SONNET NO.36: NAGGING NANNY

Sick witch, no wit, but infest with old itch;

Coy in power pitch, fame trip to turn rich.

Trigger a world war, for mere selfish gain;

Unleash nuclear bomb, no pain for third stain.

Slough and slide, cicadas chirp in chorus;

Tracked flight slip through defense so porous;

Sly old wolf alight in jubilant mood;

Flamboyant gesture and the intrude crude.

Sombre warning tone, frustrate the divide;

No bloodshed and collide, snide hurts their pride.

The peace upset all, worship Ukraine war.

Gunboats at your shore, gore at every door.

Pain in confusion, addict to challenge;

Change celebrates lives, love finds new balance.

Note:

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of US House of Representative, led a congressional team in a tracked flight to Taiwan discreetly. She has varied nicknames, from benign nanny to old witch or wolf. Her trip was not officially sanctioned by the President but who knows the truth, with the policy of “strategic ambiquity”. It was reported that her family was involved in corrupt microchip business, and was eager to travel to Taiwan to meet businesses, but the slogan was to protect democracy in the island, not the deprived in California. The flight lurked behind security operation, with carrier Reagan fleet protection. She turned deaf ears to PM Lee of Singapore, and landed in the province despite all the warning by the Chinese Government that US rescinded all agreement. Nanny Nancy thought she out smarted all, until Chinese government sanctioned her family economically. The Chinese did not take the bite to shoot at her plane as declared. Short of being called a paper tiger, the missile attack would have caused bloodshed and destruction. In fact she was lured into the island. The chirping of cicadas in unison was liked a chorus, with appearance of weak defences to allow the flight to slip in. Instead many Chinese thought the government did not have the guts to do so, but excessive heavy warning was due to fear of the real imagined tiger. Her visit could open another Ukrainian-like battlefield, with no land mass for common people to run away. US had dropped two nuclear bombs and a third in desperation. The next day, the scenario changed, outside their script.

The sonnet was my narration of the event. US is no longer a democracy but a plutocracy, as stated by the wise Kishore Mahbubani from Singapore. It is a sin to deny a country from reunification, after 70 odd years. It is sheer western arrogance to assume that Asians or Chinese cannot decide their own destiny.

The last two concluding lines was inspired from the book, which was published in 1974. We talk about unconditional love, but we know only conditional love. There is always a lag, only awareness of lack, can enrich our resources.At every juncture of changing impermanence, there’s pain. It is this dukkha (suffering or distress) that makes us stop and wonder, on different perspective. There are no perfect choice, itself is pain.our love is conditional on this change and pain.

All the pictures were copied and pasted from the web with appreciation.

SONNET 35: CO -EXIST WITH COVID

East and West mix, boost up with four vaccines;

Antibodies soar, add safe quarantine.

Both infected, co-exist with virus;

Survive the chaos, bias behind us.

Booster doses protect, age with illness;

Pandemic provides insight on sickness.

Yet the world fails to heal the disconnect;

Mutual suspect, fear cause disrespect.

Prodrome symptoms show up faster than test;

Energy drain, aches, cough to beat up chest.

Less than day or two, symptoms retreat fast;

Suffering soon past, the pain does not last.

Impermanence imperil at juncture;

Choices are part and parcel of nature.

Note:

My computer breakdown today. In quarantine, I could not get one to repair. I posted this from my hand phone. This is my second day of infection by ART, the test result lag behind the symptoms. I had two negative tests on consequtive days.

We had two sinovac and two Pfizer vaccines. The mix was due to controversies and prejudices against Chinese vaccines, due perhaps to data for the western trained and for convenience of travel. All four vaccines were provided free by the Malaysian government. We had high antibodies. Despite our care, we are still infected. Never mind the conflicting theories circulating around. We are grateful we are still alive and the infections were not as bad as feared. There is no reason to blame anyone or be blamed for the infection.

