john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

Acquainted with the Night


shut your eyes and dream
for that is where paradise is
the world is not
as good as a dream, daylight
at least for many
you see them
all over the morning papers
crimes that came out
of the nights
the husband who
in his rage
against a runaway wife
hanged all three children
and himself
terrorising readers
a wayward son
that beat mom to death
for a little money
to spend at the club
the old spinster
who fell to her death
as the snatch thief
used all his might
for her bag
the court trial
of a murdered woman
that heard of sperm stains
on ceiling
and a deputy prime minister
who allegedly groped with men
a whole mattress taken
to examine for lascivious stains
an artist former husband
who spewed terrible secrets
about wife that
ran away with a musician
carrying her children along with her
never allowing him to see his hearts
in three long years
or the shark money loaner
who forced weedkiller
down his debtor throat
a national top school achiever
denied entry to university
all because of her wrong race
i have been one acquainted
with the night
and as i walked down
the town alleyway
i cross path with
cats, well fed rats
especially the rats
a heapful of them
over rubbish
downtrodden
or not
we all strive to live
in our own ways
and you see them
clearly in the dead of night
where the rats run
and the cats sauntering by
shut your eyes and dream
for is perhaps where paradise is

inspired by

Acquainted with the Night
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain - and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
Robert Frost

Submitted: Sunday, June 12, 2005
Edited: Sunday, June 12, 2005

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