Monday, July 21, 2014

To MH17

Strings of questions
Floating around us
Clouding our senses
Burying specks of hope

Pointing fingers left and right
Crashing burdens up and down
What happened that day
The missile shot upwards

Feathery clouds scattered
Bags and shoes vanished
Smiles and laughter gone
Rain of bodies poured down

Phone calls darted everywhere
To believe or not to believe
Reality quickly sank in
Outrage and cries exploded

How can this happen
Right before one's radar
A promise of safe air
Who is to blame

Evils lurking everywhere
Suicide bombs and endless wars
Where is humanity
Why are you fighting

Why the greed and lust
Power to kill and conquer
Can you bring to eternity
Then why bother at all

Are you like wild animals
Without a mind and conscience
Merciless barbaric savages
Are your hearts stolen

We beg you to stop
End this grave torture
Of robbing innocent lives
Before your souls burn

The days look grim
Darker than ever
For the rest of us 
Is there no more hope

Still we cannot give up
Let us hold hands
Hold our heads high
We must live and love

For a better tomorrow
For the souls of MH17
Who are perhaps smiling
Down at us from heaven

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Imperfect is Perfect

I saw a friend of mine posting on facebook, "What is disability to you?" It got me thinking. When you see a young man on a wheelchair, a blind man on the street, a little girl with Down Syndrome, your neighbour who has lost a limb, does disability rings out boomingly loud across your brains?

Well, most of us would react that way when we see someone or something that appeared different from us. We would call them abnormal, handicapped or disabled and most of the time, we would shun them or run away. 

I am brought to mind this vibrant young lady that I met in South Africa. We performed together in a musical play. She not only danced passionately in her crutches but she was so full of life and determination that I was put to shame! That's when I saw that she was not disabled, just slightly different and way more beautiful than many of us. Her soul was a shining gem!

I would like to dedicate this poem I wrote few years ago to those who are born different, handicapped or disabled as society calls but nevertheless perfect in the eyes of God, mentally challenged or perhaps just an underdog who feels like an outcast!

Here's to you:

Imperfect is Perfect

Irregular lines are beautiful

Stains patterned the most unique tapestry

A crooked nose

A smaller eye

An extra thumb

Behold the uniqueness that many despise

The tears of the blind

The moaning of the dumb

The silence of the deaf

Look beyond the physical shell

That hides the beauty of the soul

And reach for the diamonds within

The brokenness of a widow

The death of an unborn child

The limb that no longer exists

The dappled things in life

They are extraordinarily beautiful

If only you will see

Look beyond

And you just might find

The treasure buried inside

In each and every being called human

In each and everything that exists

And grasp the precious gem

The untainted cavern that we can go

The hole that shouts

Imperfect is perfect

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Cultural Encounter with Basadi Balefatshe

It had been more than a day travelling. My body slumped against the chair at the transit area in Doha airport while I struggled to keep my eyes from shutting and dozing off. It was three am and there were a few more hours to go. My heart fluttered in excitement as I reminisced the first time I saw her.

Almost five years ago, I met this vibrant African lady during the Delphic Games in South Korea. We were both representing our countries in the lingual arts competition and as we recited our poems on stage, we both felt connected through our stories and thus, a friendship developed. Through the years we kept in touch and one day, she invited me to South Africa to perform in a musical play and be part of a cultural exchange.

I had heard numerous stories about Africa but I had never been there. I did not know what to expect but I trust whatever happened will be a good adventure. My stomach stirred like busy butterflies and I felt like a teenager having a crush for the first time as I boarded the plane to Johannesburg. I clasped my hands tightly dragging my luggage as I looked out for that familiar face that I had not seen in years. She spotted me first and gave me a big, tight hug. All nervousness dissolved as soon as I met those sparkling eyes that lit up with smiles.

A warm welcome awaited me as some of the cast greeted me with cheerful glees. My heart melted further as the little girl whom I was supposed to stay with allowed me to hold her in my arms. My curiosity had ventured into random questions about what my hostess was going to be like and all questions vanished into thin air as her sweet aura made me felt instantly at home. That was the beginning of a wonderful one month stay with them.

