Fallen Into The Other Realm

Poem By john tiong chunghoo

under the little picture
of the virgin mary
i lazed and lazed
until her impatient little angel
flew down to speak to my ears
in a mind lifting delightful language
prodding me perhaps to wake up
to face the world
still amazed at her musical tongue

this hasty chinese man
that ran into my dream
pointing to an antique
chinese wood carving of
an auspicious looking lion
perhaps to tell me
i should buy it
and i saw it in
my friend's shop the next day
he asked for US400
and now it pained me to
see it again in his shop
with the not-for-sale sign
the lion that had brought
him luck he said
his business boomed
still at a loss
about this chinese man
in his samfoo in my dream

three times as i closed
my eyes and flicked through
the koran i came to the
same page and to the same line
'follow the correct path'
this same line
this same line
still rankles in
my catholic mind
which side speaking

this encased tooth i bought
from a roadside buddhist fortune teller
how in the night i saw
a white figure flying away from me
the beauty of the mystery she left

this strange woman on this cursed
island of Langkawi
who walked in the middle of the night
without hands
her sleeves dangled, dangled
i even cycled back to make sure
my eyes were not seeing things
yes, there were no hands

this door to my antique shop
on the cursed island
that unlocked itself
so many times
even when i had made sure
no ghost would fool me
by checking it two times the night
before i left

yes, this sudden dense
atmosphere in my room
yes she was there
she was there
late granny came back
to visit me
always the sudden dense
energy when she arrived
so disappointing that i didnt
have the facility to see her
no more such visitations
perhaps, she too has realised
without the necessary organs
the bridge to this side
of the world is futile

this lane in the island resort
so quiet at night
so quiet that my hair stood on ends
the girls at the nearby dormitory
talked about dreams of a ghost
with big eyes

this strange dream in
the japanese apartment
at shimousa nakayama
where some strange being
showed me figures
that could predict future events
all those mathematics that
i understood in the dreams
but immediately

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