I’m not some high-born poet, hatchet-holding. I’m not some Woken Writer, justice-fighting. I’m not some Prodigy, groomed and gelded by Expectation. Who am I to sing of Singapore?
.
Oxbridge, London? The closest AngMo name *here* is Braddell. I had no plans plotted out for me. Who am I to sing of Singapore?
.
Word-laden and love-filled, I only wandered here by accident, via the quieter, humbler streams of song and story. A little space to say some things, outside the bloated highways of Prosperity, Economy. Who am I to sing of Singapore?
.
I had no busy business. No deliverable delivery, no objective objective. No missionary Mission, no Visionary Vision. Only some words. Only thoughts. Only feelings. Only love. Something small, built to be shared. Who am I to sing of Singapore?
.
I am only me.
.
I am only the eyes which watch these ghosts. The leveled humps of those old hills, the giants felled for Tomorrow. The old matriarchs who forget, forgetting more every day.
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I am only the tongue that tastes these tensions: sambal and syntax, nasi and nuance. The ones my grandmothers spoke, the ones we no longer speak. The vivid flowing flavours of the Mee Rebus the camera cannot capture, so lovely dark and deep.
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I am only the ear that collects these echoes. The auntie squawking out your Teh-O. The Ang Mo Kio fruit busker’s lament, late on a lonesome Thursday afternoon The gleeful cheeping of a squamous (froggy) orchestra after an October rainstorm.
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I am only the skin sweating in the midnoon damp. Chilled again by conditioned air. Baked again by the searing heat. Shaped, reshaped by the soft breath of this land.
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I am only the nose that smells these signs and silences. The trumpet trees have started flowering again.
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Who am I to sing of Singapore? I am nothing more, and nothing less. I am only me, singing my Singapore into new being, and new incarnations
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Who am I to sing of Singapore? I am only the heart which mourns these memories, and the hand which wants to write them down.

 

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