Waking up to the lively chirping of birds, I was all ready for my first day of rehearsal.  As I crossed Mandela Bridge, I saw the iconic legend’s face on a poster with a big smile plastered across his face and I sensed his soul beaming down at me from heaven.  To my amazement, Constitution Hill would be where I would spend the rest of my two weeks practicing. This historical heritage was where Mandela and other freedom fighters were jailed and tortured. I knew this had to be a good start as my morning was showered with the vigour and charisma of Mandela’s determined spirits.

The cast captivated me from the first moment they started singing and swaying their hips to lively African music roaring from the talented band. Everyone was bursting with energy and I wondered if I would fit in. After all, I was not much of a singer apart from echoing melodies in church choir. I assured myself I was there as a storyteller so it would not be a problem. Little did I know I would also need to sing and dance. My eyes glanced up to the wall facing me with words written ‘Conversations We Do Not Have’ and immediately, images of prisoners chained with loneliness flashed before my eyes. My throat choked with emotions as voices soared to the tunes of “open the floodgates of heaven, let it rain…” How ‘coincidental’ it is that this ‘dungeon’ was chosen as our meeting venue to have conversations about women issues which was the main purpose of the musical play.

Basadi Balefatshe meaning ‘World Women’ was the title of the theatre play. As South Africa celebrated Women’s Month, this show was staged in conjunction with International World Women’s Day in March 2014.  It showcased an international journey of a woman as she walked and danced through various phases of her life encountering many other women. She connected with them in various ways even though each was different from her in terms of culture, background, belief and race.

All the women in the play each conveyed tales either of their very own or inspired by people they knew. It was manifested through poetry, storytelling, acting, songs, music and dances. I was humbled to be part of this enriching process of getting to know one another through the weaving of experiences. A refreshing approach that opened my eyes for I had never been in a performance where each wrote their own piece and all was intricately knitted to form a story of its own.

I was moved to tears by the passionate dance from a physically challenged dancer. The powerful and soulful voice of one singer kept me enchanted and I found myself giggling with happy grins to the vivacious expressions of a poet telling us about how the play was birthed through a conversation between her and a dear friend. My fingers tapped with delight as I heard the umakhweyana, an indigenous African instrument being played during a storytelling session where kids gathered around.  My heart cringed at the expressions of depression and anger where one woman was very hurt by her own mother. My mind was blown away by the exquisite recollection of an Eritrean woman’s experience as a soldier defending her country where women had to carry guns and waged on war. I had to clutch my stomach aching from laughter by the comedic acting of one poet who enthusiastically put on a sophisticated accent while communicating a serious message across to the audience about getting laid and paid. I equally enjoyed bringing forth an Asian perspective to the Africans.

The highlight of the presentation was the conversation we put across about women issues. Oppression and discrimination due to gender, cultural expression and beliefs with increasing underpayment were among some of the concerns addressed and brought to light. As we lifted the rain sticks to let its soothing sounds take flight, a male performer joined us and spoke out in support of women to raise awareness on the plights of human trafficking and prostitution. The stage brightened up with a colourful concoction of multiculturalism. That was when the bonding formed with an invisible hand holding us all together to rise up for unity.

As we invited all women to come together as one through a very uplifting track, we heartily moved to the beats set aflame by the band and engaged the audience to the catchy rhythm. I still could not believe my own ears as I heard myself singing along in African. I guess I did not have to worry about fitting in at all. What a priceless moment in celebrating the beauty and purpose of women through arts, culture and music!

