The Onion

Cut an onion down, but don’t
touch the centrepiece

we are all stumbling, trying
hard to find our eyes

they don’t tell you losing’s
not the same as able to be found

peel skin from skin; the core
will sting, like blue-skin swatters

leave! leave! i never want to see
you again! she shouts to the mirror

blindly, swaying, kitchen knife
in one hand and her fingers in the other.

The onion rolls, like a cradle,
waiting for its victim.


Little signs

Starts with a brush

A murmur, tap against the shoulder

Shrug too small to mean a thing

Except there’s this nag inside her beat, breaking steadiness

Submerging head inside what ifs and too lates and i need to stay away.


Starts with leave

A night and pillow fights

Feathers learning wings always fall even though airbourne feels eternal

There’s only space for one until you slide the breath over for more

But no one likes to be that single hair teetering before the drop.


Starts with a shock

Plane in turbulence, rocking baby chairs

Scaring her to straight back and a mouth moving out no words

Asking her how she is but how is she?

Tell me, she begs, tell me and i will go along with what you want to hear.


Ends with a silence

A lie she made herself believe

It’s easy losing what you think, a murmur in the heart’s nothing to a scream outside

In ruthless streets and air that cuts the tongue

She shrugs, but in that shrug is everything.





Dedicated to the “psychology shifu”.

Carve me in half
to earth’s core enlarged to
red and blushing,
shy sometimes freckled sometimes
misrecognised as white jagged
grins sat in sunken sun
watching ants awake and day
shift their stoves to a shimmer

I’m said to taste
like waterfall,
gushing at the lips, soft
as a sponge, leaking ointment
for the tongue who
is singing laughing feeling
its lover (teeth stained
tongue-pink) massage back
and breasts and buds

I don’t look much, just
green heavy bones; chopped
chewed spat out
forgotten, like that story
your friend whispered
in class last week.
But subtract me, and I will
multiply because although
my destiny’s humble, the moments
I create for you, my dear human,
will not be.

She, the sky and the sea

For Shirley

She glimmered like the sea, when I met her under
shadows of a sun hanging low, her coloured plastic bags
weaving rainbows into wind, steady as a heart that’s
found a dream to strive for. That dream was to one day see
the sea in blues and silver greens, to dangle hands in
the sky and to watch them cluster like the stars, and every touch
leaves behind marks in gravity. I say she shimmers like the sky
because there’s lightning in her smile and thunder in her laugh
and when she strikes the earth the only sound that’s left is rain.

A storm to never pass

A storm is supposed to pass, but these days, a storm is something more.

A storm is a cloud rolling and rolling and hurling repetitions of itself, out of itself,

without ever stopping, without ever spinning the centre of the wave

because it itself is the eye, all-seeing but unseeable.


A storm is supposed to pass, but these days, it’s just a touch

Not even heard in echoes but in the mind that is somehow more profound

a footprint than a million unnamed feet, a million hearts you do not know

because a storm you can define but can never really settle.


This storm is supposed to pass, but these days, it breaks

off into leaking hourglass and spitting sand specks that are impossible to catch

and impossible to avoid, and dying to escape the burial of a windless grave,

because the storm is wind and we’re all trying to escape the life it gives.





The ocean is soft

The ocean is soft, I’d never noticed before. The waves crash, the tides claw back, the seagulls shriek, but the ocean is soft

The engine of the last car rumbles into silence, and I’m left with my own footprints, and his next to mines.

The waves are breathing, steady then erratic, a little like the hearts that lean in then apart.

Shadows touch each other, the sun does not die but becomes the moon – round and beaming, a light that is shy, alight

Your fingers cradle, it’s forgotten how to loosen when your fingers lace each other, knit into each other

knuckle on knuckle, the ocean’s soft

the only sounds come from your own chest, and his.

The ocean is breathing

the ocean is breathing

the ocean is breaking.

The dream to sea

i think of embers burnt in ocean’s flame

till it blazed the spent wood back to life;

and the songs, drowned by centuries, crawling

its body back to surface, brought its fingers through

the ships of shore till they broke their

strings of safety and dissipated, as the wind does.


i think of hull colliding hull till they grew to

love the other’s broken heart, till the winds that

carried souls breathed a new beginning and

the night that sunk ahead whistled day apart

and dark alight. there’s a melody to the way the

sea of dreams wavers, inhales, lets its fantasies undone


and there’s a way he folds, unfolds the waves till

every lapse’s examined, embraced, caught

in the clasp between his arm; till he loves

unrestrained. there’s a slowness in the way

he holds my eyes to silence and my mind to peace, like

there’s nothing to be said but this.


Sorry I haven’t been posting much! But here’s a new poem – my form of procrastination 🙂


Sometimes you carry this confidence in your eyes

and you don’t even notice the way

it unravels shadows and opens up the clouds.


Sometimes you let slip your clumsy smile

and you don’t even notice the way

it drowns their lungs and brings their hearts to shore.


Yet often

you think it’s overconfidence to wear yourself as glasses,

to walk around in skin that feels like yours

because this skin is thin and breakable



you hide yourself in stutters and apologies

that spring from your tongue so often

one mistook it for your breath.



you tell others you know nothing,

and believe it.


But never do you whisper

you’re not worth it.

All that you see

You stand in a sea of people who do not know anything beyond the prices of their own bodies,
They’ve sold their souls to commercials telling them it’s worth more to sell than to give.
Life is meaningless so they hold onto what little they can:
The material things that’ll rust away with age but they don’t seem to care because anything you buy can be replaced, right?

Do as the Romans do, they say but I can’t seem see as they see the world
Because I see the wrinkled eyes of a man sweeping away the fallen leaves of winter,
I see the tired smile of a woman climbing up a flight of stairs after long days of the same work on replay,
I see repetitions of the same lives continuing on while the previous ends like a track that’s stuck on a song no one likes but everyone must listen to,
I see a pain in success and in the touch of paper bills

But then I realise that maybe I’m overthinking all this
And everyone’s the happy one
And I’m the only one in pain.