Ithaca by Constantine P. Kavafy

May 5, 2010 - Leave a Response

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

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Let’s Get Crunched

March 26, 2010 - One Response

One last time The Crunchmen will gather
this Starry Night.
No Code of Ethics, No Consolidation.
None of that Business.
It’s time to close the accounts,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Deficit of Mirth will be Reconciled

The Bandsman leads the Countdown.
Teasing his merry men as they march wearily

11 days: Get Excited
9 days: Get Psyched
7 days: Get Ready

Even Wise Beard, Lame and cheering by the sides
Sneakily shooting a spark into the air:
7 days till the roof burns.

Let’s get flustered, the wayward Bandsman chuckles,
crunching his numbers night after night.

Fear Not.
7 dusks from now
Look to the big steps
There, The Crunchmen’s Army will arrive.
Standing Arm to Arm with Allies from
Stamford to Bencoolen

the importance of having Brolly

March 25, 2010 - One Response

Today it rained as I came back home from school.
It rained heavily. With lightning and thunder.
It’s been a long time. I can’t remember when i last did this.
But today I called my dad to come pick me up from the train station.

I am a 25 year old male who has been through National Service,
who never carries an umbrella.

Then the heavy rain slowed to a drizzle as we reached the gate.

P.S. Joseph Ho. Thanks for sharing your umbrella with me the other morning.
One day I will save you.

The Ink Man’s Reminder

March 13, 2010 - 2 Responses

(Prologue: This was due on New Year’s Day, Talk abt being in Limbo haha,
WRT to the PostBox Vandal. Is this all we have become?
Stomp addicts. Photo shooters.
For that matter. What would I have done had I been there?)

A new birth marred by a masked vandal
Scarring deeper than his inkwork..
Indeed he went postal on our asses.

The new decade brings forth the hushed memory
of Kitty’s death.
Angry bystanders watching in pitiful inaction
Caught in Hamlet’s limbo, To do or not to do.
Maybe let’s just wait, someone else will.

But the people did.
Hiding behind their focal lenses
they shot.
The masked marauder enjoying his devilish deed,
as if taunting, “Catch me if you can,
Punish me like you did Fay!”

When finally the mask is stripped off,
A corporate plea for attention reveals.
Nevertheless, spraying a sad picture..
And as we enter the 2nd decade,
His work reminds us..
Of what we’ve become..
Of what we have always been perhaps.

Manganese

February 11, 2010 - Leave a Response

A natural number between 2 boring ones
A contradiction that it’s actually a square Number
Expressed by its own numbers 52
This be the length of the great blue whale.
A silver wedding anniversary. Hmm. Why not manganese.
(That was last year for my parents. So I’m legit.)

A bus from Ang Mo Kio to Bedok, passing by my place.
Time taken from Kembangan to Redhill
The number of men on soccer pitch.
(Think about it.)

I am 25. Raring to go.
A little late, perhaps?

With nothing to my name.
Not the shoes, not the boxers that cover my crack
Not the mattress where I lay like a sack
Not the Mathilda on my back.
Not for long, Jack.
The average life expectancy of an individual back in medieval Britain
(Lucky me. Never too late)

PS. Happy Birthyear to all born in 1985.