Tuesday, 5 August 2014

3 Poems by David Leo

BANANA TREE

Twice
when he visited, he asked
if a plant in the garden
were a banana tree.

Twice, "no" was all I said
and he never asked thrice.

Perhaps I should have offered
some suggestions
what it might be -
maybe then we might discuss
not just the banana tree
but him, me and us.

(from One Journey, Many Rivers, Ethos Books)


THOUGHTS AT QING MING
(Remembering my father)

eternity is an annual moment
defined by the past -
remembrance, pleasure or torment
renewed, that's how it will last
like an unending life story
buried beneath a mound of earth
the pages like blades of grass
in death are given new birth
all because in good times
the story was never told,
atonement for neglect
the worst of regrets
    that begins to unfold
of lost times, uncompensated
by the after years that haunt,
quiet images forever fresh
that never cease to taunt
as we become aware, that
more in soul than body
                                 do we live,
all that has returned to dust
is not the reason
          that today we shall give
what we never did, never can
that for the inheritance of pain
we cannot hope to heal, but
know at Qing Ming
             it seldom fails to rain

(from iDENTiTY, Ethos Books)


MAKING LOVE

We break tradition
on a hot afternoon, when in bridled passion
you defy the meaning of time, in stillness
we wallow in mindless helplessness
somewhere we don't know where
but for the lack of air
              you lift the shutters
and see the workers in a different heat
dripping the same beads of sweat
- indeed, you cannot be one of them
a return to a garden of Eden
              that never was,
a stained white sheet and I
who can no longer deny
that when we make love
we breed as much hate
if you have to leave because
              it's getting late.

(from One Journey, Many Rivers, Ethos Books)

Bionote

Among the titles that David Leo has published are four books of poetry: Somewhere A Tiny Voice; One Journey, Many Rivers; iDENTiTY; and, Ubin Dreaming (You've Been Dreaming). Other works include short stories.

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