(Hour 14 of 24) “eye espy”

this unblinking oculus

unnerves me

violates my privacy


this all-seeing orb

might know me better

than I myself


this indefatigable globus

an unflagging purveyor of secrets

the eye that never sleeps


© 2021 S Phua

(Hour 13 of 24) “My own swan lake”

As a young boy, my earliest memories,

were of feeding the swans at the lake,

with father, mother, and me,

Those croutons I cast away with wanton abandon,

flinging far and wide without a care in the world.


As an adult, I returned again to my swan lake,

not to feed them, but to contemplate.

Orphaned too early,

had to grow up in a hurry,

innocence curtailed; experience inevitable.


Alone now as I ever was,

I revert to childhood pleasures.

Diminished in body, but a mind still with purpose,

I serve my swans again.

with a child’s delight.


© 2021 S Phua

(Hour 11 of 24) “Rorschach Test”

This hot summer’s day,

These daffodils I sketch,

True to life initially,

Every petal captured with fidelity.


It is tiresome,

This attention to detail.

Shall I not interpret it,

My own inimitable way?


I look away from these sunny blooms,

And my labours begin anew.

Letting my myriad emotions,

Take ahold of mine.


Creating what I feel,

I look again, with fresh eyes.

I do not recognise what I have done.

It is my state of mind.


© 2021 S Phua

(Hour 10 of 24) “resolutions”

And so, another year ends,

An entire twelve months laid to rest.

365 days of this wastrel’s shame and regret.

Of things that could have been, but weren’t,

Promises freely made, irresponsibly unkept,

No new leaf turned, no lessons learnt,

Yet, this Auld Lang Syne is another opportunity,

To make resolutions anew,

Fresh, hopeful plans,

That will never see the light of day,

At December’s end.

And January’s advent.


© 2021 S Phua

(Hour 7 of 24) “mask”

This dreadful disease,

Upending life far and wide.

Knowing no borders,

Running amok everywhere.

The cost to humankind immeasurable.

Lives lost, debilitating health,

Economies grinding to a standstill.

A world upturned.


I am thankful for my mask.

Protecting not just me.

But keeping everyone else safe.

And hiding my anonymity.

For though I look like I am from there,

I was born in Woodsville,

Not Wuhan.

Please do not hate me.


© 2021 S Phua

(Hour 6 of 24) “Whither Shall I Wander?”

From the fog of war I fled,

Into this mist of sanctuary.

Escaping the dreaded known,

For the uncertain, unknown.

This new land offers just a moment’s respite,

A chill that comforts but yet,

The horrors of what I remember,

Will never leave me.


© 2021 S Phua