“(Hour 5 of 12) nice pictures”

Look at these and tell me what you see.

My shrink shows some photos to me.

If you had to pick one, which would it be?

Your demons at bay, what will set you free?


This boat on the water with nary a ripple,

A clear moonlit sky and stars just endless,

Nature is still and calm and simple,

Forests in the distance, my peace is boundless.



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 4 of 12) e-pistle”

That’s an interesting story, my shrink says.

But here’s a task I have for you.

If you haven’t seen someone in three thousand days,

What would you say, this friendship to renew?


Forlorn letters are boring,

Phone chats are not my calling.

Skype and Zoom are soaring,

But like tweets, they are just appalling.


Short terse texts are best.

It’s just a status scoping.

Friendship waters I can test,

With a simple “How’s it going?”



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 3 of 12) poor bop”

Told the shrink, I once knew a man.

To get rich was his masterplan.

I’ll rob a bank, oh yes, I can.

So to better understand,

And get a lay of the land,

Off he went, big gun in hand.


He really didn’t think it through.


Your money or your life, he told the teller,

You better not mess with me, I’m a nasty feller,

And if you think you wanna beller,

I’ll pull this trigger, don’t think I’m yeller.

In his face she laughed, you aren’t so stellar,

Have you been living in a wine cellar?

Or are you just a basement dweller?

It’s “i” before “e” in “Keep quiet”, you bad speller!


He really didn’t think it through.


I have a gun, and she doesn’t care?

My plan didn’t work, she called my dare!

He ranted and raved and shouted, “Beware!”,

Waving his big gun all around in the air,

The cops just put two in him, to his despair,

And his last thought was, life’s so bloody unfair!


He really didn’t think it through.




© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 2 of 12) some recipe”

These maternal issues aside, he wonders,

What do you think is a life well lived, he ponders,

Would it be fame and fortune and ruddy good health?

Or a simple unremarkable life that’s borne without stealth?

Would you prefer trials and tribulations and constant bloody crises?

As opposed to calm and contentment and no base pleasures?

I’ll just go through the future with an open mind,

And just deal with what life throws at me, I opine.



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 1 of 12) another mother”

Shall we begin, says my shrink,

Now tell me what you think,

If I ask you what you remember,

All about your mother,

Not the ego and the id,

But just your time as a kid?


In truth, there isn’t much to say.

She would not let me have my way.

Her own fears to me she projected,

My natural instincts stifled and rejected,

From childhood to adulthood, so much regret,

Such a trying time, I would much rather forget.


But I have imagined, in some alternate history,

I was a singular person of some notoriety?

Sired in secrecy, mired in anonymity,

A libertine Don Juan, a rake of profligacy,

From the Virgin Queen I sprang, in this other reality,

That scion of Elizabeth, a bastard of the monarchy.



© 2020 S Phua

“Greetings and Salutations, fellow marathoners!”

As I always tell myself every time:

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

If you gotta take five, take five.


For a change of perspective, step out occasionally to breathe in fresh air, walk the dog, play with the cat, whatever.

Write what you want, how you want; it’s just an opportunity to share and leave a little of yourself out there among like-minded souls.

At the end of the day, it’s like an virtual outing.

All the best, and have fun, everyone!

“It doesn’t get any easier, but it’s still fun …”

Good morning to all fellow 2019 Poetry Marathon participants!

Silvester here in North Vancouver, up for my 5th TPM.

Wasn’t really sure I could join you folks this year, so it was a last-minute decision, but here I am, ready to call upon Euterpe once more to aid me in my poetical travails.

Wishing everyone inspiration, energy, and joy as they create and share over the next 12 or 24 hours. Each of us has prepared in our own way but all I just wanna say is, pace yourself, and fresh air always helps!


(#24/24): “Vista”

The day has been long.

And on the cusp of yet another,

Dawn will almost break,

But not my flagging, weary muse.


Though there are only street lamps,

And dark clouds marring my view

Of the beloved mountains on the North Shore,

I know I will see them soon.


So I have passed this final test,

Now let me put these last words to rest.

Another challenging 24 hours, I must confess,

My marathon is done and now, I convalesce.


© 2017 S Phua

(#23/24): “Yearning”

Is this what I really long for?

Not family nor even friends,

But only the many delights

Of the local cuisine back home.


From sock-filtered ‘Nanyang’ coffee roasted in margarine,

To the carefully produced nine-layered ‘Kuih Lapis’ cake,

And succulent chicken rice that’s pressure-cooked to perfection,

To the humble carrot (turnip) cake well fried in lard and black soy sauce.


All this I miss, and much more.

A glutton am I, no less,

The pangs of my hunger cannot be satiated,

Oh, that I would be able to partake of them once again!


© 2017 S Phua