Thursday, July 29, 2010

Slipping In Between You And Your Big Dreams

Calling unpublished poets: Firstfruits publications seeks submissions of poetry in English from Singapore poets who have yet to publish a full-length, single-author collection of poetry. Selected work will appear in an anthology to be published next year. All submissions must be sent before 1st September 2010.

on the seventh day, when God was resting
when he was sure no one was looking,
he reached in and pulled parts of himself,
lit from the embers of his heart.
fit between pinched fingers,
sprinkled into lines singled,
licked the ends so it would stick,
rolled into a cigarette.

drawn out puffs, calming this child,
long hard drags, quieting this hell.
i barely even notice the smell,
the life-giving breath just overwhelms
my eyes follow the rising smoke, down to this cylinder,
my sight leaps like salmons against the flow of the river.
he brings me in, burning these sins
you'll never see such destruction.
(normally this structure is damaged but not the foundation)

i see him bent over and brittle
hunched with hands over head
the lashes latch on, his back spurts passion
while he mutters again and again
the sacrifice makes it sacred

the sacrifice makes it sacred

the sacrifice makes it sacred...

and you catch a sliver of a smile against the darkness,
let out a breath kept since creation,
these tears chart a path across blood stained cheeks
past the lips gently nursing that cigarette
would you ever go toe to toe with a terrorist
ever one-on-one with a broken fist
you wouldn't even leave for groceries
without the sure and sacred shopping list
and yet we try to navigate life like this.

i hear God yelling,

- Daryl Goh

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So Open My Eyes

I have been busy these couple of weeks and my mind is constantly on the responsibilities of my work. The past week has been unusually draining with preparations for the Tree of Life display at the Singapore Garden Festival. But in moments when I'm alone, sitting in the train or walking home, I imagine that I am back in Nepal. Suddenly the seat I am on is no longer contoured for comfort. The path which I am walking on is no longer concrete. Instead, sand and dust is kicked up behind me. A signal of where I've been. The traffic, just inches beside me, blares its musical notes, spewing black smoke. Like those jazz musicians.

I remember one of the nights when Pastor S was driving us back from the Sophia Home. He mentioned that he was going to pray for a family. We heard that their child was feverish and the parents were afraid. Charmaine and I decided that we should go to visit because we knew them as well.

The father recognised us immediately and was grateful. He was the lead singer and guitarist in a Christian rock band and being a performer, he was used to a different kind of attention. Suddenly, we became royalty in their house. They gave us drinks and talked to us, and tried to make us feel special.

I asked myself. Why the big fuss? We are only here to pray for you.

And my God rebukes me. To you, it is just prayer. To them, it is healing and salvation for their child. It is their only hope. This is why you don't see Me working more often. Because you think it is just prayer. You need to magnify me, Daryl.

When we prayed, I laid my hand on the father, the head of the household. Compassion flowed and we both knew he had received an anointing for his family.