Edmund Wong

Rookie (Hong Kong)

A Strifeless Walk - Poem by Edmund Wong


I shall not be far away,
From the lapping sea gently calling me;
When I feel the tangy warmth of summer’s breath,
The golden beach is where I shall be.

Up, up, in cold slumber
I wake up outmatching the alarm clock,
By a vision bridging the dreamy night
And formal life towards a strifeless walk.

Out, out, to join the day
Which greets me with its flush and radiant touch;
Supinely I lie on the supple sod,
While the world’s fresh and still in morning’s clutch.

Am I the only one
Awake in such a sound environment,
In which the conversations in the wind
Impress me more than man’s establishment?

By a tendril-entrailed bower
I am hid from the ever-peeping sun;
On my grassy arms I let the leafy
Shadows gather and dance in secret fun.

And joined -perchance from far across the sea-
A bird lands atop the moss-mantled fence.
As a tumbled monument I pretend,
Lest the timid creature should fret from hence.

Like a stellar gymnast it spins and hops
On that lean beam with insouciant aim.
With such puissant wings it would never fall,
Despite its wiry legs and stocky frame.

How eager it seems to stretch its bulging wings,
And shifts its nape to preen its dusty coat.
And what a tail of tapered, russet brush,
Which has daubed its mark on lands remote.

For what it comes I cannot comprehend,
But why you soar on high, my nature’s friend,
Must not be far from why I wend my way,
Towards that soft fringe of land without end.


But with whom to bring along? Who have I called?
I haven’t even befriended my phone.
There is none to mourn for the loss of life
Away from home- I’ve learned to walk alone.

By the sidewalk I stroll,
Thinking of horses and donkeys on the road.
I let a stuttering, hollow bus pass by,
Recalling stories in my childhood told.

There are scarcely any people,
But the spring of life courses everywhere:
They may not have limbs to avert your way,
They may not have lips to make you listen,
But there they are, humble and equable,
Up in the flux of air, down and steady
In the niche of soil, if you allow so
Much as a crevice in the asphalt, they
Can shoot up their resolve and strength to show.

A chestnut tree stands tall
Bending its trunk in thirst of that fervent light.
I can’t resist feeling its tough, wrinkled bark,
As leaf-carved stars spangle at sublime height.

So close am I before this chestnut tree,
And yet how many years are we apart?
I did not see it grow, on this quiet earth,
But I am hardly able to depart.

In a long line they stay at dear home,
As Nature’s veterans fending the street.
In one will they survive the dreadful blight
And billions killed, hardened by defeat.

They cleanses the air we puff for granted,
Collectively they paint our cities green,
As a lightning shatters one instantly,
In peals one cannot utter on the scene.


Along the running horizon that splits
Apart the gallant sky and moody sea,
Bare feet skip on pockmarked sand, washed and dried,
Under serried clouds lolling close to me.

There lies the beach, the portal
To an open cloister, a portly playground,
A pristine field, a sovereign repose,
In order, changes and mystery profound.

There surge the rumbling waves
Cautiously battering the seashore strand,
Of pebbles, seashells, mussels and seaweeds,
The double denizens of sea and land.

Having stunted the low headland, retreated,
The rollers recoil from a distant cliff
In thick fumes of spray, as if a golem
Giant is toying with a hapless skiff.
All for glory, or in futility;
Or what wise men can tell a prescient tale
Of force infinitesimal in time?
Or what difference would their actions make,
If their ends are all sewn up with their prime?

Yet nature has its way,
The dawn gives way to day, to blue the sky
Settles, the ocean follows suite, as rage
Inundates itself in a feeble sigh.

But wait, but wait, before vision
Coalesces into a bleary sleep,
Let the crested waves break from far away,
And take my thoughts into the ocean deep.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 15, 2010

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