Due to impermanence and uncertainty, we had to make choices at each crossroads. It is in such transitory change, that lives have choices, good or bad, and I think they eventually balance out at end of lives.

SONNET 34: MONEY DRAMA

Read Wit and Wisdom, red book for the dot;

Tease out racial knots, nation on right spot.

Feats are legacies: opportune perfect;

Dissect Dilemma, bigotry suspect.

Confess your sins, not to redeem merit;

Inherent hatred, perish in spirit.

Lone wolf kills woe, ninja slow in hurdle;

Go where money flows, greed glow in circle.

Weird stumble on win, pride fails to listen

Hearts are not silent, fear prison by schism.

Nations rise and fall, no one stays supreme;

Moral malaise scream, regime is extreme.

Game of money world is played as drama;

Fear of lack, souls suffer money trauma.

Note:

I was reading Happy Money by Ken Honda, several million copies were sold. I am uncertain whether Shinzo Abe read his book before his assassination. Such violence is part and parcel of Japanese historical violence at home and abroad. Gun control is very strict in the country and the country is almost entirely Japanese. Despite this, he could not escape his fate, even with a top Ninja to protect him.

Earlier on I was reading Wit and Wisdom of LKY, the smallest book available for free reading, and salute the man for his multicultural approach and meritocracy in building a slum area to an advanced First World nation, in contrast to the bigotry across the causeway.He seized at the opportune time in history, with his experience and wisdom. And that was 50 more years ago; the challenges would be different for a different breed of arrogant scholar-bureaucrats. The world is fast changing, and taking sides may not always win. Nevertheless, Singapore has done so well in many ways, in comparison to the deterioration across. In fact, in his later years, the aging doctor has shown he has no dilemma at all. In contrast, the promised legacy was a Sri Lankan nightmare in the near future.

Many forward mails were sent to me ; most were gossips, and the senders themselves did not read before sending. However, I do learn from them. I include some of them in my narrated sonnet.

The pictures were copied from their clips or the web with much appreciation to their owners.

SONNET 33: SOLD OUT SOUL

Money flows, sold out, blood gushes, not soul;

Roll from bank to bank, control takes their toll.

Pin hope in small bet, enrich some pockets;

No myth on my lack, hold on dream tickets.

Neither rich nor poor, wake up from such daze;

Pass my days in haze, leaders talk amaze.

Graft allowed by some, legal, not moral;

Sin is normal, just family quarrel.

Born in safe haven, oyster is their world;

Curl in princely pearls, all their rights unfurl.

Progress passes by, some live, many die;

No you-and-me cry, sigh or sing goodbye.

Cash flows in and out, care to feel enough;

Lack is often rough, tough will train the buff.

Note:

The sonnet was inspired after reading “The Soul of Money”. It was an old book, first published in 2003, then re edited in 2017. A short poem by Rabindranath Tagore expresses well the experience of sufficiency. Again the books I have read were loan from the Singapore Library. All the pictures from copied and pasted from the web, with appreciation to their owners. My intention was to encourage reading among the young, and to make notes or write responses post reading.

Recently Japan, under Tsutaya, will open a giant bookstore at pavilion Bukit Jalil, KL on 7th July. Thumbs up to them, but I am just curious why Malaysia is chosen. It is reported that Malaysians read less than a book per year. Though I read about 30-50 books per year, but I don’t buy anymore, due to fund shortage. I borrow from the library instead.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 604: LOOTING LEGACIES

wash dirty linens

bare family feuds and stains

strained, stubborn set in

Note:

Today I received a forwarded mail about two kleptocrats, darting at each other. It is a vision of a strange kind; not the failed 2020, but the mindset of failed leaders in falling states. Back luck to our generations of youngsters, for their rebirth here.

