Tag Archives: Poetry of Dr. Lim Keng Huat

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 504: POET-POET INTERACTION

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 504: POET-POET INTERACTION

SHADORMA (西班牙的六行诗节) BY CLAUDIA

I wrinkle

皱纹

I soften creases

我軟化折痕

I fashion

我制作

the stiffness

那僵硬

of the raw threads of this day

经加工的皱丝

into finished silk

变化成丝绸

Using her own words, I respond in a haiku/senryu:

WEAVING 编织) 

stiffness of silk thread

僵硬的丝线

your smile soften the wrinkle

妳的微笑软皱纹

fashion into art

制作成艺术

SHADORMA TO SHADORMA INTERACTION

Claudia McGill wrote an excellent shadorma in response:

Be patient

耐心点

when the thread tangles

线缠结时

The first stitch

第一

says nothing

话说

of the last one. The needle

最后的一个。這

must find its rhythm.

必找其节奏。

This is my response in shadorma, my first:

JUST WALK (只是步行

the first step

第一步

often a hurdle

常是个障碍

for next step

下一步

overcome

要克服

fear, thinking of risk and gain

恐惧,险与益思考

the walk finds its pace

走得有步伐

Note:

In micro poetry, diction, rather than rhyme, is more important. In Claudia’s shadorma, one observes the movement of emotion, as the knitting and grimaces unfold, the smile softens the focused attention, and creates or fashion into art, both silk products and poetry.

Haiku/senryu has its simplicity in brevity; you either get the meaning of the shadorrma, or you miss it. That’s the fun part.

In the second Shadorma, it is the rhythm of the needle, and the pace of walk in tandem; one on art work, the other about psychology of thinking. We often over think and under think in many issues in life. It is the same with Hong Kong students, and the same with our smart politicians. They are all out of  pace or rhythm.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 504: WEAVING POET-POET INTERACTION

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 504: WEAVING POET-POET INTERACTION

Today is my (Claudia McGill) birthday. This poem describes something of what I want to be doing this year.

84.

I wrinkle

I soften creases

I fashion

the stiffness

of the raw threads of this day

into finished silk

9/24/18

Happy Birthday Claudia. A haiku, using your own words, to celebrate as I cerebrate:

WEAVING

stiffness of silk thread

your smile soften the wrinkle

fashion into art

Note:

I have read and interact with Claudia a few times. I like her homely, yet very observant, micro poetry. She has published many poetry books. 

Shadorma is a Spanish six line stanza (sestet), with 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllabic lines.  Rhyme is not required.

She begins her poem with three “I”s; the ego naturally “stiffens” due to the “wrinkle” (the focusing on her face, and the roll of silk thread). Well, she softens the fold with a pretty smile, and “fashion” her “raw thread” into art, poetry, and her weave, building web connections with her readers. This is my understanding of her poem. The reader will feel the movement of emotion, and the flourishing smile of grimaces.

I merely use her “words” and “fashion” or weave them into haiku/senryu to join the silk connect.

The notes are written mainly for Malaysian readers and publishers who shun poetry away, and declared it as a dying genre.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 492: SOUL OF SARAJEWO

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 492: SOUL OF SARAJEWO

misty dreamy world

houses perch on terraced hills

clear river image

still shimmering sound

Variegated tree crowns

cap mountain ranges

rage ravishes peace

hate shatter serenity

mass mindless murder

Note:

We traveled 6- 8 hours in the bus, moving from state to state, and then 2-3 hours of walk visiting sites or sceneries. Again I woke up early, with the urgent need to pen the feeling into words, before they were forgotten.

As the bus passed the serpentine hilly road, I was charmed all the way by the serene sceneries until we arrived at the city to listen to some sad and horrible stories about the fated assassination of Archduke of Austria, Siege of Sarajevo, inter-ethnic cum religious killing among inhabitants, and the breakup of Yugoslavia into six countries. On our way, we were amazed to observe how the lambs were roasted using water power to turn the skewers over wood fire pit. The simple two to three storied bungalows, on terraced slopes, along the Mijacka River, were our dreams houses.  But it was nightmare in places with so much violence. Perhaps we should educate our Prime minister and his cronies about the sanctity and sanity on multi-racial and multi-religious divide; not just the attraction of fair Bosnian women.  We could teach our Hong Kong youth about freedom, democracy and national integrity. And things to learn about survival of small nations in a modern world, and violence bigotry could not solve problems of any nature.

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.

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.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 477: OPEN HORIZON

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 477: OPEN HORIZON

light through interstice

penetrate thick arching trees

trail is not thwarted

wordless terrain guide

vast horizon unhindered

measureless mind space

firm aspiration

poetry thread to weave wide

across rain forest

Note:

The trade war has turned into a divisive war, within and without; parties taking side in the divide. The mindless bulls are still charging; cognitive mind has turned spinal. Fancy a world of technology without poetry and the arts. Crossing a thick forest, the mind has to be alert, taking cognizance of the surroundings and terrain, whether day or night.  Whether, sun, moon or stars, light is always present above the sky, irrespective of the darkness below. One must at least be smart enough to take hints, and the worst blindness is in the hearts, not eyes. If years of education fail to brighten the sight or vision, it’s early pre dementia, and may as well be dead.