The three days performance ended but the messages and the people kept a glow burning in the recesses of my heart. I had a week left to chill with my newfound friends. It was an amazing cultural exchange. Waking up to sweet innocent cries of the little baby girl with long eyelashes blinking at me, singing lullabies to her, savouring exotic and scrumptious food specially prepared by my hostess, watching South African sitcoms, walking on the streets with an African princess donning a myriad of fabrics and beads with her rain stick by my side, being asked all the time whether I know kung fu, listening to storytellers in Freedom Park, giving impromptu drawing workshops, relaxing with Rastafarians, trying vegan food while laughing at each other’s jokes, dropping by Mandela’s house, visiting townships, drinking coffee served by traditional healers in their hut adorned with animal skins and hearing wise words from a young spirit-filled pastor were just a few of the little perks I got to try. Not forgetting taking the taxi-vans known as combis almost every other day with all eyes on me every time I climbed into them. Not surprising at all considering I was practically the only Asian looking person boarding them. It was fun.

The time finally arrived to bid farewell to the loving souls that I had met. Parting at the airport was sad but I knew somehow we would meet again. Reaching home made the trip felt surreal.

Months passed but that memory relived itself from time to time. It is with much hope that this little baby of creative genius, Nolwazi Mkhathini also known as Nomkhubulwane will continue to grow and flourish. This idea of bridging the gap while crossing cultures by having a dialogue between women from all parts of the world to stand united in embracing each other’s identity and diversity working towards promoting peace and humanity is a noble one.

I believe the little glow that had started should be passed around the globe and set a spark to get the conversation going. A toast to more of Basadi Balefatshe!

Monday, June 16, 2014

'Waiting' Times Present Opportunities to Write

I am waiting to collect my medications. Hospital is almost like another home to me now although not one I quite like. It's a long, long queue.
I used to be really impatient and dread waiting. I found it a waste of time and I hated people who are late. I'm not saying I like it now but I am more tolerant towards it.
Being in hospitals have taught me to have a little more patience and gave me the chance to be a bit more creative about handling 'idle' time.
Here I am seated with the rest of my peers who are waiting to be served with food in the form of pills, creams, ointments, solutions and etc. I am glued to my tiny blackberry screen as I typed my thoughts away while wishing I have an Ipad or at least a Samsung with a bigger screen.
Anyways, I do have time on my hands. So what do I do? The queue is long. So why not write?
Many of us including me struggle to find time to write. There is the 'other' job that pays your bills. There's a crying baby and perhaps a pile of dishes and laundry waiting to be washed. There might be a sick uncle to attend to or perhaps  your little five year old never fails to bug you every other second while you fumble for words to describe that crazy scene in your first chapter. There are a thousand and one things that require our immediate attention. In the end, many of us give up writing.
I'm here to tell you that perhaps you can use your 'waiting' times to write or scribble down ideas. Unless you are born rich without responsibilities and live alone in a paradise, there will always be distractions and chores on your hands.
If you're a mum waiting in the car to pick up your kids, use that time to write no matter how little the time frame may be. Perhaps you're like me waiting for your turn in the hospital or your date is running really late. Perhaps you're stuck in the traffic jam or riding alone in the train. Don't waste those precious times.
As for me, those 'waiting' times give me the opportunity to do my sketches, to have 'quiet' conversations with God as most of the time I will be waiting alone, to think of my characters in the next fiction, to observe people for a new story, to weave some poetry or like now, I am writing away :)
Oh and it's my turn now so I'll have to go. Have a good week ahead my dear writers and think of your 'waiting' times as golden opportunities to write away ;)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Me, Myself and Wine

