Sunday, February 18, 2018

River Hongbao 2018

Last evening, my family and I were at the River Hongbao 2018 at the Marina Bay area, Singapore. The event was billed as a "eleven-day extravaganza of lights, sights, and sounds to usher in the Year of the Dog." There were performances and fireworks, but we were mainly there for the thematic lanterns.

Though this is a Chinese festival event, we were heartened to see people of many races attending. There were Malays, Indians, Bangladeshis, Caucasians, in addition to the mainly Chinese crowd.

We took some photos of the event with our smartphones. The quality may not be there, and we have reduced the sizes for faster loading. Hope you can still enjoy it. 

A section of the crowd.

Year of the Dog!


This is a pretty elaborate lantern, as tall as an actual shophouse.

The Wishing Fountain.  People were throwing coins trying to hit the bells attached to the fountain.

All photos by dsnake1 and YunPing

year of the dog

crowds on the Helix Bridge -

on the bay,
lantern lights
city lights.

"you feel you are not alone.
It breathes, it moves with a pulse of our own "

-- dsnake1, The River

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 04, 2018

the wind hears us

This was a response to a prompt at Midweek Motif at Poets United. Wind Power. Some response. It was many super moons ago. Better late than never, okay?

vector drawing by illustrade at pixabay

the wind hears us

the night is falling
the wind is coming home
it carries with it
the smoke of burning weeds
from the fields
the sweet scent of a lit cigarette
the shrill squabbling of birds
in the trees coming home to roost
the sergeant's angry yell at a guard
hokkien profanities
the thud of helmets on soil
the clicks of emptying weapons.
a song wafts from a pocket radio
the lady singer crooning
love is a river that won't flow back.

someone says he misses home
the wind hears us, sighs
and nods in agreement.


“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”
William Faulkner

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, January 28, 2018

teddy bear

There is only so much grief we can take. The rest are kept for other days...

image from pixabay

teddy bear

another year already?
your teddy bear sits
on the dressing table
among the combs and cologne.

today i was at the temple
offering incense to you.
i have not heard your voice
for the past two decades.

the man staring back
from the dark glass
has aged.
you may not know him
as the one you had loved.

a mynah lands on the
aircon unit outside.
looks at me
perhaps to ride the rain
perhaps to see me weep.


“...the sun rose each morning to stare into my face with the blank but touching gaze of a lovely retarded child.”

― James Crumley, The Last Good Kiss

and a song for the day : Dire Straits - On Every Street

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Haiga inspired by a video game

Last year, I wrote a series of haiga inspired by a video game, Grand Theft Auto V, at my other blog. The images were all screen captures from the game using a game console. It was pretty fun doing the project, sometimes the words just popped out, like right on the screen.

If you look beyond the gore, the bad language (the f*** word is in almost every line) and that you are playing the roles of 3 very psychopathic "heroes", it is a very good game. Perhaps you do not understand what I am talking? Never mind. Enjoy the haiga. ☮

haiga inspired by a video game

the flies have left
the blood has dried on the linoleum

thunderhead over rooftops -
my heart
heavy again.

the end
of another day.
a million murmurs

on the wind your name

shuffling feet
the night shift clocks in

__________ ☢ __________

Click on the image for a larger view.
If you want to see the whole nine yards (12 haiga) click here.

All images by dsnake1 generated by a game console using a game disc and edited by PaintShop Pro software.

"I'm still alive, in case you're wondering."
-- Michael de Santa, one of the protagonist in the game

Grand Theft Auto V is a copyrighted video game developed and published by Rockstar Games.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Shifting Gears

I find it difficult to write poems about sports. It took me a while to write this, and it is about one of my favourite sports, cycling. I used to do off-road riding during most weekends, but recently have cut down considerably. Firstly, there are no more off road tracks near my home (making way for high-rise homes for the people), the few trails that are left are far away. Then I have this little angioplasty operation. But that will not stop me from riding...

photo by dsnake1

Shifting Gears

The sun beats down on the bike track
that stretches before me
like a brown, sunburnt snake.

i check the meter on the MTB
and pedals off the start line,
knobby tires crunching gravel

the click of shifting gears
loud in the hot air,
forks eating up the bumps

provides scant comfort
to numb arms
clutching rattling bars,

dirt dug out in clumps
as the bike lurches and brakes.
a faint cloud of dust tags

like exhaust smoke
behind the rider,
muscles straining

the momentum carrying me
over humps, sand , fallen twigs
past wild flowering shrubs,

lightning blackened trees,
as crows overhead caw
in agitated flight

as i loop the course
to return
15 minutes something seconds,

to the shifting down of gears
the clicks lost
in bre a t h l e ss



"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels."

-- Heinz Stucke, traveler and long distance touring cyclist.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Recently, I came across a video of a youth orchestra and choir. And in those young earnest faces, I wish to see the hopes of the coming year. Not a kid cradling a kalashnikov in some ruined town, or one begging for food in some urban slum. 2017's path has been lined with bramble and bracken. We fight beasts with puny weapons. Lies are taken as truths. This has been the terror of uncertain days. One more mistake. Just one more! The Pinball Machine tilts! And it is game over, no reset buttons, no credit slots.

Have a safe and peaceful 2018, friends!

digital drawing by dsnake1, with pencilmadness


the dawn light lands on my face and slides across the worn linoleum floor.



here's another preamble that's longer than the poem. :)

"Help me, Goddess, to be the always hopeful..."

-- dsnake1, prayer

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2017

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, November 27, 2017

thank you for your love

if only we could just relive those moments...

photo by JessicaGale at

thank you for your love

it was andy lau on the hi-fi.
his mandarin was awful, i said.
he should stick to cantonese.
she was in the kitchen
slicing some mangos
deshelling some prawns
to go with the vodka
and blue curaco
that i have poured.
but the song's nice, she said.
beautiful love song.

and then we lit our cigarettes
ate our mangos and prawns
stood at our apartment window
lifted our glasses
of blue poison
to the golden sunset
that was spreading
into our house
and all the while
andy lau was on the hi-fi
singing about love.


"Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold"

-- Zelda Fitzgerald

She loved this song. I liked it too. We used to kill it on the karaoke :
谢谢你的爱 / Thank You for Your Love

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2017

Labels: , , ,