john tiong chunghoo

Bronze Star - 2,231 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Aboard At A Ship's Helm Poem by john tiong chunghoo


the island with the gracious mountain
the tip of the boat inches steadily forward
my heart angled between it
one hour, two hours, three hours
the mountain looms so grand but so far
the boat plods on... and on
bumping against the wave
going up down, up down
the swirling birds, how fortunate they are up there
i put my bored mind into their wings
and travel to realms that excite the mind and senses
of man and wife and children
that run between the trees, shrubs
that flip past my eyes
i put stories into the houses that run
away so fast from view
warm stories of infatuation, continuous love making
where the world revolves around
a man and woman, and their senses
the halcyon day stays as it is
never runs into night
on and on the river records my imagination
youthful imagination that makes
the young years so worthy of living
so many generations pass for my hero and heroine
in one boat ride seven hours in all
they run on so many fields, cheerful in so many of the houses
before the mountain finally looms big onto my eyes
the stories i have spun trail the waves to another dimension
i ready myself for the stories the almighty spins for me
each step of the way i am now the hero
the waves and the whole mountain lie in wait for me

Aboard At A Ship's Helm
ABOARD, at a ship's helm,
A young steersman, steering with care.
A bell through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing,
An ocean-bell-O a warning bell, rock'd by the waves.
O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing,
Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck-place.
For, as on the alert, O steersman, you mind the bell's admonition,
The bows turn, -the freighted ship, tacking, speeds away under her
gray sails,
The beautiful and noble ship, with all her precious wealth, speeds
away gaily and safe.
But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!
O ship of the body-ship of the soul-voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.
Walt Whitman

Submitted: Saturday, May 7, 2005

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