Monthly Archives: August 2013

Winds of Change

The winds of change are a-coming 

feel it in my bones

warm summer breeze caresses my cheeks 

planting kisses on my weary face

the glistening dragonfly comes out to play 

circling the sun has got his hat on

the train is fast approaching bringing all things good

Hope is poking her head out the window calling my name

while Peace sits me down to rest my overworked legs

Love rushes by to offer cuppa tea not too strong nor weak

just the way you like it your song is playing on the radio

this time you smile not cry happy memories filter to the top 

bad ones stay mixed with the silt in the murky recesses of your mind

broken wings are healed you take flight soaring into the heights 

beyond the cotton wool clouds not look back

fly little one fly be all that you were meant to be

‘I have a dream’ that is never to feel worthless hate myself

fly little bird fly be all that you can and more

Don’t sell yourself short

If there is one thing I take away from my doomed marriage is never sell yourself short.  Don’t settle for crumbs when you can have the cake and eat it.  Even if you can’t at least think BIG, dare to dream, soar the heights rather than stay stuck on the ground in the tiny corner of your world.

I used to think I was ‘happy’, the ex throwing crumbs of affection and attention my way now and again.  I didn’t know better, that I was worth so much more and that my love far outweighed his.  He explained why he wanted to call time in a very clinical manner.  ‘You see it is like a balance sheet.  What I’m getting out of the marriage is far less than what I’m putting in.’  Just like that he pulls the plug, getting rid of the baby along with the bath water.  Now I know it is actually the other way round but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Good news everybody, we are all valuable and worthy of the best and respect just by virtue of being human.  As simple as that.  You don’t have to strive to make a difference, do heroic stuff on the world stage like Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa.  You don’t even have to have perfect complexion, wrinkle free and be a size 0.  You don’t have to do anything or be anybody apart from yourself.  Just be.  

I learnt this.  If nobody loves you, love yourself.  If nobody validates/ acknowledges you, validate yourself.  Be your own best friend, give yourself the best advice, take good care of you, cos you and yourself are gonna be together a real long time, from birth to that last breath you take.  

The only person you can’t divorce, ever get away from is you, make peace with yourself and make a huge effort to establish a good relationship and rapport.

Don’t settle for second best, afraid that the best may never come and you would have missed the boat.  Be sure what exactly it is you want and don’t accept any less out of fear and low self esteem.   




They say life is too short for regret.  My biggest isn’t the obvious one, that of the failure of my marriage but missing the boat on finding out who my parents really are and communicating with them beyond the shallows of small talk.  Apart from my earliest fond memories of Mum burning the midnight oil sewing away so that we had new clothes to wear on Chinese New Year’s Day.  However empty our stomach and family coffer, Mum made sure we were dignified in our poverty.  We didn’t feel deprived or suffer an inferiority complex because everybody else in the Yau Hamlet was in the same boat.  And in our cash poor state we were very inventive with making up games to amuse ourselves with our cousins.  Roaming the tiny village freely we led not only a carefree existence but got very fit climbing trees, chasing one another and stayed out till our mothers called us for the evening meal.  It was a happy childhood that money can’t buy.

The suitcase

For my mother on her 84th birthday
there is a suitcase by the door
in it are folded neatly two outfits
one for mum one for dad
for when they take their final bow
together more than half a century
don’t know who’s going to exit stage left
how the other will cope
love hate love hate that’s been their way
product of this love
the hate has screwed me up
so much a part of each other 
they can’t bear to be apart
no tacky romance holding hands
no words all that needed to be said has been
glad of each other’s company in their last days
i am the product of this love
made in hong kong 1961
part of global baby boom
flower power free love peace 
strange how roles reversed
i become the parent they the child
i hold their hand stroke their hair
tell them it’s going to be ok
protect from too much reality
for them ignorance is bliss
sand is leaking from hourglass
seconds ticking one by one 
bracing myself for the inevitable
mistress of destiny
special subject brutal reality
truth hurts but i’ll endure
the only other product of this love hate
shocked me 
when she revealed the secret of the suitcase
and by the way she doesn’t do funerals
there is a suitcase by the door
in it are folded neatly two outfits
one for mum one for dad
for when they take their final bow

Cheung Chau


Life vs. Art

Life has got into the way of art; I haven’t been posting poems or thoughts daily as I used to.  I am too busy living, which is a good thing.  This is far better than being bedridden going over for the millionth time why, how, when, what if …

I’m in limbo, a murky grey zone between reality and fantasy.  What could have been … circling round my head, driving the neurons crazy.

Work has picked up 400% from one pupil to four, ranging from barely five to seventeen from super rich to the man on the street living in a pitifully tiny apartment with his family of four in a council estate.

Attempting a kind of modern Robin Hood; robbing the rich to feed the poor and charging by the hour according to a sliding scale.  The highest being $230 and the average roughly half that amount.

The boy of six from Mongkok is going to be a challenge; I suspect in UK he’d be drugged up to his eyeballs with ritalin for being hyperactive.  I hate labelling kids but certainly he can’t sit still for more than 10 seconds and regularly falls off his stool and thinks this is absolutely hilarious.  But nothing I can’t handle: at least he hasn’t started swearing and he can’t start chatting to someone else because it is just me and him and the four walls.

He is a devoted Thomas the tank engine fan so will have go in search of said item as bribe.  I suppose all teachers are schizophrenic: one minute you are dangling the carrot and showering with compliments and the next you are threatening with the proverbial stick. 


Apologies for sudden disappearance.  I concede defeat, having miserably failed in the poem a day challenge.

Other day typhoon warning signal 8 was issued for the first time this year but didn’t turn into a full blown affair.  No chance of a drought here, the weather alternates between huge downpours and skin cancer inducing sunlight.  For a third type I have to wait patiently for Autumn, the ideal season, you get the user friendly sunshine without getting soaked just out the door.  Spring is so humid that even your walls sweat, literally.


Love came knocking

Love showed up through the 

crack squatted in the chambers of my fragmented 

heart fed milk honey tender loving care it 

grew demanded freedom space threw 

tantrum denied bit the hand that fed it 

made a run for it no Christmas cards 

birthday wishes never to be heard 


     Thought Love came knocking 

          I was wrong

Battle scar a little deeper raw

heart barricaded on strike

     i was wrong

Confucius says …

I don’t know if Confucius said any of these but they are Chinese sayings I’ve picked up over the years.

Short sharp pain is preferable to lingering torment.

The smart horse never chews the same blade of grass.

Marriage is like a cemetery.  (Accredited to Mum)

That’s the least of your worries (Sister)

The best medicine is the most bitter.

Time will expose a man’s ‘heart’.

A needle can’t be sharp both ends.

You don’t feel the pain until it pricks you.

The beginning of any venture is always the hardest.

If you are content, you’ll be happy despite being poor.

The outsider sees clearly whilst the person in the thick of it is surrounded by fog.

Fingers bend inwards not out.  

When drinking water think of the source.



    Can the real you stand up please

 charmer all round good bloke super dad long suffering spouse super man cool rational specimen pillar of strength all things to all men

must’ve taken super powers glue stop mask slipping an iota

true master i was duped sleeping with the enemy under cover 

almost within touching distance 

demolition job complete 

she is crushed

can the real you stand up please

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