Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Red Pencil Newsletters (2015 and 2016)

Click here to read the 2015 and 2016 newsletters. I wrote most of the content and supervised the design and layout of the newsletter.

Art therapy (2/4/2016)

I saw a plethora of colours before me
I was awestruck yet dumbfounded
What should I choose? 
How should I choose?
She held out red and green crayons
placed them on her hand and told me
Don’t you think that the red brings out
the best of the green crayon
And that the green brings out
the best of the red crayon?
I chose watercolour instead
and watch the colours melt into one another
blue and orange emitted a comforting green
while red autumn leaves floated across the paper
and faded blue mountains outlined
in the midst of patterns and impressions
Tell me about space, she said
And my heart ached at the thought of
the space I had lost and could never return
Bring the space to you through art then.
I imagined the mist surrounding the convexes
of the magnificent mountainous landscape
then I saw snowflakes falling
remembered the stars scattered like dust
all over the horizon
I watched the painting come to life from afar
And my heart ached at the thought of
how I cannot be boxed up like others
content with comformity, comfort and conventions
Marry both colours together
Marry both selves together
They need not be polarising opposites;
Take your shadows by their hands
And dance with them.

You’re a volcano
full of energy and drive
integrate and marry different forms together
open up new creative possibilities

With a heart as open as yours
a flexibility and yearning to
search for the self
you’ll succeed;

you’ll succeed.

Touch (25/7/2015)

Every time someone lingers 
a little longer on her skin
she cracks a little more inside
scabs forming thick walls
Arms across her back
hands towards the waist
sometimes stomach
and other times the thighs
But she is not a doll
she is only human
yet with every trespassing
she is plasticised, objectified
She knows people love to touch
beautiful things
why can’t people see that 
the soul yearns to be touched too?
How could anyone even know her
when one begins and ends
with simply touching
the body?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Schizophrenic (13/2/2014)

Out of rhythm.
Growing expectations and disappointments.
It is true-
I'm not ready for this after all.

Hummingbird Heartbeat (13/2/2014)

The heart is a precarious creature.
It feels too much.
And that day, it beat so fast it was flying
as though it would escape the ribcages

Leaping out to find you.

Topic: Friendship (for SSA YEP exhibition, 29/1/2014)

In a sea of foreign faces

Braving the sands in our eyes
The chill in our bones
I reached out for your hands
And they were once cold

Then warm.

“Do you miss home?”

But home is where comrades reunite
Hearts reconvening
After long periods of silence among us.

“Are you cold?”

But I was standing among suns
Burning bright 
With sun-sized dreams and smiles.

In between broken words and sentences

Braving the winds of judgment
The hearts stripped of all pretenses
We reached out for each other’s hearts
And they were cold

Then warm.

Night (Prose/May 2013)

When she woke up with tears streaming down her cheeks uncontrollably, all that she could grasp were the touch of his hands and the promise they made.

She forgot about the dream for months thereafter, and lamented endlessly on the futility of love at this stage of her life. She was young, she could be happy remaining single for a long time. None are suitable at the moment, she would remind herself consistently. Once in a while, she would spot a bud blossoming but she would think too much and before it had a chance to flaunt its petals, she stretched out her hands and tore it apart. And the petals were left scattered and unborn.

In the solitude of the night, she would sit among piles of books, magazines and papers and occasionally tear up at a song, a memory or a related thought. There were also days where the word love didn't seem to exist, and she went about her daily routines and tasks. Sometimes, she was undecided about her choices, and other times she felt like no one would ever choose her. A dream would come on every now and then, of a phantom being holding her close. Every single time, she thought she had it all figured out, but realised that she had remembered everything except his face. It's just a dream, and dreams like these never come true, she would mutter to herself afterwards and hopped out of bed to begin the rest of her day wondering about everything.

That night when she spoke to the wind, she thought of how she could have seen the same moon lifetimes ago, and that past present or future, they have and will always be under the same sky. In the midst of sorting out her feelings, the moon was a shining silver coin that stood out against the darkness. A new sense of hope welled up within her, and the fog within her heart cleared for a moment. In that moment of clarity, she whispered: "I will find you no matter what."

But hours later and deeper into the night, she looked out of the window again and the moon was no longer there. Her search for light had only begun.

Shadow (Prose/May 2012)

"You are a shadow. A dark, long mysterious shadow. 

There is something hollow and yet full about the blackness of a shadow that intrigues me.

I am too bright a light; people can't look at me for too long because I am always too chirpy and upbeat and positive about life. (How can anyone be happy just like that?)

Do I not understand sadness? Do I not understand pain and disappointment? People marvel at my stark innocence and insouciance towards life. 

But I only wish to burn brighter to chase the darkness away. 

 Do I wish for you to turn into light, to be like me? I love the way you are but because you are a shadow, you are impossible to grasp and hold on to. 

I can only look at you behind me, in front of me, at the sides. I can never really quite touch you. And that's why you are mysterious. You are beautiful. 

Are you empty? Or are you full? I cant quite reach you so can you tell me what do you consist of? What are your thoughts and feelings and opinions and dreams? Your goals? Do you plan to just exist only when there is light or do you wish to be more defined and solid? 

I've tried so hard to stretch myself out and reach to you, but still I can never quite touch you. 


 Shadows. Are they veils? Are they a representation of what we want to have but can't have? Are they the darkness of light? 

 Where are you? Are you just a cloak that morphs and takes my shape? Why is it that you only exist when I shine so brightly? Who is going to pick me up when I turn cold and dark?

If a light is strong enough to survive on its own, what's the use of love then? Maybe that's why light is accompanied by shadows. You are a shadow. You disappear when I turn dark. I can never quite reach you. You are mysterious. You are beautiful. That's why I love you (and I will never love you)."

Sunrise (14/10/2013)

Your face encase a journey of storms and heavens
as I watched beside you over the years
but that day, the roar announced a new beginning
and I saw the first sun rise on your face

(All I did was to soak in this warmth)

Later, the palms touched as a goodbye
and in that moment
I understood the depths of our friendship-
a river of love that courses through
the air, our skin, across distance and

(May it never run dry)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Imagined Fairytale (25/3/2013)

I, Humpty Dumpty;
You, picked up my pieces and
fixed me back again.

(Submitted this for SMU The Blue and Gold Haiku competition)