Listening to melancholy dripping into an empty glass

Eyes wide shut contemplating a song to the moon

On a starry Friday night, wishing so much a teardrop

will fall and wash it all away but sweetness beckons

None came… Only the spoonfuls splash splash of strawberry jam

smacked in between breads of love made with endless brooding

Aloneness can be so real yet surreal. Emptiness finds

its profoundness in treasures of jar set on mats of straw

Dipped into golden trays of joy, honey flee like carefree breeze

Wishful thinking of that one fateful day free from doodling

Hands are swinging with hips sashaying in hot pants down the aisle

Forgotten not by the sweet scent of moringas hailing from above

Fingers tap away to type but only reveries emerge, running out

of practicality and imagination decides to drop its bomb

Why the awful lot of wrong timings, the clock keeps ticking

but the task remains untouched as the screen flashes its light

The little mind wants to play even without company, the feet

 jingled to the rhythm of the fantasy , whispers of Cherie oh Cherie

 with dainty dots of whimsical tales outstretched like

one or two little jagged notes, No decisions dare say

Lost in a maze of crazy mystical chase with newfound dreams

Take me to places I have never been, away from the heat

The soul swings to endless blues and jazzy sails and I find that it’s just

Me, myself and wine

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bubble of Joy

Dear readers,

This short story/fiction is inspired by real experiences of what a fibromyalgia patient goes through. It is written with hope to bring awareness to fibromyalgia as well as shed some light to those who are suffering from it or other diseases that involve chronic pain, depression or even mental illness, panic disorder and etc. 
If you are suffering from any kinds of pain physically, emotionally, mentally or even spiritually, I hope this story will enlighten you and give you hope. Enjoy.

