Travel Singapore Haiku - The Greenery

Lion City
our admiration tails
the greenery

two way traffic
the greenery waves back
with respect

two way traffic
greenery earns respect
for lion city

garden city
trees wave back
to the Lions

- - - - - - -

the singapore i love is
when the city holds up
its clouds, playing pom
pom girls postponing
a drizzle so that the trees
in the lanes and streets
- with their intermmitent
swinging branches and
leaves - could hum songs
of cheers to those walking
hand in hand savouring
the warmth in each others' eyes

the Singapore I love is one
modern metropolis that holds
tightly onto to its past treasuring
it like a confidante she could draw
strength and inspiration whenever
she is lost in the sea of ideas, home
or abroad, techno or cultures,
fashion, culinary, pop or arts that
tiptoe, waltz, jive, foxtrot, tango, cha cha,
pirouette, twirl and swirl into Singaporeans' mind

the way they still call China Town
Ngu Chia Jui (Bullock Cart Water)
which invariably transports us back to those
years when life was tough like a buffalo's
even water was not easy to get
rationed, and distributed by Indian
workers who everyday came shouting
water water on bullock carts

Or the Samsui Cha Bo
(women with the red headgear)
solid and strong as granite amazons
who still bow and carry
the City of Lion on their backs
The city they too helped
build up brick by brick, sweat and tears

Or the Tekka, Tekka (below the bamboos)
they still use to call the entrance to Little India
the bamboos are no more an icon there
but how can you forget such pristine
gifts of heaven, such auspicious growth metaphors?
Singapore that has inched and risen fast as a
million bamboo shoots to wave in reflection of its humble roots?
Serangoon, Serangoon, Little India, Little India
Even Shah Rukh Khan and Asywara Rai love
to tekka tekka here now

And Kandang Kerbau Women's
and Children's Hospital (Cattle Coop)
well wind back Singapore 15,000 days
and you would hear cattle bleating
and Indians workers careering round your
young smiling pregnant wives or
newly blessed babies smiling in
the warm arms of their mothers

now dont ever slight the place,
or its namesake for this 'Cattle Coop'
has helped deliver half the city's lions
and lionesses who are all ready to take
on the world, cattle or wolves

Last week as I visited Singapore I was amazed at the ubiquitous greenery on the roads and open space. It is really a garden city worth emulating. The trees especially stand tall and healthy. Their leaves sway and wave so gracefully whenever there is a breeze. They make the city so less stressful. One feels one gets back the respect one extends to nature here

Debora Short 28 April 2008

Lovely poem, John. I too, am nourished with that most special spirituality that those green spaces offer my soul. Thank you for sharing your journey. Blessings, Debora

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