She was innocent and pure

It was her first love

Thought he’ll be the one.




He is a psychopath

Won’t let her go out


Told her sweet lies

But cursed her in heart

He wants nothing but lust

So they did not last


Fondness turned into violent

Love became hate

He is a monster in disguise


Poor little girl

Her first love was a disaster

But she is much stronger now

More careful in love

Won’t fall for second.

Nur Fatihah Mohd Arnawi, Melaka


Rotting crimson cave

once home to your passion

now lies in another’s caress

who possess your devotion

from dawn to dusk

and still lingers on

in your dreams –

my damnation.


But I can’t declare

what drives me

to the devil’s lair, nightly

I lost that freedom

to sing your name

when you slid through

the crack in our the cave.



Anntidote, Puchong, Selangor.


I remember one day someone I’ve met

Told me a story hard to forget

Asked me how well do I sleep at night

And if it’s true that bed bugs bite?

She said :

I spend my night looking at the moon

but sometimes the clouds come way too soon

I spend my night counting stars

but sometimes I count my daylight scars

I would sit the blow of the midnight breeze

but sometimes it’s so cold, I might freeze

I’ve given up on the thought of counting sheeps

I’ve counted millions but still no sleep

I’d sing a love song for the sky

and for myself, a lullaby

To whom you think should I put the blame?

so many nights can’t sleep can’t dream

Could the dream to dream be only a dream

But from sleepless night and dreamless wake

I have finally taught myself to dream and be awake

Farhan Ejat, Sabah


Freedom was a virtue unknown,
Until your vice crossed my path.
That carefree feeling taken for granted,
Vanished when you revealed your wrath.

The bracelet you picked out,
One I’ve proudly shown,
“Only the finest silver”,
The prettiest handcuff I’ve known.

The gemstone on my throat,
A finely fitted necklace,
Almost as perfectly as your fingers,
When they’re often interlaced.

Twenty-four carats and rose gold,
Drawing (and breaking) hearts as it glistens,
If freedom is a virtue now known,
I must be in the world’s richest prison.

Esther Kuok May Yan, Kuala Lumpur

self-worth : low, slowly crumbling


it’s when people tell you “it’s not good enough”
when you’ve poured your heart and soul
your blood, your sweat, your tears
invalidated by a “not good enough”.

it’s when you’re put on a pedestal
alongside someone clearly better
obscured by their much greater shadow
you bathed in darkness whilst they basked in light.

it’s when you hate the person
staring back at you in the mirror, who mocks you with their very existence
their imperfections, their ugly appearance, their unwanted presence
you so hate.

it’s when you’re running on a treadmill
caught in a perpetual chase, trapped in a never-ending journey
no matter how high the speed setting, no matter how fast you run
you’re always unable to catch up, always “not good enough”.

it’s that monster, overwhelming and all-consuming
that lays dormant, pulling you into its embrace when you least expect
eating away at your mind, twisting your very perceptions
welcoming, inviting

that sinking feeling
which catches your mind at its weakest, and paints you pictures of
never meeting expectations, never being up to standard
of being cast aside like an obsolete

tool, along with the others
you, along with the unwanted, the neglected, the not good enoughs
haunted by impossible standards, following the shadows of the number ones
forever second, forever not good enough.

it starts to whisper sweet words tinged with malice
enveloping your heart with feigned promises of liberation, hopes of an escape
to a world without the expectations, without the standards
without the “not good enoughs”.

its whispers become incessant gnawing
an irresistible temptation, preying on your morbid curiosity
coaxing you
to loop the rope around your neck
to leap over the balcony
to swallow those pills
to plunge the blade through you
to accept death’s invite.

it fools you
it lulls you
into a state of complete submission
you falling victim to its monstrous influence
as it continues to whisper “not good enough”.

By: Mi Chelle Cheah, Penang


This Burden

A porter hoisting a mean luggage
Over his lean weary shoulders
Past bitterness she carries as a baggage
Heavy on her back like solid boulders

Trudged this load of supposed wrongdoing
As far as her remembrance
Smoldering fires she has been feeding
Logs of hateful vengeance

Play this Shakespeare’s tragedy
In her mind so repeatedly
Cleopatra she is naturally!
Her poison she feed herself ever so painfully

Rather she would trust in pretense
Than to let down her fragile defense
Thick wall around herself she builds of strength
As such she loses many a true friend

With this bothersome load
Tis a long hard climb
Slow are her steps on this rocky road
Held back by her useless grime

Try as she may to shrug off this pain
Her demeanor sweet on the outside
In vain it creeps to her back again and again
Simmering embers fuels her heart inside

Enlighten her my Beloved
Help her to forgive and forget
A step back she takes each time in her endeavor
To reach You , her misgivings beset

Guide her to walk forward
With Your magnimity in her stride
Your light shine her life onward
To diminish her wasteful pride

By: Mariam Bee, Ipoh, Perak

8 hours

8 hours condenses itself into a blink of an eye
8 hours condenses itself into the fate of your survival
8 hours condenses itself into a game of pretend-to-be-dead
8 hours condenses itself into a game of I-want-to-be-dead
8 hours condenses itself into
1 second

8 hours multiplies itself into a thousand lifetimes
in which you live an alternate reality,
in which you live a spectrum of emotions,
in which you live 80 happy days from that which eats you up,
from you who eat yourself up

8 hours in which you live.

Its funny how when you wake up every morning,
you are re-enacting your death that you have grown so numb to.
You are the ghost of your past living in the present.
I’m sorry 8 hours came to an end

What’s funnier is that you go to bed at night making the same wish.
Your tongue, already too familiar with the roof of your mouth,
the insides of your cheeks, and the structure of your teeth.
Your prayer is meaningless because those 8 hours count themselves down,
impatient to play the same prank on you.
You wake up to die again.
Perhaps God doesn’t listen to those who are dead when they’re alive, and alive when they’re dead.
Perhaps God is dead.

But I know during those 8 hours you are awake with your eyes closed,
alert but unconscious, alive but not living.
I know that you’re most afraid of opening your eyes
and finding you still lie in the four walls of your casket.
I know this because I am the body in which you reside.

So tomorrow, when it’s time for us to wake up
I’ll leave you asleep.

By: Phel Kaur, Kuala Lumpur.