Under the Orange Tree

While browsing through blog posts on WordPress.com one day, I found a blog called A Writer’s Path. The site has regular writing prompts, and I found one I liked – ORANGE TREE. Well, it has to do with a tree for starters, and I like plants. 🙂

The poem tells the fictitious story of a less-than-picture-perfect life of a girl. She blossoms into a woman, falls in love, gets married, but ultimately parts from her partner. However, she finds happiness in her family of three children, her dog and nature. To accompany the poem, I have also done a simple illustration with my coloured pencils and Artline 210 pen.

Under the Orange Tree

Under the Orange Tree

Under the orange tree
I would spend my time
In the woods; blissfully free
Simple pleasures enjoyed; sublime

Lying under the orange tree
I craved for naught, but the breeze
Unshackled youth; carefree
Until pollen made me sneeze

Under the orange tree
Was the first time I saw you
With your friends, filled with glee
The sight of you moved me; the feeling grew

Under the orange tree; in the moonlight
Was the first time I kissed you
Encircled by fireflies; shining bright
The beginning of something new

Under the orange tree
Strewn with autumn leaves
We parted ways; to the humming of bees
You moved on; I was left to grieve

Under the orange tree
Years later; in the blossoming spring
Surrounded by loved ones; three
Children grown up; now I’m free

Under the orange tree
Reminiscing happy memories; smiling thoughtfully
With beloved dog at my knee
Gladness once again; painting artfully

An original poem by
Khor Hui Min
27 February 2015

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War and Fame

Today, I was reading Silver Threading‘s post on being positive, a delightful article, when I came across something interesting – Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Challenge. Two words are provided as a prompt to write a haiku every week. I thought it was a fun activity to challenge creativity. So, I thought I’d give it a go. 🙂

Word prompt: War & Fame

Photo taken at Taman Botani, Forest Research Institute Malaysia on 15 Feb 2011
Photo taken at Taman Botani, Forest Research Institute Malaysia on 15 Feb 2011

War & Fame

The blood lust of war
Painted crimson through the lands
Fame of tyrants mar

An original haiku by
Khor Hui Min
26 February 2015

#Be WoW–On Being Positive

Think of all the good things in your life. What makes you happy today? 🙂

Colleen M. Chesebro

be-wow-blogger

Are all of these cold, dark winter days getting you down? Join my friend Ron, of Ronovan Writes in his new challenge Be Wonderful Wednesdays where we share the wonder of the world!

2015-02-25 09.17.50

This was the sight that greeted me this morning in my creative room.  These three plants were almost dead a few months back.  I repotted them and placed them on the filing cabinet in front of the window to make the most of the sunlight that streams into this wonderful space.

Currently, it is raining hard!  I can hear the pounding rains.  Thunder booms and lightening slices across the sky outside my window.  This is great news because it means that spring is headed our way.  Soon there will be an end to the dark days of winter.

That is the power of positive thinking…

Positive Thinking

Look for the good things in your life.  What makes you happy…

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Cloud

Today, I wrote a poem about clouds for the Malaysian Writers FB Group writing prompt. It is an acrostic poem where the first letter of each line in the poem spells out the word CLOUD.

I was also in the mood to draw, which is a very rare occurrence indeed. I drew a simple illustration with my trusty Artline pen to complement the poem. Actually, I was inspired to illustrate my poems after reading William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, an illustrated collection of poems.  A master engraver, Blake illustrated, printed and illuminated the poems of Songs of Innocence himself in 1789. Five years later, he bound these poems with a set of new poems, Songs of Experience, in a volume entitled Songs of Innocence and of Experience Showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul. I was fortunate enough to acquire a book featuring the complete volume of poems with their original illustrations 2 weeks ago. 🙂  William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.

CLOUD

Come with me; fly with the breeze

Live free as a bird; go where you please

Over deserts, mountains and seas

Under the glorious sun; respite from the heat

Despair no more; blessed rain, it’s my treat

An original poem by
Khor Hui Min
24 February 2015

Happy Chinese New Year 2015

Wishing everybody a very Happy Chinese New Year 2015. On the second day of the new lunar calendar, I decided to write a haiku series in line with the new year theme.

The year 2014 was full of trials and tribulations, with floods, missing aeroplanes, planes shot down and etc. I hope the Year of the Goat will bring better times ahead for one and all.

