A Bullock Cart From Malacca Poem by Sulaiman Mohd Yusof

A Bullock Cart From Malacca

Rating: 4.5


Long and winding road
with patches and holes
The holes which sometimes
turned into small ponds,
every time
after a heavy downpour
You can no longer smell the tar
on a hot burning day
The road was too old
even the town council named it
the road to cemetery
A rural town
occupied by
Malay farmers,
rubber tapers
and pensioners
living in kampong

An enormous green paddy field
spreaded in the middle,
next to the road
Sandwiched by villager’s
Meranti wooden Atap houses.
To get to the town
walk your way
cycling
don’t miss the bus
or you have to wait
for another hour to get one
(you can take a pirate taxis that operate in odd hours)
Small streams crossed
at the center of the rice fields
The streams that supplied enough
fresh water fishes
for the villagers to consume
Vegetables are grown
like mushrooms
covering most of front and backyards
Fruits farm aplenty and became
local delights
whenever the season comes

Every house had their well,
as deep as 10 meter
with cold fresh water
being channeled from the nearby hills
The vast green land
were also scattered
with cows, goats, sheeps and buffalos
owned by the villagers.
In the evening
images of small kids
riding on buffalo's back
on the way to their homes
is a typical scene,
which needs to be captured
on films
for nostalgic reasons.

In the misty morning
where dawn had just breakout
villagers throwing
dried corns,
rice to the grounds
hungry poultry
feeds their way through.
School going kids
walked 3 miles to school,
cutting through plantations,
paddy field
for the shorten route.
The sound of azan
(calls for prayers five times a day required by Muslims)
Echoed from the surau and mosque,
could be heard across the village.


To own a vehicle is luxury
Bullock cart (wagon pulled by cows)
Was used in redundant
ferrying firewood,
rice sacks,
for shipment
to the town
sometimes ferrying villagers
to attend weddings
in the neighborhood
or just a bunch of cheerful kids
who like to have a ride
around the kampong.
I remembered
I was having a great time
taking a ride on this bullock cart
owned by grandfather,
going to town
whenever I paid him a visit.
I was 8 years old
Riding the time of my life
Befriended the bulls
Bonded
And sacred

Well, no matter how far I traveled
Having to live in big cities
Like London and New York,
The reminiscent of being part of kampong’s folk
riding the Bullock Cart
will still and forever (which I hope)
stayed remains in my mind
Thanks folks
for the memories.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Sadiqullah Khan 24 April 2008

its nostalgic....amazing simple life and depicted well..

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Res John Burman 23 April 2008

Salamat Sulaiman. Thank you so much for this. You have painted the perfect picture of what I love most in my memories of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah. Even Singapore, which I also love, I love best the country side and the Kampong life. Water Buffalo and children enjoying each other's company. Beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your work. Best Regards ~ Res

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Paul Butters 21 April 2008

For us in England it was just outside toilets and grime. Beautiful account. Paul.

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Hillfigure Sackey 18 April 2008

just simply beautiful, it's nostalgic but what stands out the most has to be the vividly painted imagery!

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Rani Turton 13 April 2008

This was simply wondeful, tinted with nostalgia but beautifully evocative.

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Arwen Lee CW 02 October 2008

I took a break in the corridor of time look back upon the days of yore traditions and warmth are worth remembered yet the pace of time never stops....

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Will Barber 12 August 2008

A stunning word-picture. You are rooted on earth, however far you may travel. - Will

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Mamta Agarwal 20 July 2008

amazing narrative, going down the memory lane. i think life was simple in those days gone by and we had simple pleasures. i too often feel nostalgic about the small place i grew up in. for the last 35 years i am living in metros, and it honestly gets to me. please read life in a metro.Yusof 10++ for this lovely poem.

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David Desantis 14 May 2008

whoa, quite the storyteller i see.....it's great to see the importance that can still be found in simplicity and a sense of home.

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Rema Prasanna 05 May 2008

This poem is brilliant, i felt an Indian village somewhere in those lines, beautifull placing, a very good poem

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