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The Christmas Day Before Tsunami In Phuket
JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

The Christmas Day Before Tsunami In Phuket

Poem By john tiong chunghoo

Christmas day
I saw the boy
the white boy
skinny, thin thing
who could only be
two scores of age
smiling so innocently
in Phuket’s Patong Beach
the elders surrounding him, cajoling
I saw a little boy
black plump little thing
barely two, I guess,
almost nude, running
carefree, near the sea
close to the waves
and into the waves
looking, discovering
danger, no,
a thousand miles away
I saw a granddad
jumped a few steps
as he ran
a little girl
trailing behind
did the same
a breeze
chilled us
refreshed us
in the splendour
of the setting sun
the rays dilated our pupils
so that everything
became so dreamy
in that already
paradise setting
I saw a mother
her satiated self
sitting on a towel
her dreamed holiday came true
surrounded by teenagers
oh! that warm smile
of love from a mother!
I cried over the transient
quality of life too
over mother!
I saw the white men
executives of
some conglomerates
stressing out
a mishmash of tired nerves
pampered by the sea
the cool wind,
the sand,
the Thai women,
their reassuring
and status
touches and beer
the patong beach
Christmas day dusk
endless waves of joy
swept through the souls
the hundreds of foreign souls
the white boy,
the skinny tiny thing
the boy I turned back
to take so many looks
the young child
playing by himself
near the harmless mass of water
and so many others
their last holiday?
the wave of joy now
overtaken by waves
waves, tsunami scale grief
the waves,
the relentless waves
that roared
kill, kill, kill
all over the Indian Ocean

Oh! that skinny little white thing
with that lovely smile
those mysterious successive waves
of pain that sweep through me

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