And I saw but a glowing man,

Untouched by feelings of love then,

Till all sin accredited to him,

He was but a fine man then.

As he walked, he cried :

‘Ah who am I but a free man,

Free of sins and worldly care,

In my eyes none would dare,

Lay me a moving hand,

Whether by heart and vent,

For Virgil must be right ,

Flectere si nequeo superos,

Acheronta movebo !’

And he walked and walked,

Men and women, none trifled him,

For he was who he was then.


Path to path, path by path,

He build the bridges,

And break them fair,

Only by those innocence he would let across,

And those tainted ; They would fall

Golden fleece, it wouldn’t save

Unseen and unheard Neptune was,

Waves speak louder than words,

said he, Oh! Thus he spake!


Without fear and presence ; it did not matter

Fear is but courage belittled,

Presence is but seen respect,

Both which he presented truly without respite,

Sin to sin he moved across, duly done duly served

A restraint of Atlas he had in him, truly Typhon

Appearing to all as Apollo’s kin


A night’s spend he wouldn’t flinch,

To wind or rain finest he acted,

None regretted none availed,

To death he but said :

‘ Race to the end of time it is!’

To time however spake he :

‘We shall be clearer than skin,

As dearer than winds.’

Didn’t gods appear by him,

Horatius who is he,

He be but the Cerberus of Rome,

Worship none enough, as he held back Etruscans, swam across the raging Tiber,

Cleanse of sins and distrust,

He would but gain them again,

Acheronta movebo!





No words, none can describe,

First seen, first love,

Lenses she held, Weren’t they clear

To see thru’ this man’s heart?

Hollow as it was,

Was it not filled with love

To whom she never knew,

Still she stood, still she looked,

Are a man’s eyes different

And do they differ? From a man to another?

But still with certainty he knew

If Cupid did, for he hath must,

Put an arrow through his heart,

For he looked :

She, a face with no taint,

, a body scared by her thoughts,

, a soul free of sin,

Lips may they be perfect,

A warm smile, his hearts melts,

Dark skin were they imbrued by others minds,

But to him there was no one ever bright,

Polite she must, afraid she isn’t,

Pure, a crystal ball, her bringing hath brought it.


Ships after, swinging oars,

Sails flowing, men looking,

Seeing her they did not,

For stones be more precious than diamonds around them,

Her heart but sealed and shut,

A heart’s coldness comes from cold given,

Hers, a winter’s embrace,

Made her who she must,

None dared ask, none dared brace,

Certainly he would, try he must,

But he knew,

His days are only numbered

As he would start

To warm this lady’s heart


Without thought without bought,

She was seen by all who saw,

They could but not say,

Black may not be white,

A change in class, art to be,

A lion’s heart, her heart,

Brought her far from life’s trouble,

Could she would not have understood,

‘Why and where would colour stand?’

In the shadows or in light’s own hand?

Surely the light for it is humane,

Surely the shadows if one, an animal.’

All silence, ever sure,

She made more the ardent,

Put them in position, only her doing done.

Athene denied Hephaestus, so did she

As Hestia did to every Olympian,

God or goddess,

Marble may be hard,

Move her they did not.




Did his heart not turn to stone?

Was it stone or was it marble?

A difference she never knew,

For all that he could give,

Apollo could never be with Daphne,

Laurel tree she is ; He, with Apollo’s sin


Day to day the heart grew fonder,

There was not any distance,

Undulating, insuffering

Was not his love and feelings

Didth Tiresias not spoken, a broken heart,

Will only lead towards

Ends with no end, an everlasting chase

A wild-goose chase!

Ah, he cried !

For the heavens hath heard me not,

And hell has held me too long,

Winged seraphs of heaven,

Hath love no place in heaven,

In love we are stronger, love God we shall,

Such a surety he seeked,

Unrequited, was he not afraid,

Nec Spe Nec Metu,

Myth of a love once gone,

words unheard belong to one’s heart


Months to months, days to days

Love for her grew stronger

Like the winds came monsoon

So did his love ; it grew too soon

Did he not have knowledge of it earlier,

In her place and heart ; she was but sound

Tribal, terrible glances.

Hence they came, to the night they returned

‘Let the truth set you free!’

Fears should be overcomed, not witheld,

His was much to bear,

As again it pained his heart,

One heart, all given, lost only to be found




A secret kept, then it was told

A burden beared, a burden held

A heart’s desire, a heart’s gold


Hear me, seer! See ye, that plateau hence

Hath it been that many a year

untold , unspoken ; unshared, unbroken


Out i came and went, words spoken, a secret told

An old burden, now freed

Pandora and her very own demons,

She sighed as she opened her box,

‘Let them go for freedom is but the constitution of heaven.’


Surprise, an emotion held for those in shock

Did it change her ; Would it not

Mouth ajar, lips apart

A secret shared, none spoken to but her

Suppose insults could hide love,

Where would ego have its’ place?

Now tell him, not me

However would you choose to feel

Again, freedom was granted in heaven

Seconds pass, as feelings change

It is what it is

A change of heart? For the better or worse

Sleep descended upon him,

Was hypnos present ; House of Night shields all

Actions never told, now she knew

Was his to do, also his to tell

A care she needed,

A love she allowed

A person she knew,

A lover she wanted


L’amor, l’amor,

Moves the heart does it do

Barely by noon did she feel

Barely by evening did she knew

As the sun also rises,

so did her heart ; again

Aphrodite’s descend, upon lovers and friends

Made them whole again




Love, oh love!