Pain in Silence
A Sketch by Angelina Bong


On the sands of a foreign land, her feet trudged along with unbearable scorching heat purging her porcelain skin burning it beyond skin deep. Miles and miles of golden sand stretched out ahead as the grains infested her blistered, bloodied toes. There was nothing living anywhere around, not even the thorny sights of cactus.
           She had thrown herself into the beginning of a dark, forsaken journey alone. Loneliness and hunger took over her sanity as she longed for a visible companion. Thoughts of dying permeated her mind every single second. Yet it did not happen. Death would not visit her.
She could not turn back although the quest already appeared to be a lost cause. Her vision slowly dwindled as the ravaging wind blew sand into her eyes. Her wounds stung as the dryness continued to worsen. She wished to take her own life yet an unseen drop of strength kept her moving as she hoped to reach the oasis at the end of the desert. The living water that would never run dry lay beyond the oasis in a promised paradise known to many as a legend. She believed it to be more than mere folklore.
Intan woke up in agony. It was only three in the morning. Her muscles groaned in soreness and her body felt bruised. Her left feet burned with a deep penetrating ache. Her dream felt real as she recalled the thousand miles in the forlorn desert.  Would she ever discover a paradise on earth? She cried in hopelessness as she popped another painkiller into her mouth.
Intan had been living with fibromyalgia since her diagnosis a year ago. She had been riding a rollercoaster as she fought to keep from falling into the abyss of despair. Her days were filled with pain, gloom, depression and extreme fatigue although there would be a few bright days which were becoming a rarity. It was common to have piercing pain poking her simultaneously like nails being hammered into her flesh. She wondered how anyone could undergo crucifixion in the old days. At times, tingling sensation spread throughout her entire body as if ants were crawling and feasting on her skin. The worst ordeal came from tackling multitudes of symptoms accompanying her physical afflictions ranging from migraines, irritated bowel syndrome, occasional hives flare ups, sinusitis, and so forth.
Waking up every morning was a struggle for her as her body mimicked bouts of arthritis with stiff fingers clenched up refusing to be loosened. As soon as her eyes opened to the rising sun, she would beg God on her knees to give her strength as she prepared to enter the warzone. She clawed her way through tiredness for the rest of the day with what little energy left to make ends meet. Her nights were not of rest and rejuvenation as she battled with insomnia and sleep disturbances. Once in a while, she would sail through her daily chores smoothly and pondered whether the previous day’s combat was a stroke of ill-fantasy.
  She devoured on every new research she could get her hands on and tried making lifestyle changes but nothing worked. She suffered alone for she knew not one single soul in Malaysia who had the same sickness. No one understood her and she wished she might as well be dead since her quality of life had gone down the drain.
Her colleagues accused her of faking it to gain sympathy. Her friends perceived it was all a hallucination of her mind. Her family thought she possessed some psychological disorder. Intan was also afraid it might all be a conjuring of her messed up imaginations. What if the distress brought upon her flesh was non-existent? How did she end up with this mysterious illness leeching on her? She buried her face in her pillows and cried to sleep again.
Bubbly, jovial and carefree were the words one would use to describe Intan. She was always bouncing with energy and everywhere she went, she was the life of the party. A Sanguine with a warm heart, she was always caring and almost always effortlessly enjoyed putting one at ease. Bringing laughter into people's lives was once her life’s purpose. Where had it all gone to? What happened to Intan’s joyful radiance? How did depression get to her? When was the last time she had truly laughed? Fibromyalgia had transformed her into a dead corpse walking on thin air waiting for her bones to dry up completely and crack.
She knew that no great person breeze through life without overcoming the strongest hurdles. She recalled her grandmother telling her about Abraham who had to leave his comfortable life to go through the crazy hot desert to reach the Promised Land. She especially admired the late Mother Teresa who continued to tend to the poor without fail despite her deteriorating health even when she was ailing in her old age. Intan also recently followed Nick Vujicic on Twitter as she felt a hint of solace to know that a man born without limbs could live a life of fulfilment without complains despite his inconveniences and disabilities to do what normal people could do.  Why could she not have as much endurance as them?
A dark cloud hung over her. Like a shadow transcending from below, there was mist creeping up from the earth. Fogging her vision and blocking her bloodstream, it was violating her senses. Gripping on her nerves and pressing her chest, something emerged from the shadows and began strangling her. Her veins were on the verge of bursting while she choked from suffocation and sent jolts of throbbing pain to her head. Her muscles were aching to be freed but her limbs started to numb. She could feel coldness sending shivers down her skin as she smelled suicide breathing on her face. She heard death knocking on her door and before she could run to hide, she saw hell burning in her soul. Frozen, captured and imprisoned, she blinked away tears in silence. Crying for pleas of help and fighting to overcome death, she forged to stay alive.
In the darkest hours of giving up, Intan’s eyes flipped open. It was another night of restless sleep. Every night, she had to go through multiple episodes of dreams. Her doctor told her it was normal for fibromyalgia patients to have sleeping disorders. She felt handicapped for she was unable to control her intense dreams leaving her worn-out even after ten to fourteen hours of sleep. Any amount of sleep was never enough. She woke up every other morning feeling like she had pulled an all-nighter. She wondered why her Lyrica never really worked.
Doctor Lee prescribed Lyrica to Intan in order to relieve her pain. Somehow her body reacted indifferently to it. Her somatic aches were not eased at all and her sleep was still in turmoil. On top of that, her finance was diminishing as both Lyrica and her doctor’s consultation fees were expensive. Frustrated, famished of rest and burnt out, she dragged herself like a zombie to work. It was another day of fighting fibromyalgia.
Cloistered behind high walls, she could hear the bustles of cosmopolitan lifestyles seeping through the bricks that surrounded her. Ambushed by creeping poisonous ivy, the thick walls were made of dusty moulds of wood. Occasionally, there were voices outside this little cavern unknown to the exterior world. The noises did not distract her. In fact, she was oblivious to them. Inside the walls, there was immense silence. Not even a drop of water could be heard. There was no breeze passing through at all. Listening intently to the stillness, she could hear a voice calling from within her. She sat down quietly facing the walls with her ears perked up. She wondered if the voice from inside her was her own.
