Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thanks for dropping by folks!

I won't be blogging or "poem-ing" as regularly for the next few weeks due to a new job and other new commitments.
I WILL continue, I hope, to pop my head in to visit your blogs if schedule permits.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves my friends, be happy and god bless! :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Poetry Reading at BooksActually

Sunday, August 13, 2006

On Islam & the travesty of the Mideast "Peace" deal

Islam is my religion. I make no apologies for it.

I'm no terrorist although at times I entertain violent thoughts of slapping Bush's head when I read about US pro-Israel policy and how he condones Isreal to "defend itself against Islamist terrorists". US's Israel lobby group and their strong grip of influence on the US administration makes US already a far from partial middleman to resolve the present conflict. And the latest Mideast "Peace" deal is a farce and a joke to anyone with a brain to think. How can a ceasefire policy allow Israel to continue "defensive operations"? A cease-fire that retains the right for one side the right not to cease firing is not a cease-fire.

I don't wear the Muslim headscarf, although I wish I have the courage to do so in a world where increasingly such attire is viewed with suspicion and derision. Today I read a blog by a certain someone who wrote that Islam is a religion which is "illogical" and creates "unthinking bunch of people and parents", because it forces women and children to cover up in countries with soaring temperatures. It is unfortunate that this person is an undergrad who professes to be well-travelled and cultured when she dismisses a religion as illogical without bothering to delve into the reason for the practise.

It bears mention that repeatedly, Muslim women have spoken up to the Western world, primarily, to explain that they choose to cover themselves with no compunction, contrary to popular Western thought that Muslim women everywhere in the world are a bunch of oppressed and enslaved sex who tragically do not enjoy the privilege of being able to wear sexy dresses or bikinis.

The Muslim women says: In covering one's head or face VOLUNTARILY, a Muslim woman rejects the notion that a woman is to be pre-determined on her beauty or size of her breasts.
They are saying, we are not "Baywatch" or Pam Anderson wanna-bes.
We dont wish to parade our assets like a product for sale.
What we want is for people to determine our worth through our thoughts, our compassion for others, our intelligence and our moral worth.

This week's news recounted how a Christian priest was said to have prayed that Israel will win the war.
Yet another priest when asked to comment said that, it should not be about who wins or who loses but how to heal the 2 factions so that they can again learn to live together in peace.
Also telling is that this second Christian priest called notably Bush (and Blair) "Christ-less christians" for hypocritically visiting Lebanon supposedly on the pretext of viewing the conditions there, and then continuing to say that Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorists.

It is great that Bush can pass off the casual killings of 800 people, women, elderly and children as a necessary war against "terrorists". I wonder how he sleeps at night.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ghazal of Dreams

Grandma says, let not a person be shaken awake too suddenly,
In his haste to return, he lose himself in a no-man’s land ‘tween two worlds

In unfolding a man’s weaknesses, the mind only bares in dreams
what reality dresses up, too ashamed of itself to unbutton and see

The escaped soul flies free from the weight of the body
Before Wakefulness jerks it back by it’s thread, crashing

Is sleep not a promise of Death’s eventuality?
When it comes, life itself will be but a waking dream

Remember dear fazidah, what you see behind shuttered eyes
For it is your soul’s secret whisper to you- in the quiet of night

Monday, August 07, 2006

Funeral of a Crow

A crow’s black corpse
On an otherwise pristine pavement
Threw me off my leisure track

Furtively I neared the crumpled body
And saw it had been savagely torn apart
Coal-bead eyes dully staring into the sky’s expanse as if wishing
It could find refuge in the wind even as it’s life flickered and was violently stilled

The coils of pink guts made bright trailing patterns
On the grey-white canvas of pavement
Soon enough other crows would come to claim the body
Beaks pecking listlessly into eyes,
Beaks pecking solemnly into guts and wings;
To take into the body
What used to be brother, and absorb into self

Under Skin

I remember your final goodbye
Left me searing numb everywhere except
For my heart where pain rubbed
like splinters disintegrating
under skin

Holiday Trips

On the wall over my desk
Hangs our holiday snapshot

Your arms cocooned me in a snug wrap
We were smiling in response to the camera's cyclop-ic staring eye.

