Category Archives: life

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 482: CROWS CAW

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 482: CROWS CAW

shade by canopies

trunks paved park serpentine track

light from  above crowns

greet by passing friends

shock by aging white hair lock

glad  breathe and walk well  

crows caw crack conflict

fugitive preaches sermon

in English, fused suit

cite and incite texts

comparative  religion

in sensitive tongue


Note:

We are recently bombarded by odd sermons from a fugitive from India.  Our leaders found inspiration from an evangelist. He was granted permanent residency, with VIP status. Then the black shoe minister insists to implement calligraphy crafty cult. The Hope government breaks its pre-election promises to people, and called it blackmail.  Black crows populated fast in dirty environment; broke silence of the morning walk. When friends meet, they blurted out their discontent. That inspired me to write how people feel and think about racial issues.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 481, WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 481, WITH NOTES

CALLIGRAPHY CULT

(书法邪拜)

calligraphy cult

法邪崇拜

 shadowy play on race drum

赛鼓上的暗影戏

shouts on nightmare scream

恶梦中尖喊

national treasure

国民的珍宝

fearful forced hegemony

可怕的强迫霸

shrill voice of subdued

制服者尖声

Maya Angelou.

cultural art skill

文化艺术巧

conscripted script with brush stroke

征召毛笔征征书

hairs of foxy tail

狡猾狐尾毛

Note:

Calligraphy is a decorative visual art in lettering or scripts; it dresses forms into stylistic graphic art with symbolic meaning for the eyes of beholder. It has value only for those who appreciated it. Chinese script calligraphy will be meaningless to the Arabs; the same applies for other culture. Coercion in learning will turn the graceful art and culture into a disgraceful assimilation. However, it is not uncommon for smart ass to think it’s silly choice is the best for all. Thus we encounter many cult leaders, who are charismatic and authoritarian, but manipulative and motivated by personal agenda, in the cloak and hood of religion and unity of sorts. The cult of personality knows the way, and must be in control of the reins of power.

The Jawi script is Arabic, and thereby, the learning is infused with Islamic values; indoctrination in subtle ways. Behaviour modification or” brain washing” is based on compulsion with a religious twist. The cult, a four-lettered word, is rape without consent; a rage or hate against the other culture or religion. It is hard to believe that leaders will resort to divisive racial policy in a multiracial and multicultural nation, especially when the coffer has yet to recover from theft. Either it is the intention to distract the public or it is playing the usual race cards.  Unlike Singapore, the dominant group is protected against racial incite. The protagonists play “wayang kulit” (traditional shadow show) behind the screen, and expect the other to watch the drama with quite acceptance. With the dominance in numbers and the might in military, administrative and finance, the beats of racial drum echo across the land. Despite that, they still feel insecure, and need crutches to walk.They are unconcerned about the chaos and destruction they caused; nightmare screams shouted aloud for half a century. Yet the instigators are not common citizens, but prime leaders in government; this is a retrogressive policy towards real national unity.

Like it or not, it’s compulsory for all students (Chinese, Indians and others), above primary four to learn Jawi calligraphy next year. It is considered a national treasure, but really a pressure forced upon others, There is thus fear of gradual assimilation due hegemony. All dissenting voices would be subdued. All are forced to obey by law, liked conscription into the military. It is done by the mere stroke of the brush (foxy hair) or pen of calligraphy. All pre-election promises are ignored; the minorities are tricked, and feel betrayed by their own parties and government.

It should be noted that there are many fair thinking Malay Muslims who are against such compulsion and injustices. They speak their hearts aloud, against the hypocrisy and corruptions around. That is a ray of hope left for the future.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 480 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 480 WITH NOTES

MULTICULTURALISM

(多元文化主義)

past social fault line

斷往社层线

immerse in ethnic and race

沉在民族、種族中

imbibe, germinate

吸取並發芽

seeds of harmony

和谐的种子

wide plural diversities

廣泛多樣多元化

weave or flare fabric

编织或爆织

groups within, without

內外的组合

seek self-justice in conflict

衝突中尋自公義

in wide diverse norms

广泛多规范

take off coloured robe

脱下彩色衣

diversified melting pot

多元化的大熔炉

tabooed salad bowl

禁忌混合菜

tongue and taste differ

舌和味各異

cultivate to enriched culture

培养丰富的文化

flair for fusion food

风格融合食

innovate new needs

創造新需求

tribal drums out of tempo

部落鼓节不合奏

invite disorder

邀请障混乱

Note:

