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Autumn Alma Mater
JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Autumn Alma Mater

Poem By john tiong chunghoo

feels like lonely chilly autumn
leaves thrown asunder
ruffling the calm of lake
falling, scattering
all over your feet
each pace that you take

grasses dance feverishly
while sparing birds' songs
work an echo in a soul
still looking for a place
in his alma mater

the old brass bell that long ago
held our hearts and mind,
fervently accompanied us through
every minute of school still hangs -
a solid air of authority -
a no nonsense master
recognising nothing
except the hourly call
to each new lesson, new knowledge

the rows of crimson classes
still stand with quiet open doors
there, shadows of chairs
and tables gently cast
their geometric lines
the only element here
still at constant with my heart
a filamen that soothes
those yesteryears
I was shadow of shadows

the blackboards beckon
holding gently at an attitude
that stamp of infinity
when it comes to learning

the fiery glow of the setting sun
on the window panes
reflects those waves
of alma mater sentiments
and attachments tugging
at my heartstrings
a zither maestro
beating out his song

dedicated teachers
straight As geniuses
smart sports lads,
the overambitious
lonely hearts, libido driven bleary-yed boys,
bookworms, bullies, sissies - all now
but a cool reflective evening
for an unknown still trying to find
his footing in his old old school

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