“It’s Eight, And Little Red’s In The Hood”

“Hey girl, where you going?”

Sun’s hardly gone down,

And the wolves are out and about already.

 

“Stranger, Danger!,” I remember.

Head down, looking on the ground,

Make no eye contact, quick steps away.

 

But they circle me, taunting rapidly.

There’s just no going forward,

No retreat back.

 

Unwanted hands move in to trespass.

I grimace, recoil, shun their attention.

“No, stop it,” I glower.

 

They continue, and I stop flinching.

Pull out my kukri,

Cut, thrust, and slash.

 

All is still, and I walk on.

I text Grandma:

“Sorry, will be late, am on my way.”

“Seven Ages”

Dear Stranger Across A Crowded Room,

 

I feel like I’ve known you all my life.

Through the mass of bodies,

Our eyes did meet.

And in that glance, I just knew,

What our future would be.

I’ll glide across,

And introduce myself.

Awkward as usual,

Yet, you’ll laugh at my jokes.

Like every cliché in the world,

We’ll share a lifetime’s history,

Compressed in a few brief hours.

Then comes that moment,

Fraught with uncertainty,

When we linger,

Not willing to part,

Not wanting to end.

But I’ll be bold as I’ve been all evening.

And I’ll say, “Please stay, let’s never part.”

Then hand in hand, we’ll stroll.

Off into a new dawn.

 

I reach you at last, and smile.

Laughing gaily,

You point and say,

“Your fly’s undone.”

 

Oh, well.

 

Best regards.

“Six Steps”

The weary traveler hesitates,

Standing at a precipice of decision.

Lost and separated from his companions,

He has come far.

But the quickening thunder in the distance,

Hastens a resolution.

Sniffing warily, eyes alert to danger,

His four legs plod on through the archway.

“Four Down”

I remember one midnight mass years ago.

A quaint old church some miles away.

Lantern in hand, our boots crunched in the wet grass.

Our laughter ringing clear in the empty country field.

And thereafter, as beech firewood burnt in the fireplace,

We toasted each other, and promised friendship forever.

Memories still waft through time’s mist.

I smile in my recollection.

“A Third Wave”

An elegy, you say?

Nay.

I will speak my own words,

In my own way.

Not out of pride,

But of necessity.

 

Hypnos calls me,

Somnos will not let me go.

Phobetor, Phantasos,

And Morpheus invite.

I succumb,

To Mr Sandman.

 

“Second Coming”

A child’s fingers tying canvas shoelaces.

Tentative steps out the door,

Burdened with books,

Fraught with anxiety,

Answering uncertainly.

 

A soldier’s fingers tying bootlaces.

The smell of polish before morning parade.

In the service of the nation,

Orders are barked, and followed.

With resentment, not pride.

 

An adult’s fingers tying Doc Martens.

The frantic push through carriage doors,

“Mind the gap!” is exhorted.

Papers shuffled, phones answered.

Mondays hated, Fridays awaited.

 

A father’s fingers tying his child’s laces.

The morning commute crawls along.

Stress builds, tempers fray.

Model nuclear family?

It’s a myth.

 

The mortician’s fingers now tie his laces.

Mournful faces file past,

The resplendence of his Sunday best,

The endless slumber in oak pine cedar.

It comes full circle.

“First Words”

The morning breaks,

A new day ensues,

I stir uneasily.

 

What is so different?

Not crowing, nor shrill ringing,

But plaintive cries,

Of Cat’s wailing.

 

On the white canvas I hack my way,

Letters blearily swirl around.

Not Hercules, more Atlas.

 

I shrug, and stumble.

 

 

24: Write Another Day

Hi all,
I’m from Singapore and relocated to Canada over a year ago. I’ve taken part in 24-hour playwriting competitions in the past while cloistered in one location with 80+ other people but this is the first time I’m doing it online, for poetry.
Best wishes to all fellow participants in The Poetry Marathon!

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