Multicultural and multiracial problems have their origin not only along geographical and historical “fault lines”, but are deliberately perpetuated by colonial and imperial powers in military and political history. Even in US, they ignore the rights of Red Indians and Mexicans; Australian and Malaysian ignore the rights of their own aborigines, yet these countries blame others for human rights violations. Recently, two nuclear powers fought over Kashmir, over land and religious issues. The street violence in Hong Kong are instigated by US, British, Taiwan and local ambitious politicians and businesses (with mindless students) who wish to cede the region away from China. The problems are so deep rooted with wide ramification that they are no longer easy to handle, except through honest negotiation. Religion, economics, politics of survival and supremacy are also intertwined with the emotion. A lot of good will is required to imbibe and germinate the seeds of harmony in multicultural societies. The plural diversities are acknowledged and compromises are needed for orderly society. Responsibility and freedom must go hand in hand for an acceptable and practical formula; and the sacred “cow” must not be touched or violated, unless national unity stated otherwise. We either weave the social web together in harmony or we flare and tear it with no gain to all. In democratic and free US, Trump has torn the fabric of American flag, and the other presidents and their respective regimes, have also scorched other flags and lands. In Malaysia, the dominant political party has no confidence and ability to govern, and pursues policies contrary to national interest.  It has petty short term interest, like the proverbial frog in well with limited horizon. Had Dr. M be more open hearted and just look south (without venturing far to Japan), we may learn some lessons from the small city state. The policy makers are mostly liberal academics of CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indians and others) categories. We may laugh at it, the hyphenated sub divisions. However, no one in Singapore dare to challenge the understanding without good reasons. Good governance does not imply perfect utopia, unless one likes to sweat over small stuff. If China could learn and benefit from a small state, why does our nation fuss over petty issues, like water, sand and a small football field.

In a multicultural and multiracial society, we must take off our coloured religious robes to speak for all. I miss the melting pot culture of the 50’s, even the salad bowls are full of controversies, for purity of hands and mind are hard to define or refine, even among the purists. Fermented vinegar and tapioca are not sensitive for people without food allergies. Yet we must admit that our tongue and taste do differ, even across time and place for the same changing souls. We could enrich each other’s culture with fusion food, dance and music, beyond the tribal beat and tables. The most important reminder is not to create havoc and disorder. We have to walk out of the wood to find new needs and innovation.  As a poet narrator, I could do best in my imaginary poetry world, and is offered to all free. The dying genre requires resuscitation from comments for improvement.

The pictures and cartoons are all copied and pasted from the web.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 481: CALLIGRAPHY CULT

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 481: CALLIGRAPHY CULT

calligraphy cult

shadowy play on race drum

shouts on nightmare scream

national treasure

fearful forced hegemony

shrill voice of subdued

cultural art skill

conscripted script with brush stroke

hairs of foxy tail

Maya Angelou.

Note:

Recently the Malaysian Education Department (with the approval of PM) introduced compulsory Jawi calligraphy in primary four onwards. Chinese medium schools have to study three languages (Malay, Chinese and English), now Jawi script to be added for national union. Instead it arouses more controversy and dissent than endearment. Right or wrong, it is seen as policy of assimilation, if not, racialism.

I was reading  “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, and this line, shadow shouts on a nightmare scream, inspired me to write this run of haiku/senryu.

I am uncertain whether there will be “another breeze” of Hope for the country. Worse than the caged bird, it is trapped within its racial mindset.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 478 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 478 WITH NOTES

DESTINATION

(目标)

sun hidden by mist

霧籠罩太陽

start straight walk on destined path

开始往道路直走

obstacles test will

障礙测意志

setbacks are not goal

挫折非目标

step back, learn and move ahead

退步、學習續前進

timeless tough trials

永恒难考验

change never stand still

变化無停滞

learn smart on stormy street scene

学精風暴街道景

no fixed road to end

無固道终束

means must meet meaning

手段符意义

stand firm on aspiration

堅持不移于心愿

clean destination

清洗目的地

Note:

We need strong aspiration to do well or good for our goal setting. Our destination may not be well defined or visible yet, if obstacles block the view ahead. Yet we know it is the path we need to walk. For a start, it is best to walk straight and upright, for one wrong misstep, will derail the destined journey, and end up in ghost or fairy land. Courage and mental alertness are requisites to overcome whatever hardships on the way. Obstacles are challenges to test our will and provide lessons along the trail; in fact they take away the boredom of an easy start. Setbacks are not our goal; they provide rest to rethink our plan and goal. Are the effort spent conducive to our initial aspiration, or they have moved away? The retraction or back stepping requires agility of mind and courage; only mindless bulls rush forward with the adrenalin of youth. In contrast, our government practices a kind of selective socialism and “Robinhood typo” of welfare for the dominant race; the autocratic father wheels contestants to the assumed destination. Despite half a century of coddle, the obsession continued in vain.

