Thursday, 8 December 2011

Monsoon history

The air is wet, soaks
Into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen cover
Of school books, or walking
Quietly, like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
On its hundred feet
Is filled with the glare
Of tropical water

Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory

Drinking Milo, 
Nyonya and Baba sit at home. 
This was forty years ago. 
Sarong-wrapped they counted 
Silver paper for the dead. 
Portraits of grandfathers 
Hung always in the parlour.
Reading Tennyson, at six
p.m. in pyjamas 
Listening to down-pouring 
Rain: the air ticks 
With gnats, black spiders fly, 
Moths sweep out of our rooms 
Where termites built 
Their hills of eggs and queens zoom 
In heat. We wash our feet 
For bed, watch mother uncoil
Her snake hair, unbuckle
The silver mesh around her waist, 
Waiting for father pacing 
The sand as fishers pull 
From the Straits after monsoon.

The air is still, silent
Like sleepers rocked in the pantun,
Sheltered by Malacca.
This was forty years ago,
When nyonya married baba

- Shirley Geok Lin-Lim -

no need to decipher the meaning of this poem. It always makes me remember my hometown


  1. KuruKuru: hehe baeklah2...
    Wak: x homesick pon. saje bace balik poem ni

  2. kannn but i dont really learn the literature part. i only read them ^^