The Race

What is of this world so full of race

Our steps two instead of one pace

Some three to as much as accumulate

Fame and fortune a stifling haste

The sunshine to make hay, to make hay!

Horseshoes tied to the feet gallop ahead

Unknowingly trotted feelings of break

In the race to gain as much space

God’s bestowal of grace, this

very minute to taste

Savoured not the joy of time in this hurried chase

Count of the next and next second to brace

The imagined worst of fortunes to sway

A breath held too timid to exhale

The moments awareness, of fail to inhale

Lost the moment to the heavens escape

A moments loss is a loss of get away

Realms of search a hopeless waste

The natural self suppressed in the next moment gain

Of society’s expectations an act feigned

A showmanship lifelong an unrealised ordain

We to be blamed when feel not this instance of gain

The Now is the very essence of our life’s stay!
By Mariam Bee

Ipoh Perak


The Eagle

O! How I was that eagle!

The skies of volatile moods a circle

No matter the changing hues my skyway

Care I not to mount the wind my way

I will climb the steps the clouds so temperamental

To tame the changing swirls a whip of far reach able

Gather them my wings spanning so colossal

To my racing heart so monumental

Exhilaration my armoured chest fills

To brave the breathless wind chills

To soar the thunder storms with unbridled courage

A thunder bolt my wilful carriage

The higher and higher I soar upwards

The further and further I’ll be from this material world

My living there is one of much expect

My breathing stifled with hopes dashed

I’ll follow the striped colours seven rainbow

To glide down to swoop my pot of gold

With my talons razor sharp

I’d pry open the minds

To those who feed off others finds

With my curved beak a knife gleaming

I’ll pick the brains of greed crawling

With my keen vision I’ll spy

On the crafty workings of thoughts defile

Save mankind moments of turmoil

Of the likes of Man so vile

Craggy cliffs my kingdom come

Harder I scale the sturdier I


To break the wind and ride it strong

To the legends of strength I belong

Mariam Bee, Ipoh, Perak.

Divided Self in Selfie

Walk passes a bridge mirror,

reflection shows imagined other.

A small gap captures the eyes,

the divided self rises in guise.

Shoot self-portrait with long digital,

The composite time-images baffle.

A small shift to either left or right,

split overlaps or two selves in sight.

Look and the divine will find,

Self is lost: real or unreal in mind.

Where the real self is, who is to wonder,

self, non self and selfie have no bearer.

The cosmic Tao is indivisible,

divisible shadows are visible as dual.

How one see is not what seductions look,

world is a big screen in a changing book.



Dr. KH Lim, KL.



A mouthful of that magical rice wine:


the high spirit burns, hitting the divine.


Body and mind is on fire,


masks shatter, no dire.


Original faces reveal,


the feel is now real.


Mission accomplished cheers!


the elation fills the air, jeers.


My old bones move with the music,


traditional dance in my old trick.


Thread of connections link hundred hearts,


joyful relationships are loving arts.




Dr. KH Lim, KL.



This poem was written after my Laos Medical Mission. At the end of the free medical services, the local held a celebration in appreciation of our group of Malaysians and Singaporeans, and Laos doctors and translators.

The local rice wine (whisky) contains 50% alcohol, much cheaper than beer, and is available everywhere, even at petrol stations. We have seen many alcoholic liver and other associated diseases, plus the familial, marital and social problems.



Reincarnation (1): Remembering Chulia St.

The rusty tram clanged through the dusky heart Of the town steadying itself for
Another night of swift forgetfulness.
It had transported me out of the bamboo groves And the endless cabbage farms –

The slumber of green nothingness –
And deposited me in the midst of
Throbbing life.
The rickshaw rebels tipped their straw hats And nodded half
shadows at me – while Children I would never have raced against
time With colourful kites of innocence on their backs. The vapours of the coolies’ dinner

Tickled my desire – but Aunty Ling was waiting With the curling iron
and the hairdryer: Wondrous inventions that would give me back My
femininity on this night of nights.
Aunty Ling’s chatter and the vendors’ calls Merged into an ageless
And my vision and consciousness drooped. (Tick-tock-tick)
I opened my eyes again to see a new Presence – me but not quite, the
Other That hid from daylight.
The rouge on my cheeks gave me

The blood of life: renewal in the hue of

I was ready for the Swallow across.
Aunty Ling accompanied me there herself.
(‘Trust no-one,’ words trailing from her wartime experience.) The
crowd outside Odeon was restless,
Oblivious to small women like us.
We crossed the street, arm in arm,
Under the neon-lit gaze of the spirits.
Once inside the belly of the Swallow,
We made for the darkened first floor,
The long, musty corridor leading to the heart, Where I had a room of
my own.
Aunty Ling gone, the room conversed with me Through the remnants of
opiate ecstasy
From the nights before.

He came in a rickshaw phantom sudden.
Then he was at the door, blue eyes deep ocean. Then he was in the
room with me,
Tattooed arms around my waist.
No speech necessary except –
He chose to sing in my ear:
‘I’ll close my eyes and
See you with my heart.’
I said: ‘If I close my eyes now,

I’ll see you everywhere – at the port of Nagasaki, Of Hong Kong, of
Singapore, and of Malacca – Everywhere but here.
If I close my eyes, you will no longer be real.’

He pinched my nose and smiled
(Everlasting imprint of here and now).
‘Soon I will return to the sea,
But for now these moments are still yours and mine. Once at the
misty peak of Inasayama
(There was precious little left below),
I learnt the ultimate truth of reality:
That though Time will not remain still,
There is permanence in all times elapsed.
The many nights we have seen through together, Within these silent
four walls of witness,
Will be preserved whole in eternity –
Even if the world may turn colder
Or crueller – and
Mankind should become more heartless
Than they have been.
These sweet hours on Chulia
(Do you hear echoes of Old India?)
Will outlast the street vendors,
The trolleycar riders and the pawnbrokers,
The gold merchants and the ironmongers,
The imperialists and their haughty ways.
When the waves come and claim back the Isle,

You and I will still be here,
Locked in unchanging embrace,
In this old motel of tropical dreams.’
2.4.16. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

*Lyrics taken from ‘I’ll Close My Eyes’ (1957) by Dinah Washington. Songwriters: Billy Reid and Buddy Kaye


Edward Ong, KL.


The old town clock

Wind up the old town clock 

and watch as the hands tock 

before they tick 

Tock, tick, tock, tick 

Look, quick, as the timeline shrinks 

making a U-turn without a sound 

Watch as brand new monuments break down 

replaced by old buildings tha t seem to frown 

with their old coats of paint, wait, still fresh now 

that were glad to be rid of the machines on wheels 

blocking the view of those two young trees 

branches no longer bare of lush green leaves 

Watch as barred windows open and old hearts soar 

freeing people caged by their own front doors 

Wind up the old clock, wait, old no more


Corina R. Mangharam, Sabah.

This picture belongs to the author of this poem

Nature felt it

All the cash,

Are mere trash,

Just printed paper,

And round perfect copper,

That rule the small minds,

Heart of blind and no kind,

This space is gift for all,

Of those weary souls,

Nature is no one’s own,

Didn’t this truth shake your bone?

The trees are not free, for you to take it and flee,

The oceans are part of the world’s portion,

Why make it waste for your own good taste.


Nithya Rajendran