Friday, December 30, 2005

"A Lover's Parade"

We talk and live but briefly and to the point
Never swerving far enough to spill ourselves;
Oh how we must every so often spill ourselves--
And not just to close friends in closed quarters
But as lovers, perching elevated in busy squares--
Might the joys of life then spout and spray
To billowing, arresting angels at the Floodgate,
And call forth heavenly music in tickles.



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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A burglary

One of my uncles' house was recently burgled by three youngsters who came in over the fence through the backyard. One of them with a pen-knife threatened my cousin to sit still while they rummaged through the drawers for valuables. My cousin was home alone then with his toddling sister sound asleep in her mother's room.

Thank God a car drove by the house and made a reverse-turn at the front gates, alerting the burglars and sent them bolting through the back of the house, leaving with only some cash and neither of my cousins in any physical harm.

But unlucky for the burglars, before the last of them surmounted the fence, my cousin -- who was presently chasing after the fleeing bunch -- dragged him back down and threw him some good, solid punches before he could dissociate himself to re-scale the fence.

I hope the bashing was enough for those youngsters to think twice before attempting another crime.




Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Christmas Morning"

She sneaked back into the house
With frozen hands ungloved
and a smile that got me worried
Then like morning mist descending low
to visit earth's surface
she kissed me.

But I pretended to sip coffee
Secretly clinging to the momentary
warmth on my cheek--
Until I pretend again.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Worth remembering

Last year on Christmas I posted this piece by Greg Laurie which I think is a great reminder of the true spirit of Christmas, a season of gifts-giving and renewed hope. There couldn't have been any Christmas without Christ.

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The gift of abundance

Tonight as our family sat around the table for our Christmas dinner, I saw that God has been blessing us all year with abundance, and me with a thankful heart to recognize the abundance.

We were in a restaurant of ambient beauty, converted from an old two-storey mercantile shophouse not unlike the one I grew up in. The Balinese-influenced restaurant is a welcomed recent addition to the town's booming dining scene, excelling both in ambience and culinary delights. The last time I was here Sam did his part in the proliferation of urban legends by recounting a ghost story encircling one of the old furniture in the restaurant. Tonight that piece of furniture was nowhere to be seen.

Now where was I? Right... abundance. Our stomachs sure had their fill of abundance after the hearty meal.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

My fetal position

For a blogger who rarely blogs twice in a month, twice a day seems to say life's looking up.

This morning after getting the movie tickets for tonight, I had less than 2 hours to spare before doing lunch with friends. And I didn't know where to go. My instinct somehow took over and saw me driving around town encircling the vicinity of Main Bazaar, the oldest stretch of Kuching by the river.

It's a phenomenon not unlike an adult turtle returning to her birthplace to breed, or a human baby curling up into the fetal position. Main Bazaar is choke full of boyhood symbolisms it's both breathtaking and haunting just to be around the neighborhood. As if consummating some kind of redemptive act, I'm ever drawn to its physical locality and choppy memories of busy feet, candy shops, grandpa's drawer full of coins, skinned knees, grime-filled gutters, ghostly attics, silly pretend games, icy cold bath water, walled backyards pointing up to the skies...

... It's the safest place on earth to be.

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Paradise lost

What a great day to start saturday by hiding under the sheets from the early morning chill. And then the worst that you can imagine happened. My neighbor's newly installed home alarm system got set off at 7:50 in the morning, waking the whole paradise with a rude and abiding cock-a-doodle-doo.

It happened that two gardeners weren't aware of my next-door neighbor's latest widget and triggered the buzz as they were trying the gates to enter. Thus giving birth to the first ever case of false alarm in the 20-year history of the idyllic neighborhood.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Her Jimmy Boy"

She liked to call him her Jimmy Boy
Though he was about two years older
Jimmy Boy loved her with all his heart
But then again he never ever told her
Whenever they entered the coffee bar
Jimmy Boy would play her favorite tune
They'd order a regular apple pie for two,
Rain or shine, every tuesday afternoon
Jimmy Boy could make her laugh real hard
With a tickle, when his jokes were in vain
And then one day he made her cry real bad
She never wanted to see Jimmy Boy again
So he wrote her a long, remorseful letter
Hoping that she would somehow forgive him
And when her friend handed him her reply
All she had to say in it was, "Sorry, Jim."

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Monday, December 12, 2005

The solitary act of wishing upon stars

Had a potluck-style dinner at my friend Sam's newly renovated house two sundays ago.

Someone in the gang had suggested that everyone come out with a dish they never tried before. Turned out that evening around the table that all of us had terrific chef materials hidden inside. No culinary boo-boos committed except for Sam's self-confessed egg and potato tortilla, which still tasted fantastic with his secret soy sauce.

After dinner we gathered around at Sam's poshed-up living area sipping wine and playing a few rounds of In-between, which is fast becoming my favorite card game after some modest winnings at Damai Lagoon.

And it wasn't until late and some in the party had split that someone (I forgot who) suggested a star-gazing session in front of Sam's house, presently a darkened neighborhood. So we pulled up some chairs, Sam lit up some tea candles and mozzie repellent coils, and everyone started gazing skyward.

It was a very still night with an arched, deep sky bursting with stellar mysticism. We discussed the constellation Orion and other random stuff that crossed our fancy. Then I startled. That's from spotting a meteor shooting across too short a distance of the sky before disappearing again. The guys asked me if I made any wish. I said I did. But I didn't say it was a vague, namby-pamby sort of goodwill-ish wish.

Come to think of it, I don't really believe in wishing upon stars -- or for that matter, wishing upon a birthday candle. Aren't they both one and the same thing? Only that we pretend to have plucked a star from the sky and fix it on the tip of a candle above a cake and then make a wish on it. Then we blow it out as if we have exercised the power to dim a star after commanding it to materialize our desires. It's much too solitary an act and much too romantic a gesture to warrant credibility.

It is a modern myth straining for reason, yet we do it all the time.

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