Gain & Hound

Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge week #50’s word prompts are ‘gain’ and ‘hound’. The words led me to think not of dogs or the hounds of hell (LOL), but rather the hounding of people. 😉

Little dogs sleeping at our boutique guest house in Old Town Baisha, Yunnan Province, China (13 October 2013)
Little dogs sleeping outside our room at our boutique guest house in Old Town Baisha, Yunnan Province, China (13 October 2013)

Gain & Hound

What is there to gain
By hounding incessantly
Everybody’s bane

Khor Hui Min
23 June 2015

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Penny for your thoughts

For week #70 of Haiku Horizons, the word prompt was ‘tear’. For some reason, the English new wave band Tears for Fears (founded in 1981) came to mind, but they did not affect the resulting haiku. LOL.

This week’s haiku is about being a shoulder to lean on, being there for friends and family, and being a kindred spirit.

Autumn foliage in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China (13 October 2013)
Autumn foliage in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China (13 October 2013)

Penny for your thoughts

Penny for your thoughts
A tear for every sorrow
A hug for your fears

Khor Hui Min
23 June 2015

Lock & Gab

Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge week #49’s word prompts are ‘lock’ and ‘gab’. The words led me to think of secrets & blabbermouths. LOL. 😉

View from the top of the hill at Yehliu Geopark, Wanli, New Taipei. Photo taken on 12 March 2014.
View from the top of the hill at Yehliu Geopark, Wanli, New Taipei. Photo taken on 12 March 2015.

Lock & Gab

The gift of the gab
Plague for keepers of secrets
Guard with lock and key

Khor Hui Min
19 June 2015

Secrets

I have grown fond of writing haikus, and blogs like Ronovan Writes and Haiku Horizons give me ideas every week for writing new haikus. 🙂  For Haiku Horizon’s week #69 challenge, the word prompt was ‘secrets’. I envisioned secrets buried in the lost annals of ancient history, in catacombs, dusty tombs and pyramids.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Secrets

Whispers of secrets
Woven into tapestries
Hanging in aged tombs

Khor Hui Min
17 June 2015

At the Crossroads

For this week’s Malaysian Writers FB page poetry challenge, the word prompt was ‘crossroad’. I decided to write a piece inspired by sad news of human trafficking uncovered up north. When people are driven by profits, they can even view other fellow human beings as animals or even objects to be traded. 😦

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

At the Crossroads

At the crossroads; junction of life
Which way to go, left or right?
Can the past be severed with a knife?
Can you win without a fight?

Pack your bags; escape is nigh
Be light and strong; steel your mind
Be brave; hold your head up high
Unchain the shackles that bind

Run out the door; close it back tight
Look to the front; don’t turn back
Move those legs, with all your might
Once you’re out; never come back

Godspeed and good luck
May the heavens smile kindly
Upon your weathered soul
And bring you to safe haven swiftly

Khor Hui Min
10 June 2015

Dedication
This poem is dedicated to the long-suffering victims of human trafficking

Inspire & Loss

For week #48 of Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge, the word prompts are ‘inspire’ and ‘loss’. These two words led me to daydream (at 10p.m. at night, no less) about a story where a woman suffered a great loss that affected her deeply, causing a profound change in her beliefs and life’s purpose. She was inspired to change her direction and vocation from a life dedicated to purely materialistic pursuits to being more concerned and caring about society.

Frangipani trees are everywhere
Frangipani trees in Legian, Bali

Inspire & Loss

Her tremendous loss
Inspired her to choose her life
Serving greater good

Khor Hui Min
10 June 2015

Memories

It is the last week of the 10 Premodern Poems by Women public online course by Stanford University. It has been interesting to read poems written by women from the 17th to 20th centuries and learn about the lives of the poets themselves.

In Week 10, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem ‘Recuerdo’  is featured. It appeared in A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets (1922). Interestingly enough, out of the ten poems, only this poem is a happy one. Most of the other poems dealt with death, while some dealt with love. A few others talked about childhood, patriotism, etc.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

My chosen assignment question (out of four questions) is – write a happy poem. 🙂  Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem was entitled ‘Recuerdo’, which is Spanish for ‘memory’. So, I wrote a piece about childhood memories. However, it is a work of fiction and does not reflect any actual events in my childhood. 🙂

Memories

I remembered the days long past
The days when I saw you last
When we played together
In the orchards; helping father
Plucking fruits; eating half of them
Running in the mud; soiling our hems

I remembered the days long past
The days when I saw you last
Running beside the golden rice fields
And the harvest they generously yield
Catching fish for our dinner
The one who catches the most, the winner

I remembered the days long past
The days when I saw you last
When you got into your father’s car
With suitcases packed to go far
Over the seas far and wide
One day I’ll come visit you, over the tides

Khor Hui Min
8 June 2015

To visit the Stanford University public online courses page, click here.

IF poem by Rudyard Kipling

Today, I’m featuring an inspiration poem by Rudyard Kipling, the famed British Nobel laureate. Written in in 1895, it was first published in Rewards and Fairies in 1910.

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was one of the most popular writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in England. He wrote novels, short stories and poems.

Kintamani volcano is surrounded by water
Lake Batur, a scenic lake next to Mount Batur (Bali)

IF

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.