Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another poem from my collection FACING THE HARBOUR. I hope someone like it and translate it to another language. Hope to hear from anyone out there.

The Frying Pan

A frying pan in the kitchen
Of the house where I was born
Was my mum’s best friend
All day long

The frying pan
And something being fried
The children with appetite
Was mum’s source of delight

The frying pan
Days and nights
On the fire
We did not count the years

The mother who cared for the frying pan
Hugged us lovingly
Did we ever look and realize
There were dust in her eyes
Feel her skin scraped by hot fries
Her hands darken by smokes
Her forehead touched by the heat
We were too sleepy after heavy meals
To hear her coughing, her rough breathing
Her painful chest being scratched
By smokes and ashes

We were not aware
And my mum did not care
She only know the joy
Of making us happy
Eating with appetite
And nothing pleased her more
Than to see us satisfied

That’s what happened years after years
The frying pan fulfilled its duty
Until we were grown up and live in the city

And now in my modern kitchen
There is no ugly black saucepan
Whenever I have the time to spare
And that is very rare
I cook for my children
In my non stick stainless pan
Shining and expensive
And after meal I wash it
Carefully almost like bathing a baby
With special soft detergent
Following every instruction
One day my mum came to stay
As usual made her self useful
Cook and serve my family
Her grandchildren enjoyed her cooking
And my mum was very happy

After the meal
She helped me tidied my kitchen
And as she used to do
To her frying pan
Scrubbed my expensive utensil
With a bristle brush
At once I cried
“You’ve ruined my saucepan
Do you know how much it cost?”

My mum looked very hurt
There were a few tears
I must have looked quite fierce

And now my mum had returned to her Lord
Leaving me in deep remorse
Regretting the way I priced a cooking utensil
Much more than a mother’s love

My mum is no longer here
Hang lonely on the wall of our old kitchen
Is the frying pan in her life
Can we give it a price?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My new book published by ITNM (Malaysian Institute of Translation). There are 48 poems originally written in Malay and translated into English by the poet. I hope it can reach out somebody out there somewhere.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Voyage of Hang Li Po
Hang Li Po was the legendry Chinese princess, sent as a bride to the ruler of Melaka
The marriage was a mission to strengthen the newly founded kingdom.

The beautiful Princess Hang Li Po
In the voyage to Melaka
Crying in agony
So young and so tender
To be torn from her mother
Like a shoot from its root
She’d rather die
Drowned by the ocean
Then to bear this separation

Is this her fate her destiny
To be delivered as a gift, a commodity
Shipped to Melaka
As a bride and a donation
To strengthen a nation

Her mother, Her Majesty the Maharani
Had spoken in tears,
My beloved Hang Li Po, please be brave
This fact we have to face
You and me what we are born to be
As queens and princesses
We do not own ourselves
Marriage for us is not a personal decision
It is a state arrangement, a political mission

Do not cry for your father
He is a man, and a king
He loves you as a daughter
But his kingdom is everything
He laughs and cry for the nation
The kingdom demands his attention
First the reign over his land
Family happiness come second

Yes my princess
Look, what history has written
Of empires and nations
Built and strengthened
At the sacrifice and tears of women
While many brought to the end
By misdeed and greed of men

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A collection of poems entittled FACING THA HARBOUR will be out soon, published by Malaysian Institute of Translation, Kuala Lumpur.

Facing the Harbour

It disturbs me
Every time I face the harbour lights
They are the lights of our boundary
Reminding us nobody can live without a name
And loyalty to a country

But nobody can choose his own name
Or the country to be born in

Menghadap ke Pelabuhan

Alangkah sukarnya berdepan
Dengan lampu-lampu pelabuhan
Lampu-lampu sempadan yang mengingatkan
Hidup ini mustahil tanpa nama
Dan kesetiaan kepada negara

Tapi tak siapa memilih namanya sendiri
Dan tempat untuk dilahirkan

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pulang ke negeri abadi

Apabila dunia hanyalah sementara
Semua manusia adalah pengembara

Apabila dunia hanya pinjaman
Tidak terjamin kekal berzaman

Apabila hidup tidak beriman
Sesatlah kita tanpa pedoman

Apabila kita di jalan pulang
Jaga bahtera menempuh gelombang

Apabila bahtera dibiar hanyut
Karam tenggelam di tengah laut

Apabila tiada iman yang teguh
Ibarat berjalan tidak bersuluh

Apabila tidak cukup bekalan
Bahtera tidak sampai pengkalan

Apabila sempurna amal ibadat
Di negeri akhirat beroleh syafaat

Iman dan akal jadi kemudi
Selamat lah pulang ke negeri abadi

Pelihara diri dari maksiat
Beroleh lindungan di negeri akhirat

Hidup berpandu iman dan akal
Beruntunglah kita di negeri yang kekal

Apabila hidup bersuluhkan akal
Beruntunglah kita di negeri yang kekal