“…life full of care

(abundant) time to stand and stare” (Time to Stop and Stare by William Henry Davies).

Technology is changing at dizzy speed, and so is digital time. There is no fixed road to our destination, and the attitude towards the goal may change before arrival. Yet the means must be moral and in tune with the aspiration to achieve the end. We cannot fight to achieve for our kind over the dead bodies of others. If the pivot becomes brittle due to sclerosed mindset, then all the pillars of multiculturalism will fall apart. A destablised nation will not benefit any race at all. If the aspiration is immoral even on strong conviction, the destination cannot be clear and clean. In the travail of journey, we learn from living experiences, balance and righting our aspiration and destination. Be humble to learn from successful states and persons.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 477 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 477  WITH NOTES

OPEN HORIZON

(开放的眼界)

light through interstice

光射過空隙

penetrate thick arching trees

穿透实厚拱形樹

trail is not thwarted

小路没阻撓

wordless terrain guide

無文地圖册

vast horizon unhindered

廣闊無阻的天際

measureless mind space

無量思考間

firm aspiration

堅定的心願

poetry thread to weave wide

詩路编纂成廣寬

across rain forest

横過的雨林

Note:

If the heart is silent and opened, the perception or experience will be widen.  If one is preoccupied by the noise of racialism or transient personal or group gain, then the bigger vision may be missed. In Hong Kong we observe the youngsters are confused and entangled in their demand. Social injustices and unfairness are indeed important. However, to cede the region away from the nation as an independent city-state is a serious crime. The first demand could be met; but not the second impossible demand. They are too blind by their personal motives and demand, and ignorance and miseducation of political history and reality. The violent and disorder means could not justify its goal. Similarly in Malaysia, to gain popular mass vote and support, racial tactics of divide and rule are repeatedly used. Moral and monetary corruption are means to entice group cohesion; instead of education and good governance to benefit all. The bigots fail to see that the bigger slice of national wealth always belong to the dominant group; or the corrupted few within the group. This is true even in the US and the West. Thus jingoists are blind to see the light coming through interstices of the jungle. They are princes and princesses in the woods, with high Happiness Index, confusing happiness with primitivism; concept with reality. The arched giant trees block out the light. Fortunately, they have their own jungle guides to lead them out of the thick rainforest, if they will listen to the sound and light around. Out in the comfort of modernism, we might have time to learn and appreciate some calligraphy. Without the mental space to accommodate other factors, the horizons are indeed restricted.

The poetic world is to connect with its web. Catch hold of the filaments and together we weave and trap trespassing insects. God or nature has blessed us with abundant resources, yet we fall behind. We are envious and jealous, mindless of our core emotions and cognition. We thought Hope was at our door steps, but the devils took it away. Soon I would reside in my grave with the promised virgins,

“ … indeed there will be time

To wonder

Do I dare

Disturb the universe.”

(Love Song of Prufrock, T. S. Eliot)

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 480: MULTICULTURALISM

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 480: MULTICULTURALISM

past social fault line

immerse in ethnic and race

imbibe, germinate

seeds of harmony

wide plural diversities

weave or flare fabric

groups within, without

seek self-justice in conflict

in wide diverse norms

take off coloured robe

diversified melting pot

tabooed salad bowl

tongue and taste differ

cultivate to enriched culture

flair for fusion food

innovate new needs

tribal drums out of tempo

invite disorder

Note:

The recent expanded Trade War between US and China, urban guerillas in Hong Kong, and the introduction of Jawi in Malaysian primary education have made us to rethink about diversities and multiculturalism. Is destabilizing another nation or culture part of American or western culture? Is political and racial dominance part of new Malaysian culture? Is social conflict in Hong Kong (in the flag of one nation, two system) causing a new “banana (yellow outside, white within) sub-culture”? I have no recipe; only offer food for thought. We need to be aware of disruption of disorderly conduct, for they destabilize family, community and nation, whether big nation or city states. I hope youngsters (Malaysians mainly) will ponder and wonder more on the issue. Tun Diam has warned that others were learning programming, codes and abstract mathematics in primary schools, we are still in the woods; not meeting modern needs. If Ph.D holders in the ministry hold such senile views, we might never get out of the wood, even with coconut power.