Many students like to make comparisons between selves, systems, models, or even city states, without knowing the categories and domains. The preferred or imagined is the best, but not knowing the virtue, and ignoring the vices. Even the frames and points of references are uncertain. Just like the protestants do not know what they are protesting about; imagined they are nearer to truth or nature. Democracy, freedom, justice, check and balances, all suffer from their own limitations. In a city state, I heard calls for more transparencies, but uncertain that the abstract could be made more concrete, other than on salaries, assets, positions and other declarations. Even if govern well, there are still oppositions, for the nature of the world is endless division and controversies. In Malaysia we are more contented, as long as we have a share of the loot. We have flower vases in the cabinet, promise-slogans (written in strange scripts) hanging on the walls, shouts of unfair autocracy and nepotism. You could be entertained in open houses on festive holidays, with free gifts and cash hidden within walls. And top up the fun with video shows. If the body and mind reside in such abode, there is no light to “glimpse through the interstice”, finding the lone spider in the promontory, not connected to the gossamer thread. ( Please read “A Glimpse”  & “A noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman)

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 472: PRAYERS FOR BULLS

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 472: PRAYERS FOR BULLS

mundane mind limit

protestants not catholic

tongue-in-cheek twisters


bulls trade as bullets

carry old crusade banner

hearken wrong sermon

book and not street smart

distracted mind in dream home

carcasses abode


Note:

The street protests in Hong Kong gain momentum at its own peril. The youngsters have vented their violent frustration and are still reluctant to reflect their anarchy and the destabilization they caused to Hong Kong. They never sit and ponder why Macao residents do not share their sentiments. The British colonialist are much more shrewd than the Portuguese, and these Hong Kongers return to the promised “mother land” have been denied openly. Moreover, the sun has set in the crumbling empire, and may even breakup within itself. If “one country two systems” have failed in Hong Kong, it will return to “one system” only, never two nations. Shenzhen or another city could easily replace Hong Kong; RMB could replace HK dollars; banking, commerce, tourism and port status will be gone. These university students are living in dreams, sipping English tea. Again we have to re-think the roles of our education. To educate is to bring out the best smartness in each individual as a human being (consciousness), not to pump in with lots of wrong and faked information. We can no longer trust the education of our children to formal teachers, who may be as ignorant as the taught. This run of haiku/senryu, not only narrate parental concern, but also touch on religious teaching in a modern age. It is NOT religion itself, but some leaders with their personal agenda and motives. How could a finite mind deliver an infinite message from their holy books, without corruption?

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 471: BACKSTAB

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 471: BACKSTAB

backstab betrayal

brawl circumcised brethren bond

soma savages

skin slit shows raw head

purification passage

mutilated mind

soul seek salvation

tradition trade for power

politics of sex

Note:

In the politics of Hope, we observe more betrayal and return of old stale policies. Instead of focusing on good governance and strengthening of national economy, we are again obsessed by sex   and the drama of video. All the sworn brothers swear to tell the truth, and the truth is never made public. Maybe the sacrificial skins at birth or adolescence inspire the fixation to sex and power. The run of haiku/senryu is to make sense out of all the nonsenses in the corridors of power.

HAIKU TRANSLATION ECHOES 470 WITH NOTES

HAIKU TRANSLATION ECHOES 470 WITH NOTES

MINDLESS BULL

(盲蠢的牛)

trapped in cul-de-sacs

困在死胡同

smart turn around or bulldoze

智能扭轉或

way to path of doom

厄运的道路

bred bulls buck blindly

盲目飼公牛

bloody bellicose battle

血腥好戰的斗争

play havoc with red

用红劇浩劫

brain chemistry blur

脑化學迷糊

quit to win or stateless souls

赢或无国灵魂

withdraw without sin

退缩無犯罪

Note:

A cul-de-sac is not a dead end, but has an opening only for both entry and exit. The mind can enter into a cul-de-sac; a self-made psycho philosophical conundrum, if unaware or callous of the mental tricks. In our modern world, despite all the publications and books, the young hardly read more than a book a year, outside their academic studies. These youngsters are excellent in their own fields, especially in IT skills, science and technology but their education are not broad based, unbalanced in the arts, history and philosophy (well these domains are almost dead, for lack of market value). Thereby they lack good foundation to form judgement. Moreover, parents over protect them, coddle too much, and deprive them of opportunity to learn and be street smart. They fail to learn when to quit or not to quit in their life journey. They have problem in knowing a conundrum from a dip or a cliff, thus no sense of perspective.

With the androgens of bull, they travel every terrain using their familiar GPS, without realizing even that familiarity can change into Geo Political System, with consideration of history and culture. It was not a grave mistake to crush into a cul-de-sac. The easiest and smarter way is to have an easy quick turnaround. There is costing at the personal, familial and community level; any social instability or chaos is cost added. Unfortunately, with their colonial education (nothing to do with medium of learning), they idealized human rights, forgetting cultural rites, and ignorant that nothing is free without a price. Instead they bulldoze their way through, liked superman and wonder women in their western comics. We witness the instability and chaos in the recent Hong Kong street protests, and all the vain colourful  revolution that are supposed to bring hope to their people and communities. There is nothing wrong with their aspiration, but the bloody path is not without blame and shame. Perhaps the scenario is similar to the bull fight; the sport is not to be blamed, but the bloody honour and bravery need to be scrutinized.

Bulls are herd animals and are naturally social, but they are teased and provoked to be aggressive and destructive by isolating them.  They also received monetary incentive, and with the “bucks” in their pockets, they turn off their social responsibilities. They are colour blind and are taught to hate .The arts reminded us about the battle between man and the beast within himself, when the brain chemistry and neuro circuits are deranged deliberately. Awareness of the fact will prevail and they will quit smart to win. The greater sins are the bullies, and best not to gang with them against one’s own. When the nation is destabilized, and culture is colonized, there is no pride and no soul to speak of honour.