I watched my star of innocence atop
My roof go down, like brash Phaethon whose
Discontentment of his lot on earth, sought
To let the threads which held him earthbound loose.
No great amount of truth-seeking can rend
The veil that hides the truth that in man dwell
Such greed and pride and selfishness that bent –
A perfect world into a perfect hell.
A quick peek, a furtive peep – Terror yields.
Now I know not to which tale I make my plea:
That which, truth concealed or that which it reveals.
This then my despairing confession be:
I pine for ‘once upon a time’ – the myth
Before the painted veil called life was lift.
Benedict Tan, Johor.