Some readers thought haiku must be about nature, but what is nature or what is really natural is not for the individual poet to write. It’s absurd to state that nature may be unnatural at times, and it is also subject to changes like all conditioned beings or events.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 603: DAY BREAK FAST

SOURDOUGH

good bite crunchy crust

slight sour spongy inner core

rounded, no fixed ends

Note:

I have intermittent partial hearing loss, due to recurrent massive wax impact in ear canal. Visited ENT clinic a few times for syringe removal, or the local barber to pick up the huge pieces. The shower water entered the ears and caused fungal infection. They itched at night, and bleed when I scratched them. The ENT surgeon inserted a gauze roll to stop the fresh bleeding. Last night, it caused discomfort, and luckily I took a paracetamol 500 mg tab before bed. I slept for some 8 hours, with one pee break at 4 am. It was a beautiful day break. My good wife prepared a sourdough since yesterday and oven baked this morning. It was her first sourdough. I wrote this haiku to mark the occasion. Some of my friends thought I was over pampered and wished to right the unfairness. I told them not to unset another family dynamics. We have our own role to play. Western values might look fair and just on the surfaces. The sourdough is rounded, with no fixed ends; Chinese prefer round table, instead of long rectangular table, with hierarchy, in different ways. A cross cultural bias and perception could be risky. I have the advantage of understanding both culture.

SONNET 32: MONEY MAGIC

Voracious desire, needs jump start to want;

Wanton appetite, pleasure pursuits haunt.

Richness ripens, wealth wither and weaken;

Not knowing enough, life lost own beacon.

Fair to base instinct, reset new balance;

Change is leaping fast, nudge on new challenge.

Prosper with money, envy and greed boom;

Pandemic and war, price parity doom.

Spend out run saving, rates compound in craze;

Capital blaze and burst, rats chase in maze.

Bigger cakes to share, poor bake, rich rob more;

Hardship to endure, servile suffer sore.

Rich buy and loot more, bossku boast pursuit;

Wealth has time commute, root in fair compute.

Note:

I have retired for eight years, with no real income, except interest and dividends from shares. We are frugal, and after eight years of expenditure, my FD has depleted. Though a poor share investor, we make money on the market, due to luck (with lesser greed), rather than knowledge and skill. Fortunately we have not withdrawn our EPF saving; it gives good compound return and serve as our aging medical fund. Prior retirement, I thought, as a doctor, I could always go back to work as locum when saving was low, but the thought was not right, for rules for APC, insurance, employment, pandemic and prices of goods had changed over the years, and no longer a fair source of income. Moreover, writing is more for leisure, and the lesser the expectation, the better the well being.

Lately I was reading The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel, borrowed from Singapore public library. The sonnet was inspired by reading the book, and my appreciation to the author and the wonderful national library. All the pictures were copied and pasted from the web, to help the readers to understand the sonnet, andd, also for their interest.

Malaysians have read that we will soon be bankrupt, after Sri Lanka. Our currency is falling like humpty dumpty, and prices soar daily in the market. It’s a race between end of saving and end of life. Luckily my only daughter is a good supporter.

Bossku, meaning my boss, refers to our popular ex PM. He is affectionately known by the Malays , despite the corruption charges. God really works in strange ways. and indeed strange to comment for our many PMs.

Magic was used to imply charm and spell. Capital is a good motivator, but greed and envy due to comparison, accompany it. Human beings think they are free, but our brains are baked or wired to bias of varied belief systems. The Americans and the West believe they are free, the best and all the superlatives; let them be, at their own peril ,for those who do not learn, and with closed mindset.

SONNET 31: ENTANGLED EMOTION 冤家

Fiesta of sunrise beyond hilltops;

Verdant serpentine hills serve as backdrop.

Couple in conflict , tango in tangle;

Wither in the wrung, tears parch in strangle.

不是冤家不聚头

yuānjiɑ 冤 (two radicals: shelter and rabbit or hare) 家 Jia (family, pig under shelter)

Amorous hurt hare gather at shelter;

Entwined fate, live and fight in all weather.

