From ‘Dragonflies’, by Yong Shu Hoong

3 May 2014

6.

So we really like the colour of the wood.
Or pause to marvel at the pearl lodged
between Grandfather’s lips – supposedly
to illuminate footpaths in the netherworld.

I peer at the clean, pressed shirt and wonder:
Is this the same one he wore to my brother’s wedding?
Then exclaim his hair hasn’t turned all-white or fallen out –
in joyful premonition on my generation’s behalf.

Red candles burn, as we celebrate
the passing of Grandfather at a ripened age:
92 years, and sufficient months to surpass
even his own mother’s longevity. But

Does it mattes? Death comes
and we go. If we imagine it is mechanical,
no tears would be required at this funeral.
Still I regret I couldn’t wring out more woe

As if there should be only one prescribed response
for a filial grandson: A raging sadness enough
to rattle the petals off the wreaths. Not ambling
after the departing cortege on steady feet.

*

8.

Grandfather’s walking stick
(the one I’d bought him)
leans lone-legged
against a corner of his room…

I figure, if I stare long enough,
even the floor would ripple
like the skin of a pond of water
from the dipping point.

[Read in The Viewing Party, by Yong Shu Hoong, published by Ethos Books.]

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One Response to “From ‘Dragonflies’, by Yong Shu Hoong”


  1. […] a poem, I will search to see if it exists anywhere else by googling a line. Thus, for the post from Dragonflies by Yong Shu Hoong, I searched for his description of a walking stick, “leans […]


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