When Things Don’t Work Out: A Collection of Poems

hello? can you hear me?

i’ve been meaning to say something

even if the signal’s not pretty.

i don’t think i can do this anymore. 

i’ve grown tired of the city

where my screams tend to evade me, 

my confessional streams 

poured all over the polished floors 

until i ran out of dreams-

i need a getaway across the seas;

somewhere deep in the country 

where i can still feel a breeze; 

a breath of dying somewhere pretty 

as if i carelessly ripped out a page 

out of my half-written biography 

that takes up too much of my head 

until they all cooperate to collaborate 

into my nameless anthology

but how can i craft such a thing 

when i’m not even dead?  Continue reading When Things Don’t Work Out: A Collection of Poems

Monthly Musings: Ideal Situations

Prompt: If you could turn back time to before the MCO, what would you do?

As most of us are aware, classroom learning has been shifted to online learning (e-learning) ever since the MCO was in effect. 

A benefit from this new learning style includes being able to wake up 30 minutes before classes instead of having to wake up at an ungodly hour just to avoid the morning traffic (also, to get a parking space in the basement). However, e-learning just doesn’t really feel the same as F2F learning. Take the jokes our lecturers share for instance, it feels especially less amusing.

– Joey Yap Continue reading Monthly Musings: Ideal Situations

The Glow amongst Darkness

“Citizens of the land, free from all forms of discrimination.” As if the constitution ever mattered. The welfare of the minorities amounted to nothing. They were difficult people to caucus with. An insane few even tabled a bill that identified every minority as a second class citizen, a breaking point for moderate senators across the country. Cracks within the ruling coalition presented an opportunity. Enough with enriching the elite, a revolution was due. 

Even if it meant losing a loved one. Continue reading The Glow amongst Darkness

The Cost of Integrity

The sudden eruption of applause brought Yusef back to his senses.

A shower of confetti rained onto the stage, a clear signal for him to make an appearance. Despite the three long rehearsals from the day before, he still could not make his legs move the rest of his body out of the comforts of backstage. His heart beat painfully against his chest, like a bird trying to escape its cage. Continue reading The Cost of Integrity

Faith in the Time of COVID-19

“Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear.”

–  Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

For 7 weeks now, we have been under the Movement Control Order. Some of us are stuck in residences crowded with housemates whom we barely know and managed to avoid for years before this. Some of us are stuck alone without a single soul to judge us as we waltz around the communal area in only a towel. Some of us are at home, either cooking and baking – having the time of our lives; or hiding away from toxic interactions, praying for escape. Some of us are taking the time to learn new things, while some of us are having trouble finding any meaning to waking up in the morning. The situation for every person is unique in its challenges and pleasures.

There is one thing we all have in common, though. We’re all thinking about how things could’ve been. Whether it’s, “this time last year I was…” or “right now I’m supposed to be at…” or “now I will never get to…”,  the grief of our individual lost plans weighs upon us, on top of the concern we have for the COVID-19 victims and frontliners. After all, we’re only human, and it’s not something to be ashamed of. Continue reading Faith in the Time of COVID-19

Monthly Musings: Spirituality

Prompt: What is spirituality to you?
Note: All opinions are the writer’s own.

Spirituality is being in tune with the spirit, which is also your life guide. Your guide is the one who follows you in life and possibly, also creates your path in life. Another aspect of spirituality is your intuition. Religion counts too, as it can bring inner peace. Plus, religion also involves getting in touch with your ancestors. Spirituality is about the tranquility of being in tune with yourself anyway, with knowing your auras and communicating with the spirits.
– Natasha Continue reading Monthly Musings: Spirituality

Self-expression or Provocation?

It almost seems as though society synonymizes self-expression with ease. The entire construct is that your life may ameliorate as soon as you express yourself and stay true to your own essence. However, society fails to consider those who are unable to do so and are silenced by accusations of provocation.

For many years, women have only been accepted in society provided that they expressed themselves according to the societal expectations of how women should act. And these obligated characteristics have moulded their entire existence; femininity, submissiveness, and vessels that should bend over backwards to satisfy a man’s whims. Rebel against these norms and you are instantaneously accused of provoking others by defying the boundaries that have been set for you.

Your demise is predestined the moment you try and claw out of the cage you were born to perform in. Continue reading Self-expression or Provocation?

Choices, do we actually make them?

We make decisions every single day. From small ones like deciding what to order from Foodpanda, to big ones like whether or not it’s worth breaking the Movement Control Order (MCO) and risk arrest in order to buy that llaollao you were craving. Regardless, decision-making isn’t always that straightforward. 

These decisions are final working papers submitted by “lawmakers” that convene assemblies in our minds. Unsure of who these “lawmakers” are? Fret not. We’ll be exposing each and every one of their identities. So, are these “representatives of the mind” guilty of making terrible and uninformed decisions on our behalf? Continue reading Choices, do we actually make them?

National Poetry Month: Echo Edition (Part 2)

All I Can Do

by Jaclyn Heng

This is for the times I’ve had to keep a count of the number of days that went by without me getting whistled at or getting looked up-and-down while walking from my car to the BRT when travelling to college each day. A mere 7-minute walk and yet the Days I Did Not Get Catcalled count never reached a number where I needed more than my own two hands to count. 

This is for the one time I sent a middle-finger to a man whistling at me from a lorry, on a day that I’d had enough. I told my parents about it and immediately got told off for being vulgar, then spent the next week using a different route to college in fear that that same man would come back for revenge. 

But most of all, this is for all you girls out there who don’t even get to feel safe when walking alone on a street. 

This should not be the way we have to live, yet it is.  Continue reading National Poetry Month: Echo Edition (Part 2)