Soon, darkness came. A dim candle flickered in the hollow where she sat. She could smell the stench of blood engraved around the walls. She suddenly felt a deep aspiration to be a martyr and to be killed for a cause. It was better to die than to wait in vain and not lived at all. She embraced this torturous yearning not knowing what she was looking for. Where was she and why was she there? What was her purpose in this enclosure? Was it the beginning or the end of her journey in life?
Her emotions were fragile yet not conforming to the voice within her. Finally she understood the voices and societal pressures outside those barriers. It was scary to be out there yet it was even more horrific to be inside with not a single soul to be seen. She craved intensely for an audience to listen to that voice mysteriously sneaking up her throat. Whose voice was that? Was there something living inside her? Why was she trapped in there? She was alone in the world yet not of the world.
Hungry and crouching with her disjointed knees, she sensed a surge of insatiable thirst. Dressed in white and gold, she remembered she was a princess in exile. Malnourished beyond the naked eyes, she starved not for bread but for the voice within. The presence of the voice grew stronger but she could not bring it out no matter how hard she tried. What did the voice want of her?
Many days passed and she had a hunch that the angel of death would visit her soon. She vowed to become a glorious bride but by the look of it, her desire would never be fulfilled. Where was her prince charming? There was a vague memory of a prince asking her to wait for him. She reminisced about the promises he made to come and rescue her. There was no sign of any living person. Would he ever make it? Her parched throat made no sound and she sat motionless waiting for her groom.
Intan woke up with cold sweat enveloping her entire face. She gasped for breath as she called to mind the stale air from the small dark chamber with towering walls. Why was she having all these disturbing dreams? There were many times she thought she would rather have cancer or some autoimmune disorders. A life-threatening sickness would eventually lead to death and end all the miseries in her life.  At the very least, that could satisfy her human mind that she was truly ill. She was sick of fighting an illness that has no known cause. Most people she knew only burdened her with advices on how to eat and exercise right without truly knowing what she had to bear night and day. At times she imagined her own death approaching and wished very much it would come sooner.
A bright light was shining down on her. She smelled fresh dew. Hearing voices of angels floating above her, she saw an injured lamb at her feet with blood all over its white fleece. Pools of water started to swell in her eyes. Suddenly, the lamb leapt into the clouds and disappeared. A blinding ray flashed down and cast away the spirits of anguish that was lurking in the air. The dark clouds gradually rolled away. The lamb reappeared spotless and pure white. It trotted in good spirit towards Intan and she automatically ran to hug it. Flowing tears streamed down her cheeks as she cuddled the lamb in her arms.  
She woke up and found herself beaming although her mood was somewhat melancholy. Her face was flustered and wet. She must have cried in her dreams. Could it be that she finally could smile after so long? Were that truly tears of joy? This was the first time she had awakened without feeling afraid, anxious or terribly disturbed. Would she ever feel this way again? Why was fibromyalgia sucking away all her happiness? Was she depressed and not know it? How long had she been living in this state?
Soaked in divine sweetness, she woke up to the face of a King. His warm brown eyes gazed at her in a fatherly manner. He gave her a cup of honey, served as tea to quench her thirst. She stared at him in suspicion as he seemed to understand all her thoughts and longings. He nodded and exchanged words without audibly speaking. Was she in heaven or some fairy land?
She sat up on the bed of roses as he poured water from nothingness onto her. The feel of the water on her skin was magical beyond human expression. She understood she was instantaneously being cleansed of every impurity ever existed in the history of her life. He caressed her hand softly and on the spot, she could catch a glimpse of his kingdom. He gave her a foretaste of treasures that were to come. She was not even of royal blood but this king had bestowed a part of his glory upon her; something so rare and prized. She did not know whether to cry or to laugh as an extraordinary flame of bliss burst forth from her heart. No words could fully explain what she was going through. Nothing in this world could be compared to this moment. She felt belonged and utterly loved. Who was this king? A renewed vigour soared through her heart.
She opened her eyes and looked around. It was all a dream again. Prickling sensations were crawling all over her legs and her right foot was frozen. She was itching with hives infesting her arms like fiery parasites making a nest on a piece of meat. Yet, something sweet lingered in her. She did not feel frustrated but instead, peace held her. What were her dreams telling her? They were beginning to take a completely different direction from the usual dark nightmares. Would she be able to meet the King again?
Someone shook Intan hard. She jerked herself up as soon as she became aware that the hands firmly gripping her right shoulder belonged to Frodo. Frodo from ‘Lord of the Rings’ was sitting beside her? What nonsense!!! He summoned her to wake up, sleep no longer and beckoned her to follow him to the balcony. She gawked in disbelief as she tried to soak in the picturesque view of Rivendell where the elves from the story were living. Could it be possible that she was even there? Frodo waved his hand in front of Intan and brought a series of flashbacks presenting Frodo’s life journey in preserving the infamous ring to play right in front of Intan’s eyes. Forging ahead in difficult circumstances, she could see that Frodo never gave up. He stayed true to his task entrusted solely to him till the very end.
Intan felt ashamed. She broke down and started to weep. How many times in her life did she wallow in self pity and gave up on trying to get better? Tears of helplessness from overdue penned up frustrations led to wailings of bitterness. Frodo stroked her hair as one would to a little girl crying as his other hand found its way to Intan’s. As he held her fragile fingers in his small palm, he whispered to her that she was precious. Intan shook her head and blurted, "Precious?!! I'm a failed creation. Fibromyalgia has consumed me." 
Frodo’s sombre expression turned into one of good cheer as his eyes lit up with a twinkle. Grinning from ear to ear, Frodo said gently, “You might think that this fibromyalgia that you’re having is a curse but will you believe me if I tell you that this can be turned into a great opportunity for you to reach out to people?”
Intan’s ears perked up as her eyes blinked and signalled Frodo to go on. “Remember the king that you met? He sees the pain you are going through and he knows you have a kind soul. He has sent me as a messenger to ask you to fulfil a mission. You have suffered much and with that, you will be able to relate to the sufferings of others. He wants you to be his hands and feet to bring comfort and love to the bruised and broken-hearted humankind that the king so dearly loved. When you seek to console them, you will be healed from within. Be the bubble of joy that you are meant to be.”
Tears flooded Intan’s eyes as she glimpsed a silver lining in her fibromyalgia. For the first time, she accepted fibromyalgia and clasping Frodo’s hands, she spoke, “Thank you Frodo for coming to me. Please tell the king that I am so grateful for this special task. Who am I to deserve such a high honour?”

