(#18/24): “Allurement”

Would you like to come down, said the spider to the fly?

Are you not wearying of your buzzing peregrinations?

Could you not settle down for just a moment?

Will you come into my web of lies?

This enticing parlour of betrayal.

All for a moment of respite.


The spirit is willing, but the flesh is invariably weak.

Surrender then, to the inevitable.

Enter my domain of regret,

And be trapped, helpless as a babe,

In this fatal plight of my weaving, and your weakness.

As I approach, you struggle to no avail.


Your end is nigh.


© 2017 S Phua

(#17/24): “Obliteration”

They were my tomes from childhood.

A retreat from the drudgery of schoolwork,

That I would escape to at every opportunity.

They were my books.


What followed was a wanton calamity

Akin to the destruction of the Library of Alexandria.

A catastrophe that could have been prevented,

Had I not neglected to peruse them all this time.


This annihilation was years in the making.

A combination of relentless monsoon rain,

A gradual erosion of soil,

And weak wooden walls in the subterranean.


Those damned termites grew in hordes.

Remorselessly eating their way into my home.

Munching through every page cover to cover,

Turning all my precious volumes into cellulose pulp.


Realisation came belatedly.

The exterminators were too late.

Everything was absolutely destroyed.

I am bereft at this devastating loss.


© 2017 S Phua

(#16/24): “Parity”

This growing divide between rich and poor,

That disparity between obscene wealth and abject poverty,

A gap which grows only larger, not narrower,

Fills me with great anger.


Would I to take up my bow and arrows as Robin of the Hood,

A pair of pistols as the Highwayman Dick Turpin,

Or rapier of justice as Zorro rides once more,

And roaming the high seas as did Black Bart.


I would love to redress this grave balance.

Relieving the bourgeoisie of their affluence,

And redistributing to the proletariat.

A Holy Terror to the Ungodly.


© 2017 S Phua

(#15/24): “Longing”

Along the Wei River,

My train meanders its way through Shaanxi.

Even as the Loess Plateau degrades,

Apple trees can still bloom in spring.


I recall steaming bowls of hot soup

Generously ladled out by mother.

I whet my lips in anticipation.

In my mind, I am already home.


© 2017 S Phua

(#14/24): “Apocalypse”

“Bank manager suspected of peculating”,

Screamed the evening tabloid

Which I glimpsed through the steam in the sauna.

I had my raincoat on when I left,

Which shielded me when frogs began raining down,

On the children in the playground.

In the mayhem, an elbow caught my side,

Scattering the jars of jam,

And bags of fresh tomatoes I had bought.

It was a mystery that was never solved.


© 2017 S Phua

(#13/24): “Rejection”

There once was a man from Richmond.

Who thought he was God’s gift to women.

His dressing was risible.

His pick-up lines farcical.

So his chances were none in a million.


© 2017 S Phua

(#12/24): “Mortality”

It begins with a nagging cough that comes to stay.

A general malaise that never goes away.

Then a conspicuous spot on the film.

“Nearly missed it,” he jokes.

As if to comfort.

But, I know.


And even as I leave his office,

Days before I return to confirm the inevitable,

Instinctively, I begin to plan.

Time to get my affairs in order.

Time to set matters straight.

Time to clear the air with you.


A life lived without purpose,

Is now centred around just one.

A life lived without care,

Now must have every moment count.

A life lived without responsibility,

Must now assess every next step.


Our sun dies in five billion years,

Our earth uninhabitable in just a billion.

My time here concludes far sooner,

Measured in mere months.

Twilight’s last gleaming beckons,

As I stumble towards inevitability.


© 2017 S Phua

(#11/24): “Breathlessness”

I see you first.


The fiddler plays.

The dance begins.


We approach warily.

Not quite in sync, yet.

Sizing each other up first.


Determining the tempo of our feet.

The cadence we will take.

What will be the resolution of our caper?

The modulation we will make?


Even before we engage,

My heart’s relentless rhythm,

Already pounding incessantly,

Drums its way into my every fibre of my being.


In full swing we now go,

Matching each other in staccato,

With every beat and every step.


And in the end, where do we stand,

Staying apart, coming together, and drawing apart again,


In this inexorable dance of life?


© 2017 S Phua

(#10/24): “Prejudice”

What first do I see?


The bearing of your stature,

The timbre of your voice,

The brilliance of your smile,

The respect in your manner,

The warmth of your handshake,

The content of your words?


Or is it, the colour of your skin?


© 2017 S Phua

(#9/24): “Arachnophobia”

Couched in my Lazy-Boy,

Beer in one hand and

Remote in the other,

I channel surf idly,

And chance upon this ridiculous movie,

Of giant lava-breathing, fire-spewing spiders,

Spawned from the depths of hell,

Ludicrously called “Lavalantula”.


Starring the cast of “Police Academy”,

Playing it with tongues very much in cheek,

The cheap production values, poor ‘special’ effects,

And laughable CGI tarantulas were a hoot.

What’s worse, it was so well received,

Because it didn’t take itself seriously,

A sequel ensued, I discover,

Imaginatively titled “2 Lava 2 Lantula”, LOL.


© 2017 S Phua