Photo of red ixora flowers taken in Bentong on 20.02.2015, the second day of Chinese New Year 2015
Photo of red ixora flowers taken in Bentong on 20 February 2015

I.    Lunar New Year

Welcome, dear New Year

Year of the Goat; glad tidings

Hopes and dreams renewed

Photo of herbal tea plant taken in Bentong on 20.02.2015, the second day of Chinese New Year 2015
Photo of herbal tea plants taken in Bentong on the second day of Chinese New Year 2015

II.    Renewed hopes

Fresh optimism

For a better year ahead

Floods and tears, goodbye

Photo of bunch of bananas taken in Bentong on 20.02.2015, the second day of Chinese New Year 2015
Photo of bunch of bananas taken outside a house in Bentong on 20 February 2015

III.    Abundance

Challenging year, past

Aspiring for abundance

Sufficient for all

Wildflowers in Cameron Highlands. Photo taken during Chinese New Year 2012.
Wildflowers in Cameron Highlands. Photo taken during Chinese New Year 2012.

IV.    Opportunities

Heralding the new

Prospects for personal growth

And development

Photo of pineapple taken in Puchong on 15.02.2015
Photo of pineapple taken in Puchong on 15 February 2015

V.     Prosperity

Year of good fortune

Revived world economy

Turn it back around

River leading to Chamang Waterfall, a popular recreational area in Bentong, Pahang
River leading to Chamang Waterfall, a popular recreational area in Bentong, Pahang

VI.     Peace and harmony

Do not be derailed

By those who wish to shatter

Fragile harmony

Original haiku series by
Khor Hui Min
20 February 2015

Advice from somewhere #2

Wonder Of My Worlds

IMG_3373-0

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember with 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 to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations 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…

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Unromantic

Today, we have a special guest post by my friend, and fellow nature lover and poet, Mariam Jutta. Hope you like her poem. 🙂

Unromantic

Yes, you ask me
Often
why I am so unromantic?
And yes, I plead guilty to the accusation.
I am unromantic
Because I like to watch you
In your beauty, in your work, your play
And when you sleep.
Because I enjoy talking to you
The one who does understand me.
Because I like to listen to your voice
Your views and opinions.
Because I value you, appreciate you
Cherish you.
I choose to be
unromantic.
Because then I can give to you all of my love
With all my heart.

An original poem by
Mariam Jutta
10 February 2015

The Journey

I’ve been writing every week now since 2015 started. It is with great delight that I find that with increased frequency, the ideas materialise more readily and the ink flows more easily . 🙂

The month of February is the month to celebrate love and togetherness… and don’t forget to go out there and buy a ridiculously expensive present for your loved one, whisper the advertisements and jingles. Well, let’s not get carried away with the commercialisation of the season.

The Writer’s Tower is having some fun this month with their new writing theme, drum roll… UNROMANTIC. 😀  Throw in a bonus word, either ‘eccentric’ or ‘candelabra’, and one will win a Writer’s Tower Medal. 😉

Okay, let’s set the mood with a dreamy photo first… LOL…

A cycad butterfly dances and twirls round and round on a large torch ginger flower in an orang asli village, in Ulu Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.
A cycad butterfly dances and twirls round and round on a large torch ginger flower in an orang asli village, in Ulu Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.

The Journey

Life is a great journey
Sometimes, it’s smooth sailing
Other times, everything’s blurry
Or stormy weather approaching

Everybody’s looking for something
If you haven’t found it, that’s okay
The journey’s full of gems, surprising
We’ll stick together, come what may

Stay by my side, along the way
In my heart, you’ll always have a place
Anytime, just come by; night or day
I’ll make time surely; I’ll make space

The stars, across the skies, we’ll chase
We’ll swing from old chandeliers
Dripping with spider webs and lace
It’s fine to be eccentric, my dear

This only happens once; don’t live in fear
We can be clueless; hopelessly unromantic
Broken hearts, glistening with tears
Life’s not perfect; happily ever after isn’t automatic

Always stock up on some extra cheer
With the rising sun; a new day dawns
Away with the dying darkness; Light is near
A chance at happiness; right the wrongs

Above all else, always stay strong
Life is like a dream; a mere illusion
Not to be taken too seriously; like a song
Fill the journey with hope and with passion

An original poem by
Khor Hui Min
10 February 2015

Diary of a Quirky Girl, 9.02.2015

When I was in school, my mum gave me a small book of quotes. She used it when she was in school, and she thought I might have some use for it. When she gave it to me, it had already started to turn brown and brittle around the edges, and the binding was starting to come apart.