Intan rose to her feet and she began to dance, rejoicing like fluttering butterflies. Frodo jiggled along with her and as they were swinging side by side to invisible music, a dove flew towards them and perched itself on the balcony’s railing. 
Intan woke up and her heart was beating rhythmically fast as if she was really on her twirling feet.  Feeling light-headed, Intan propped herself up on her pillows. A gush of wind blew across her face and goose bumps surfaced all over her body. She glanced towards the direction of the wind and realised it came from her ajar glass window. Sitting stock-still on the window sill was a dove. Intan’s mouth fell open and her hands trembled as she cowered behind her blanket, pulling it up to her neck. There was a streak of grey shade running across the milky white feathers on its right wing which happened to be exactly the same as on the dove in the dream. How coincidental could that be? What if it was not a dream and her soul was in another realm?
The dove took flight, flapping its wings vigorously and stood for like a second mid-air fixing its gaze towards Intan’s direction before it finally flew off. She felt strangely excited as she relived her dream and it was as vivid as if she was still there. She closed her eyes and slowly drew a long breathe as she noticed a new power rising from within her, that of a new found purpose. 

Ties that Bind

Words of a passionate soul trickle down

Like sweet honey to her lips, caresses her mind

Sending delightful waves of daydreams, she hides

Precious fantasies in the corners of her cavern, to be

drawn only when thirst are parched along the pathways

of deserted trains. Alone with none but these, she feeds

her mind with lingering memoirs. In the shelters of misery,

the poetic imageries flash before her eyes and the guitar

strums to the beat of her melodic longings, bringing teardrops

to the eyes of her heart. Rain pours down like floodgates

of mercy consoling her strapped chest stricken

with heavy burdens. Nothing distracts her from that one moment

of touch. Hand in hand they stroll past busy passer-bys

 and straying glances. Whispering promises of great things flee by

as her long hair swooshes past his masculine jacket,  An unbreakable bond

forging between invisible lines with shades of near blackness.

Intentions to break free loosens its stronghold and she finds

herself in the arms of ties that bind. Not even a hint can spark

a crush that buries deep within. That desire shall resides and burns

as soon as she wakes up to reality knowing she will never own

the love she feels.