Crocodile – Sungei Buloh, Singapore

The rain has washed the sky
To a glittering softer
Than tears.

The scent of salt and mud
That rises is healing. It fills
The empty spaces within you.

After the rain, marvels emerge.
The Oriental Pied hornbill, beak
Pale yellow against the green,

Splits the air with cack-cack.
The jungle fowl feathered
In crimson, emerald and cobalt

Emerges from the shadow
Of mangrove roots, pecking
At wet sand.

The spit at the middle
Of the river widens. Here,
Little cranes and egrets perch.

One wades through the wet
On reed- thin legs, graceful
As a ballerina.

All these, the water holds,
Clutched in its heart, more precious
Than jewels.

Here the blue, pink , bright-pearl
Of sky shimmer a sullen shade dimmer
Than the great bowl overhead.

Here somnbulent crocodiles float,
Blacker than dark water, downstream
With the ebb tide.

As the evening fades and the tide,
Like grief, goes out, I wonder
What crocodiles, peaceful-seeming

As fallen logs, wait to rise
In the watery underworld
Of my soul.



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