I did flip the little book open sometimes and look up quotes according to a chosen topic, or just flip to some random page. The book, now more decomposed, is somewhere in one of my book boxes in the store room, but I still remember some of my favourite quotes from its pages.

My favourite of all the quotes is by George Linnaeus Banks:

Quote by G.L. Banks

In fact, I liked the quote so much that I put it on the dedication page of my thesis. I felt it was very meaningful, and personified my outlook in life.

The second quote I liked from the book is short and simple, but profound:

Quote by Oscar Wilde

 

The quote is true and it shows how one’s outlook significantly affects one’s life. The optimist sees all that is positive and good, while the pessimist wallows in resentment and discontent at all the things that didn’t go his/her way.

You only live this life once. Would you choose to be happy or unhappy all the time? I choose the former option. What about you?

 

Diary of a Quirky Girl, 6.02.2015

My colleague once told me that I should start writing a diary, because my short non-work e-mails made her laugh. I should write the funny stuff down before I forget them, right? 🙂  Okay, I’m flattered that someone said I’m funny. 🙂

So, today I decided to start that diary thing that was first suggested like two years ago. Here it goes…

If you can’t see the words clearly, please click on the image to read it in larger print. I’m experimenting with Adobe Illustrator for this one. I think I have to use an image in portrait next time.

The lovely background image is from http://www.bloggang.com/viewblog.php?id=lovelovelovely&group=26
The lovely background image is from http://www.bloggang.com/viewblog.php?id=lovelovelovely&group=26

If you just want to read it as a normal blog post, here it is:

Diary of a Quirky Girl

Friday, 6 February 2015

My car’s air-conditioning died 3 days ago. It’s not that I like saunas. I don’t. But the day the air-con died, I went to a car service centre and the foreman said I’d have to pay over RM1,000 to get a new air-con compressor. I imagined flushing the bonus I was going to get three months from now down the toilet. I was speechless, and he gave me his most sympathetic look. Luckily, he asked me to come back the next day, because it was almost closing time.

Nope, this won’t do. It was time to get a second opinion. So, I took Friday afternoon off from work, and went to an automobile air-con service shop not far from home. The whole row of motley car service shops was empty, except for this one. It had like 5 cars and lorries parked all around it, and one shiny red Peugeot parked inside.

At first, the boss ignored me. I thought he couldn’t hear me. After I spoke louder, he told me what I wanted to know – the shop closes at 6pm daily, and yes, he can fix my car before then. So, I hung around. Actually I was standing here and there among the tools and parts strewn all over the blackened oil-soaked cement floor. Then, he finally asked me to start the engine. He popped open the bonnet, and in no time, pronounced that the cooling coil was the culprit. RM400 for an original, he said. Then, more waiting. Sleepy and tired after my auto sauna, I went in and sat on one of the flimsy cheap plastic chairs in front of the one and only desk in the workshop. I was surrounded by compressors and all manner of parts and bits of things.

Then, I don’t know what came over me, but I sat with my left side to the back of the chair, arm over the back. Then I put my head on that arm and went promptly to sleep. What ensued was quite fascinating. Between my bouts of semi-consciousness and total blackness, comparable to a drunken stupor without alcohol, I saw that the boss had started work on my car once I started to snooze. I also noticed through the haze of sleep that the workers and other customers were peering curiously at me. What? Never seen a girl before?

After a while, I moved from the back of the chair to the desk and put my bag on top, then my head on the bag. It was then that the boss came and sat down in front of me.

“Your car’s ready,” he said in his gruff voice. He was smiling, clearly amused.

I said, “Yeah, really?”

He opened the bill book and wrote. His blackened fingers left imprints all over the page. RM230 was his final figure. It wasn’t even the cooling coil. It was just the hose connected to it. I paid up. Wow, what a far cry from RM1,000. I thanked my lucky stars.

I checked the time. It was 4.30 pm. Did I like sleep for half an hour or an hour? Time was kind of fuzzy after I dozed off.

~KHM~