Past hurt bruise and bleed, love thoughts maim and lame;

Shame to mention name, lost memory claim.

Torture each other, vain to right drama;

Cast and curse by spell, the sight is trauma.

Own tale to narrate, each justify hate;

The logic sounds great, irate high to rate.

Saga sucks up soul, folly fail to halt;

Till death do them apart, mind finds no fault.

Note:

The first picture showed my return to my condominium after more than four months stay in Singapore. Against the tranquil scenic background, I have observed entangled, embittered and trapped emotion among couples. or friends, or any relate. I was watching a Chinese movie about Chinese traditional medicine, and the common Chinese saying catches my mind.

不是冤家不聚头 It is translated as entangled couples are trapped in their gathering. However, 冤家 (Yuan; Jia) are very interesting Chinese characters. It means enemy, or embittered couples. There is implication of injustices done and false accusation. The first word showed a rabbit or hare under shelter or cover. Rabbits are very tame animal. They are under cover or cage for their own protection. They squeak, with wide repertoire of sounds, all the time, whether happy or sad, louder if there”s fear. If you ever embattled in conflict with a long winded one, you might understand Yuan Jia in better light. The emotion and affect are beyond intellect and philosophy, even for minor misunderstanding or injustices. And the “war”could end up for years, the bitterness felt. even after death of the person. If you ever listen to the logic or philosophy behind, you would be puzzled at their perspective of looking at minor events; even kindness could be understood otherwise. Kindness begets kindness is not always true or right for some rascal with twisted brains and emotions.

The pictures are all copied and pasted from the web, with appreciation to their owners. There are no commercial values for me.

SONNET NO. 30: BRINK OF BANKRUPTCY

Park at clinic space, the dirt is disgrace;

Human hair waste and food grease fill the place.

Stroll along street, rat droppings lead the way;

Health hazards betray, damned site not for stay.

Parking disarray but laws can be bend;

Trend is to spend, prices inflate no end.

Snatch and steal common, same is corruption;

Race destroy nation, cause wide frustration.

Poor governance, good resources squander;

Beneath the shells, ponder frogs learn under.

Fair meritocracy opens the world;

With shine from sun and moon, verdant unfurl.

All races have a common destiny;

Bridging the divide is shared legacy.

Note:

I returned from Singapore to Malaysia on the weekend by car; a trip from advanced First World to Third. Singapore was part of Malaysia, and the political differences caused the separation. Obviously all the rich resources are in the peninsula, plus East Malaysia.Our currency was slightly higher than the little Red Spot, but now it is Rm 3.1188 to S 1. Poor governance, poor leadership and racialism are the main reasons. Dr. M promised us a better nation by 2020. The pictures showed the decline. I had a simple GP practice at this spot for decades, and sadness overwhelmed me to see the decay and destruction. It motivates me to write, as a poet and a doctor. I visited a nearby clinic to have my dentition fixed, as the cost in Singapore is too prohibitive.

The pictures are taken by my ex nurse, when I request her for help.

For Malaysian students, sonnets have 14 lines; each line with 10 syllables, and end rhyme. It is divided into4 stanza, three with four lines each, and a fourth is a concluding stanza of two lines only.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 602: WINE AND WHINE

luminous moon shines

sleepless night whine and wish to

nestle and natter

明月照床前, 思情难入眠

the lines flow with sips

trio, with shadows, tango

solace in twilight

moon hang out in lake

hilarious dive to retrieve

great poetry ends

Note:

Thinking is one of the causes of insomnia. (The thought of going back to my condo in Malysia also excites me a little, after spending about 4 months in Singapore.) For me, it is when poetry flows into my stream of consciousness. I woke up one early morning , and saw the moon shinning through my window. I ponder on Li Bei”s poetry and the train of thought and emotion flow.

The pictures and video are copied and pasted from the web with gratitude, except my own poorly snapped photo.