It is important to look happy
In a holiday snapshot

We only want to remember that
It had been good

Friday, August 04, 2006

Resuscitating a near-dead muse

After prolonged periods of procrastination, I've finally moved all my poems written since march this year to a new blog I've called Poetry Play.

Well, I feel the name of this new baby is apt as the works there are too amateurish at this point in time to be regarded as anything resembling good poetry. By moving the poems there, I should be able to do a better job at tracking how much effort I've been putting into practising the craft, whether the quality of works have improved or declined and so on.

So now I am jolted into the realization that I have been extremely lazy since early July, I think, which was when I had written last. To be honest to myself, I have been feeling extremely despondent. I've been reading other people's blogs and seeing some of them generating great poems or essays on a daily basis! And then I think about what I'm doing here. I'm doing at best, 2 poems now a month, and if I'm lucky 1 out of the 2 will be something I can be proud of. I have to keep telling myself I just have to keep at it until it comes naturally, like breathing. Until then, each poem that has to be squeezed out with great amounts of difficulty will come with much spiritual suffering and muse-bashing! Being over-dramatic as usual, aren't I? :)

On a side-note, I have been side-tracked from my writing by the collection of new DVDs piled temptingly on the bedroom TV. I just finished watching 'Memoirs of a geisha'. Fantastic cinematography, art direction and acting all around by Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li etc, etc, but sadly the storyline itself fell short of the ideal. Isn't it sad that Chiyo's ( Zhang Ziyi) fate and entire life in this movie revolved around a man that she met when she was a child who displayed kindness to her, and to whom she immediately decided to dedicate her whole life to?

I suppose a woman's life and perspective of the world was narrow in that era so i really shouldn't be nit-picking this. But i have to confess I'm a tad weary of the typical heroine who measure out their destinies in life according to whether the hero eventually realizes their worth and accepts their love. Is this really typical of women?

Do we actually have this Pick Me!!! Choose Me!!! Love Me!!! syndrome inbuilt into our female genes?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In the Mood for Love ( a film by Wong Kar Wai)

Chow Mo-wan: In the old days, if someone had a secret they didn't want to share... you know what they did?
Ah Ping: Have no idea.
Chow Mo-wan: They went up a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it, and whispered the secret into the hole. Then they covered it with mud. And leave the secret there forever.
Ah Ping: What a pain! I'd just go to get laid.
Chow Mo-wan: Not everyone's like you.


I rented Wong Kar Wai's 'In the mood for love" last night and am impressed by the cinematography of the movie.

The film may most aptly be described as an Art-house romance film set in the 60s in Hong Kong and revolves around the characters of Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Chan Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung). The two who are neighbours found themselves thrown together when they discovered their spouses were having an affair with each other. Brought together by mutual sympathy and loneliness, they soon fell in love but the audience is led to imagine that the affair was never consummated because of the moral restraints of the tragic lovers who wanted to refrain from becoming like their spouses.
Towards the end, the viewer is left with a sense of regret and lost opportunities but yet a bittersweet moral triumph that the lovers were able to set themselves apart from others with the nobler aspect of their love.

Perhaps the most heart-wrenching scene was a few years later into the story, when Chan's character visited the apartment in which she had met Chow. When the landlady told her that she intended to sell the apartment, Chan readily offered to buy it from her. Then the next scene showed Chow returning back to the apartment next door to Chan, where he had stayed previously, and discovered that his old landlady had moved. He enquired who is staying in the apartment that Chan had previously stayed in, and was told that it was a lady had just moved in with her young son. The scene ended with Chow lingering outside of her door and finally walking slowly away.