Sea of hope

For last week’s #‎MYWritersPoetryPrompt‬ in the ##‎MYWriters‬ FB group, I put up a photo of fishing boats I took in a fishing village in Penang. Famously known as the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is a state in Malaysia located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. I love the old world charm which permeates the island, with it’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and age-old traditions coexisting comfortably side by side with modernity. I think that’s part of what makes Penang special. Of course, there is the wonderful food. 🙂


Modernity and globalization should never replace traditions and cultures, because that’s what makes a place and its people unique. It gives them an identity they can be proud of.

Here’s the poem I wrote. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sea of Hope

Before daybreak, before the crack of dawn
Old boats slink out, in search of fish and prawns
Slowly making their way, from the shallows
To the depths; none in self-pity wallow
Lives spent in toil; sweat mixed with tears and salt
From dawn to dusk; with the turtles and whales
From azure calm, to thunderstorms and gales
Life at sea, where uncertainties abound
Hands covered with calluses; skin burnt brown
Catch fish and seafood, for village and town
Etched in furrows of brows; thoughts without sound
Dreaming of coming home to smiles and hugs
Monsoon nights at home; steaming coffee mugs
Of spicy sambal and coconut rice
To but earn enough; we must pay the price
To send children to school; to read, to learn
For a better life – that is our concern

Khor Hui Min
9 March 2016


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