Treasure Island

john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

Written on a Summer Evening


this melancholy dusk
as the rain falls into night
ever so softly
the breath of a dying woman
this bonechilling wind
trails the air
the darkened roofs
of the malay houses
add a solemnness to the place
filled with flowers
fruit trees, wild trees
a koranic verse is heard
and another cool breeze blows
the leaves rustle
the way a man shivers
big leaves, small leaves
twirl in succession
a twist dance
so cold the night
the old woman
sick bedridden woman
so long she feels she has been ill
a feeble mind
that could not make out
dawn from dusk
the old woman
her sigh
soft as the wind
bids her quiet farewell
around her grandchildren run
impervious to her pain
the leaves rustle again
the children's cry
divides her and the world
so long ago when she was a child herself
all seems a game, a film
heartfelt images of her own life
run through her mind
long lost husband, children, grandchildren
the breeze blows again
she feels its coldness
and slowly, slowly, surely
she feels herself inching
away from the alien surroundings
slowly and slowly
death to her has become something
to be embraced
she takes another weak look at the children

rewritten from:

this melancholy evening
as the rain falls into night
ever so softly
the breath of a dying woman
and as it stops
this bonechilling wind
trails the air
the darkened roofs of malay houses
add a solemn atmosphere to the place
filled with trees, fruit trees, garden trees and wild trees
a koranic verse is heard
and another cool breeze blows
a trail of ruslte
the trees waves, big leaves, small leaves
so cold the night
an old woman
old sick bedridden woman
so long she feels she has been ill
a feeble mind trailing the world
the old woman
bids farewell to the world
her sigh
soft as the wind
a solemness pervades her room
as grandchildren run around
impervious to her pain
the leaves rustle again
the children's cry
divides her and the world
so long ago when she was a child herself
all seems like a game, a film now
the breeze blows
she feels its coldness
and slowly, slowly, surely
she feels herself inching
away from the alien surroundings
slowly and slowly
death to her has become something
to be embraced
she takes another weak look at the children

inspired by

Written on a Summer Evening

Written on a Summer Evening
The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp, -
That 'tis their sighing, wailing, ere they go
Into oblivion -that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Edited: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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Read poems about / on: woman, farewell, summer, children, sick, rain, child, people, pain, wind, night, death, world, women, tree, running, flower

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