my weary eyes
are lustreless lighthouses
only catching ghosts
in a fog-laden world

but it is this desolation
that rings in halo your
when it breaks the clouds

*This poem was written for Day 16 of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the sloth prompt: write a poem celebrating something that doesn’t work


City Harvest – when angels plot to steal

Day 15 City Harvest - when angels plot to steal

*This poem was written in twin cinema form. Its two separate columns can be read as individual poems, as well as together as one
*This poem was written for Day 15 of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the LUST prompt: write a suggestive poem involving a political and/or religious figure

A Bid to Win

Once again a semester dawns
with battle cries and booming horns
resounding in the auburn morn
set sail to face the fiendish spawn

of NUS, the serpent CORS
ignorant of our moral laws
treacherous teeth and crooked claws
it plots to dye our seas with gore

of points, beneath towering waves
called HBPs try to be brave
from its deceit no god can save
us when closed bidding marks our graves

by Round 3B our sails tattered
pockets pointless and hulls shattered
CORS returns to its lair spattered
in our points, all that we’ve wasted
*CORS (pronounced ‘cores’) is the name of the bidding system we use to register for modules in NUS
*HBP: Highest Bidding Point

*This poem was written for Day 14 of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the syair prompt: write a syair or a poem inspired by the syair form. You can find out more about the syair here:

I don’t want to four

the clock strikes four on the fourth floor.
shadows sneer and the sky stains a
sickly yellow through windows with
eyes. a breath and a sigh, a creak that
does not belong. whispers underneath
the science lab door. i think i heard
the model skeleton cough. or was it
the foetus a teacher donated sobbing
inside its little glass container currently
empty. screech of piano keys from the
piano-less hall. the raucous rattling of
cubicle doors through the boarded-up
entrance of the Science block toilet they
warned us not to visit along with the
design studio. suddenly my phone rings
the air holds its breath as I hold it and see
the number 4 staring right back at me

*This poem was written for Day 13 of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the Patang prompt: write a poem inspired one or more superstitions. In Chinese, the number 4 is considered unlucky because the Chinese word for ‘four’ shares its pronunciation with the Chinese word for ‘death’

Cicada Market

When the sickle moon is ripe
you may hear it in the night
a buzz that calls, a buzz that bites
a buzz that melts the cold inside
step out the door and glimpse the sight
Cicada Market in the light
You are the first man to arrive
in centuries of unlapsed time
so grab some mango sticky rice
our wares are all one of a kind
from Naga scales to talking kites
Garuda feathers, liquid time
all that you need, all you will find
or if trades do not fit your rhyme
drunk yourself on the beat and chime
while the Apsonsis dance beside
and the Kinnaris take high flight
in haze you slip through blinding lights
through curtains drawn and golden eyes
trip and slide down Makara’s spine
and land on Erawan’s behind
When the sickle moon is slight
you may hear it in the night
a buzz that calls, a buzz that might
a buzz that sets your heart alight

*This poem was written for Day 12of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the Travel Notes prompt: write a poem inspired by a monument or a city somewhere in Southeast Asia—preferably not from your home country!


The fall of empty cans at dusk
echoes the hollowest of sounds.
Reminds me of the clang of husks
that clatter in the streets day-bound.

*This poem uses a Malay poetic form known as the pantun
*This poem was written for Day 11 of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the Utter Sellout prompt: write a poem about a film from the Singapore Writers Festival ( The one I referenced was ‘Tin Kosong’

The Fountain City of the Water Lions

Adrift in the season of writer’s block,
the whiff of the wind led me to the West Coast, where
the waves whispered of premises of unkept lore.
There, in the water’s surface polished dry
by the sun, such as to become magic mirror,
I saw – a fountain cradled by the sea,
multi-tiered, conjoined by transparent waterfalls,
topped by a spire neath a dial saluting the sun
god, alabaster columns lifting libraries
grander than the castles of conquerers,
temples that tempered the souls of mortals,
ivory lions galloped across the waves, their
paws bouncing on ripples, their manes flapping
tempestuous in a freedom forgotten by man
only remembered by a stone idol,
erect yet infertile, a misunderstood seed
fallen from the head of Atlantis.

*This poem was written for Day 10 of SingPoWriMo (Singapore Poetry Writing Month) for the Founding prompt: write about the founding of your home, whether real or imagined