Night walk – Bukit Brown cemetery


Our torchlight cast in neon

the guarded tombstones of those illustrious ones

who live on in schools they built, foundations

established, descendants flowing like water,


yet this crystalline light chases

to the boundaries the shy darkness,

the soft mystery of weeping lilac sky


of shadows, layer upon layer

of brooding angsana and laced

rain tree leaves, blacker than black.


They abide in the shadow, the nameless ones

those bayoneted and tossed in these least obvious places,

Hinted in secret whispers woven through the years.


And yet, only because you existed

and stepped upon this fertile soil

your breath sent ripples though this air we breathe.


In this night wetter than tears

and heavy as unresolved grievances

I want to hear your story.


So I must learn to sing,

in the dark, after rain,

like the frogs.


And like owls, whose hoots

I listen for tonight, in vain,

to see in the dark.


written by Moira Ong





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