Treasure Island

john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

Baby's world

baby's world
the parts i remember
for verses
come in growth
now recollected
for sheer fun
granny dipping her salty forefinger
into my tender mouth
for that budding first tooth
so well imprinted
after so many turbulent decades
mom swinging me to and fro
in a sarong suspended
from a spring tied to a pole
her poor attempt at lullaby
added to my pleasure
my head softly tugged against the floor
up and down, up and down
it went until i slipped into dreamland
and cowpox oh yes
it came at a certain age
about eight or nine
how sour and repelling
the pear juice was
the century old remedy
for overheated body
the memory that still
brings back the sickly
mind numbing temperature
and mumps,
it too brought back that
sharp look of anger
from mom to dad
as he asked me
whether it was painful
pretty redundant isnt it?
mom irked i think because
she thought the question
would get me more conscious
of the pain
and oh yes, that afternoon
mom ran with a broom
as i came back the 38th position
in the class
i cried without even the beating
still wonder how i had dipped to
that position from the tenth
as i look into a baby's eye
and see how they turn
with their little hands
running all over the face
i see myself in baby's cloth again
a thousand pictures
run through my mind
and amazed me at how
well the child stored pictures
for me till this day

inspired by

Baby's World
I wish I could take a quiet corner in the heart of my baby's very
own world.
I know it has stars that talk to him, and a sky that stoops
down to his face to amuse him with its silly clouds and rainbows.
Those who make believe to be dumb, and look as if they never
could move, come creeping to his window with their stories and with
trays crowded with bright toys.
I wish I could travel by the road that crosses baby's mind,
and out beyond all bounds;
Where messengers run errands for no cause between the kingdoms
of kings of no history;
Where Reason makes kites of her laws and flies them, the Truth
sets Fact free from its fetters.
Rabindranath Tagore

Submitted: Sunday, May 22, 2005

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