john tiong chunghoo

Gold Star - 4,628 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Japanese Jabberwocky - Poem by john tiong chunghoo

Jabberworky, Jabberworky tale
lone night walk on Onitaka
(tall ghost in Japanese)
Shimousa Nakayama, Chibaken
back to the haunted house
- we did not know until told -
where we lived with them
for two quiet years - japanese
jabberworky ghosts - an old man and woman -
penniless - killing themselves
and we were sleeping on where
they had laid, as they bade
the world goodbye, cold like stones,
but did they leave, fly away, jabberworkies?

they were there. the two who kept the days
in numbers, who even foretold my life -
two lives which had ended - or did they? -
telling the living how his life would be?
what a Jabberworky dream it was?
stretching their hands and fingers
into my life - but then how accurate they were -
-i wouldnt amount to much....almost a stamp,
their words turn out to be after 30 years
japanese jabberworkies using numbers
to get to the nitty gritty of my life
and how good their prediction was!

two hair raising japanese jabberworkies
how easy they had worked to tell this
fragile poet he would not have
the numbers to boast about and they had
surely meant the savings account -
japan where when you have no money
your legs and feet cannot take you anywhere
even two jabberworkies who had gone away
from the world were still caught up with
figures - the all important notes and yen

the two jabberworkies - they were discovered
when they were rotting, hadnt eaten for
days. Jabberworkies they were,
numerologist of the excellent kind....
a table like the one you do your word puzzle
only that they have more squares, and each
with a number, criss crossing
numbers, an ocean of life pinned down
to its very penny's worth
the very art that could have seen the
jabberworkies through the cold damp winter
but then perhaps they too had unravelled
the secrets, seen the figures that told
them where they would be here, now and then?

jabberworky ghosts walk the lane of the mind
haunting every inch of the real world
heavy the air became after the secret
about them was given us - the Japanese woman who
always came over to borrow money - could not hold
her tongue anymore - and everything in the house
suddenly became cold - like corpses - so that
even taking a shower was done in seconds
with the hair raising....despite the water

Jabberworkies - the two knew me to the bones,
yesterday, today, the next 50 years
unperturbed of the world of light, seen and unseen
they shared with me the art of seeing the future,
numbers in a puzzletable so easily forgotten
after we woke up to the world
where real numbers matter

jabberworky ghosts...they have been
wandering penniless, meritless...
wishing somebody would come
to their needs, sharing their prayers,
affording them a better realm where they would
not be bothered by figures, yen or yuan, anymore

jabberworkies..all those hotel rooms
where they walk on lonely dinghy verandahs,
corridors, disturbing our souls, straying
into our path in the dead of nights
for some warmth they could not never have

jabberworkies..the way out of their
claws...is to have your deities sleep
with you, ..jabberworkies...i prayed
for some of them...giving them merits

jabberworky children tales, jabberworky.
jabberworky, a bird flies into the house
at midnight, pays homage to the crsytal buddha
and flies out so steadily as if it has imbued
full confidence of a fine reincarnation...
no more jabberowrky, jabberworky...

and yeh i am looking to the next Japan trip
were i would go visit ghost to see if
the jabberworky numerologists are still there
after 30 years, using numbers to help
new tenants see their own lives
- japan where you dont have the figures
in your savings, you would be better off
as two ghosts wanderiing helplessly in
a house seeking to figure out the world - for us


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, June 12, 2012


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