Old sweet old love,

Is but a special thing for poesy

How was it special

Love songs written, sang and given


Days he trusted, that it would last

Like the hard, solid pillars that held the parthenon

Would it last?

Let us see, for he did see

Fear crept up on him

His heart, perhaps, fragile

How words could warm ; or they could not

Together happiness was found

Good things last without being the knowledge of others




Did it change him,


Leaves that shed by autumn rains,

Cold and sharp,

His was warm and blunt,

A change others saw ; maybe perceived

Clear-minded, like the ever-clear Odysseus

Nope, never a chance

For the seas are wild ; serene only in a dream

His was being Echo, ever loving, ever giving

To whom feelings were unrequited

But they appeared so then

For love ; change and blindness it makes



Ever so perfect, none ever parfait

In his eyes

Who could be more indifferent,

Who could be more loving,

Who could be more courageous,

A sight at each other everyday,

Was enough for her,

For outings were of difficulty,

Or so she hath said,

Time did not matter, then.

Kronos may stop it, both would feel ever same

It hung as surely as how every household,

In it was mistletoe during Christ birth

Her heart, warm and beating

Her soul, in the heavens and after

Her mind, floating above the seas



They, closer than a strand of hair,

In the ’tween of them

None shall ever split ; Bonds

That they shared so clearly



Love, as a virgin as child

, as strong as fastened rafters

, as sure as faithful pillars

Thus was the love they had

How the angels up in heaven,

And the demons under the sea,

Have placed envy ’tween them hearts


A smile, it speaks for itself

Without a speck of doubt

And absolute certainty was given

That the love they had

Was stronger than the very hide of Belial,

very jaw of leviathan,

very gates of heaven




Step by step, descended slowly with them,

Let the waves roll and afterwards,

Watch them break against the shores,

For pride is the very trait of the devil

Oh Leviathan, beast of the deep, Jormungand

King over the children of pride

Leader amongst the over-thought

Greatest before the nine-headed beast

Let your name reach far

For Judgement is mine, and reserved

It is for YOU


Alas, good things without a doubt, come to an end

With love, I am ever sure

For thus to him, before so untouched

Now only lay before the feet of devils

A cold breath, a fog mist

Breathed by young and old

Going, finished, into the wilderness


Roses left unbloomed,

Like the passion he had unmoved


Was it not enough for her,

A freedom, suddenly threatened

A love, suddenly fading

A life, suddenly changed

It did not matter ; He

Only the shadows took him, when she couldn’t

Swallows high up ahead, above air, around the trees

Crows, the bringer of dead

Books unwanted ; offered ; requested ; thrown


Friends, family

Lions choose between their cubs

Only how fragile young bud shots were

As they hardened,

And break in a blizzard

Paternal and maternal choices ; Change you?

A decision she came upon, for better or for worse?

Care she did not, self-loving she was

Chandeliers hang down from the grand hall, each holds up the light of the room

Without lights, no work can be seen

Darkness spreads, as one perceives

Such as his heart, on that soulless day










Let I, perhaps, fasten the udders,

Lest the oars, may come loose as well,

Lest the skiff, like one’s heart, break against a large wave


Broken, was him

But i am no Hero,’tis not me to mend,

What was broken and taken

Perhaps one heart was meant for more

Alas , he cried!

‘Only you, my dear!’

Penelope, however, she was not

Perhaps, with Apollo’s sin, he can be Calypso

Oh Calypso, in love with hero after hero

Such was the same with him,

Our dear old Horatius,

‘Without hope without fear’

Now he is

We are all but broken people

We are?

Oh our dear young man,

Young love, turn away, no back-looks

‘But ’tis no young love’ he hath cried

It is with the love of the sun

For you




It is forgetfulness, you seek?

Thus is the reach of Hypnos

Children in the house of Night

Maybe Nike may give victory at your side

Expect no miracles ; They are for mine own choice






Spires, gargoyles

Adorn not the tips and highest edges

Of good old Notre Dame

Voices of Angels,

They ring through the halls

Did not Heaven despise love,

For weakness only it wrecks,

Men like him would never accept

And now he is but an empty shell

A past too long,

A future too far,

An effort too painful


An empty chamber, cauldron,

Fill it up with water, say, the sages

For it is with knowledge

An ever-deepening well

Perhaps the heart as well?

Sages, all four sages

Know ye your purest hearts, the pain of a broken one

One may fix an empty vessel

But not an empty heart


Strangers, they were now

A word, hardly mattered

Unspoken words, they sat in the heart

Undone actions, they hang in the air


Oh our dear Apollonian kin,

Grief not at the past,

But grief for your future

Hold not your feelings,

But your words spoken

’Tis no fault of hers, but yours alone

Yours to suffer and bear


True love? What is it?

Let a child answer,

For children can love without any hurt

Let a close one answer,

For now she does not love anymore


Life is but a tragedy,

Cold faces, distant eyes, stone hearts

Let it choose who it must,

But spare you my dear kin.



Tan Wei Sheng, Selangor.



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