Light and Dark

For July 2016 week 3 of #‎MYWritersPoetryPrompt‬, there were two word prompts, ‘light’ and ‘dark’. I wrote about the co-existence of light and dark, good and evil. This poem is not about the triumph of good over evil, but about how their co-existence makes each appear as they are perceived in the present day – light being the good, and dark being the evil.

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Light and Dark

What is light without dark?
What is dark without light?

The light makes the dark
Look dim and dastardly

The dark makes the light
Look bright and beautiful

One without the other
Will lose its power and influence

They are pitted against each other
But each needs the other to thrive

An odd co-existence through the ages
But persists still due to necessity

Khor Hui Min
23 June 2016

 

 

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. 🙂

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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

 

Scorched Earth

I love writing poetry every week, and this week, it’s about our home planet – Earth. For the last #‎MYWritersPoetryPrompt‬ for February 2016 in the ##‎MYWriters‬ FB group, it is haiku writing time. I put up the word prompt EARTH, and we shall pay homage to Mother Nature, on which we all depend on for our survival. 🙂

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Source of photo: https://www.pininterest.com/pin/142215300707621437/

Scorched Earth

Mother Earth watches
As we scorch the land with greed
Riches to ashes

Khor Hui Min
24 February 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

A poem in Malay for today: Kemboja merah jambu

For the first #‎MYWritersPoetryPrompt‬ for February 2016 in the ##‎MYWriters‬ FB group, I put up a photo of frangipani flowers, which I took on a marine biodiversity education trip to Terengganu in June 2014.

 

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I thought of writing a poem in Malay, because the photo was taken in Terengganu and frangipani flowers always reminded me of local and traditional culture. So, here it is: 🙂

Kemboja merah jambu

Kemboja merah jambu menawan
Di laman rumah senyap sepi gunawan
Tepi pantai riuh ombak samudra
Penuh dengan bisikan hati bergelora
Tiada siapa mendengar rintihan pilu
Yang sunyi menanti kepulangan mu

Khor Hui Min
3 Feburary 2016

 

Here’s the translation for the poem:

Pink frangipani

Enchanting pink frangipani blossoms
In the quiet gardens of the virtuous
Beside the beach where waves crash unendingly
Full of the passionate whispers of the heart
Nobody hears the melancholic sighs
Of one who awaits your return in loneliness

Khor Hui Min
3 Feburary 2016

 

This poem is about the fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers in the little villages and quaint towns, who await the return of the youngsters who, attracted to the bright lights of the glittering cities, have migrated to the west coast to make it big. Enshrouded by the excitement of city life and materialistic success, the youngsters live their days busy with their work and newfound life, and memories and thoughts of their loved ones on the east coast are pushed further and further into the recesses of their consciousness.

 

Durian dream

For the ‪#‎MYWritersPoetryPrompt‬ in the ##‎MYWriters‬ FB group, I decided to do something fun for the end of January 2016 – I put up the word prompt ‘Durian’, since a fellow writer was lamenting that there were very few poems written about this king of fruits. I hope the good sports who participated had a bit of fun writing their ‘thorny’ and ‘pungent’ poems. 😉

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Durian dream

Oh, so creamy
On my fingers
My, so dreamy
The aftertaste lingers

A foodie’s dream
So very intoxicating
Melts like ice cream
Draws crowds unending

The flesh so heavenly
A timeless delicacy
Savoured lovingly
Enraptured in ecstasy

A fruit so addictive
But an acquired taste
Its appreciation subjective
Enjoy it, never in haste

From sweet to bitter
From bittersweet to fermented
Do descriptions matter?
If you care, you’re demented

From the wilds, it spread
It made its way
Love it or hate it
It’s here to stay

Khor Hui Min
27 January 2016