best lure for a smile is another smile”.

Prancing Smiles

Many Colourful Smiles

A Juliet Smile (where's Romeo?)

And finally the smile I tried hardest to capture. Saw the lady in uniform controlling the crowd. She was serious in her task. I willed her to smile and finally my long distance mind control worked and I caught her smile! :)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Grasshopper In My Room

I've had just enough time to...   encounter a grasshopper in my room

The grasshopper I encountered in the seventh floor of my hotel room in Kuching

I found a grasshopper
On the seventh floor of my hotel room
How did it get there? I do not know.
But it must have hopped there
All the way from where it came from
I said ‘hello’ but it hopped away
To a far corner of the room
I left to do what hotel occupants do
And when I returned, it was gone

I never saw it again but did I hear its song?

In the early morning
Before the breaking of the dawn
I was awaken by singing in my room
I don’t which is lonelier
The singing by my bed or
The early morning prayer
Enveloped by the yearning
And the longing
I fell into a strange dream
Of heaven and home…

Two days ago when I opened the door to my hotel room in Kuching, a tiny grasshopper sprang away from me. I followed it to the center of the room where it stopped and viewed me with cautious eyes as I snapped it. As I had to leave immediately, I left it undisturbed where it was. When I returned late that night, it was nowhere to be seen. The next morning when it was still dark, I was awaken by the shrill singing that after several moments of sleep deprived confusion, I concluded it must be from the grasshopper in my room though I am not sure what sound grasshopper make. At the same time, the early morning prayer from across the river wafted into my room. Surrounded by these two sounds, I fell asleep again to a strange dream…

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