The 301 Words I Wish I Told You

Starbucks. White light streamed through roadside windows as I arose. A cup of mocha latte, still warm, watched me from across the table for two. I didn’t know the taste of mocha latte. The café was empty. The streets of Bugis were empty and so was the Singapore River. The straits were dry. All the fish must have upped and left in the face of the declining economy.
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Lose not to the rain

A personal English rendition of ‘Ame ni mo makezu’, one of Miyazawa Kenji’s most famous poems. It is a poem I find very meaningful, and one I hold close to my own heart. It is a poem for everyone’s souls.

Lose not to rain, lose not to wind
Lose not to snow nor summer’s heat
Raise a strong body and lose not
to desire, lose not to rage
Smiling always with silent grace

Four bowls of brown rice and miso
with some vegetables every
day, never you before others
Always watching and listening
Understanding, never forgetting

In a small thatched hut in the shade
of the pine tree fields, if there be
a sick child to the east, nurse him
If there be a tired mother
to the west, shoulder her sheaf of rice

If there be one dying to the
south, tell him not to be afraid
If there be a quarrel to the
north, tell them time is not theirs to waste
In drought shed tears of sympathy
In cold summer wander forlorn

Known as a nobody by all
Never given praise, never blamed
Such a person, I want to be

Originally posted on Symbal Magazine 20th February 2017