“(Hour 12 of 12) at last”

Well, our time is up, said my shrink with a wink.

Our little session certainly went in a blink.

You’ve talked about the people but they’re all in the past,

And it’s good that you let it all out at last.

But it’s all ancient history,

Like L.P. Hartley* says, it’s a foreign country.

The future out there is what’s paramount.

Life is short, so make it count.


You certainly do things differently here, I ventured.



* “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

(Opening line in The Go-Between, L.P. Hartley, 1953.)



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 11 of 12) bucket list”

Now, being footloose and fancy free,

Where would you like to be, my shrink said he.


It can be mystical, a place of myth,

Or a spot that’s on many a list.


Well, I’ve never been to Timbuctoo,

And I would love to go to Xanadu.


Wherever this wondrous location,

May it be my final destination.



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 10 of 12) cat’s song”

He now plays me a song,

It’s Cat Steven’s Moonshadow,

Come on now, sing along,

Do you feel fine and just mellow?


I think that dude was so chill,

For whatever happens to you,

Just pick yourself up, deal with it,

C’est la vie, and never quit.



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 9 of 12) random words”

Some placards he now shows me,

What do you make of them, said he.


These random words I survey,

And my thoughts to him I convey.

I think it would be better,

If I just put them all together.


Outside my cottage by the treeline last night,

I caught a firefly in a bottle and closed it tight.

Now I have lethargy, and the heat is strange today,

So I took off me mask and had me porridge on the way,

Shuffling despondently to my doom,

My daily morning meeting by Zoom.



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 8 of 12) emotional emoji”

You said you liked to text, asked he.

And smirked, do you ever emoji?


I look at him with scorn.

Such poor wit, such corn!


Emojis are fine enough, I proclaimed.

But they are still so limited, I declaimed.


There’s never enough of them distinctly,

To capture my thoughts succinctly.



© 2020 S Phua

“(Hour 7 of 12) season of the sea”

How idyllic, says he.

What else can you tell me?

For in all honesty,

Full disclosure is key.


It was a Channel crossing,

From Dover to Calais,

The sea was rough and rousing,

And walking was like dancing a ballet.


I had no sea legs, I was reeling,

My wits and breakfast were all asunder,

To the loo I went a-heaving,

Old Davy Jones had his plunder.


I never felt this way before, nor since.

For I have a strong constitution.

And little makes me wince,

Nor stir my noble disposition.



© 2020 S Phua

“(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

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