Requiescat by Oscar Wilde

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.

Peace, Peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life’s buried here,
Heap earth upon it.

Today, I remember two exemplary women–two mothers; and so I wanted to pay them a tribute through this poem. One is my own, Mercedes, and the other is my friend Claudette’s mom, Josephine. They may no longer be with us physically in this universe, but the ever-so-loving-memory of them will live on with us for ever, and, in any universe too. Fly high, Mercedes and Josephine!

Poem by Oscar Wilde
Image by Unsplash

Poem | A Good Love Shared

A Good Love shared

Oh! sad plight but we’d be happy for it instead
The storm guised as a calm wave of bluest of oceans

We danced to celebrate on humid nights
And hot summers worthy of cradle

Moments spent–heartwarming and indelible
Hugs, kisses, laughs and possibly all the good in life
Did not end, it never does

Love so true, so energised
To be part of it was grand
A special gift
That was ours alone

We’ve witnessed a love which grew
Mature, sacred and kind
One special love that could never scoot
Nor be erased

They say, bury the hatchet, nothing of such kind
Nothing to feel bitter about
Just simply fruits of love, and love only

Dejected that the love affair had to end
Excited for the budding friendship to bloom
Like a new flower yet to be discovered

Cherish the sweet feel of deep breaths
Brought upon by thoughts and voices
Of a wonderful, wonderful memory
Of you, of us

A memory to be kept safely
In the deepest secret carnival of the heart

The storms will be forgotten
Only calm will stay
As we blithely absorb and cherish
The good love shared
*Penned by author from decades past

Haiku | Unsaid

Kuei Ya-lei

Image Source

such treasured moments
we’d watch old films together–
that was ecstasy.


18 for Athena
When you were 1
I had just left my teens
Then Lari had someone–
A baby sister
To play with, to tease
To hug, to kiss

Back then I’d carry you
In my arms
Strong paddler arms
But that was back then
I would carry you still

At times when
You were left with me
We’d sing, dance, fight
Watch cartoons
Read a story book
Recite a poem
I’d watch you sleep
While I read a novel
Or study my lessons

When you turned 8
You started to display
Grace and kindness
Lili and Raya came
Your turn as big sis
To play, to tease
To hug, to kiss

You’ve found your love
for singing and music
Like your Lola Cedith
Your voice as angelic
Effortless, flawless
You used to belt a Lea
Or a Sarah G for me–
That memory
Will always be with me

Fast forward to today–18
Yes, you’re now Eighteen.
Darn! How time flies
I may be far away
But, like I always say
Take care dear Athena
Of yourself, your sisters
Your mom and dad

Have a generous heart
Make genuine friends
Keep, give value
to friendships–
old and new.

Much love. Happy Birthday!

I am Carol | A Tribute to Carol Waitohi, Dragons Abreast Gold Coast

Carol Waitohi Dragons Abreast Gold Coast

Dearest Carol,
I don’t know you
I haven’t met you
I just know you’re a paddler
Just like me and so–
I’ve felt your pain
I’ve felt your struggle
How you’ve grasped for air
How you’ve lost your power
Your energy
All of it

I don’t really know what and how
It all happened
I just know it was dark
So silent yet so loud down there
It must’ve been too frightening
It must’ve been very cold

Yet on the other hand
I can still feel you
I have to feel you
Through my writing
I’d jump and come to you
I need to share your pain
Because you are my teammate
Because I am just like you

I am you

Perhaps you even wondered
Were the others safe?
Was everyone okay?
You must have thought of them
Because that’s what dragon boaters do
They care for their team

You must have thought of your team
Until your very last breath–
The breath of love
The breath of teamwork
The breath of team spirit

I paddle on the same water with you
It may not be in your beautiful Australia
But it’s the same water
Where we float our dragon boat on
The same water we glide forth
Which energises and inspires us paddlers

I ride with you on the same boat
The same boat you paddle on
The same dragon boat you sweep
And as I hold and grip my paddle
I can hear you shout the commands
Your motivation to us paddlers
And your cheers for us after each race

I don’t know you Carol
But it seems like I knew you all along
I can visualise your smiles,
While you’re on the boat
I can hear your laughter,
When someone cracks a joke
Because I am Carol, too.
A dragon boater
A dedicated paddler just like you

And, yet, like Carol, we never expect
That we’ll leave this boat of life
In this way, this quick, and this soon.

Aren’t we all Carols?
We love dragon boating
We live to paddle
We’re happy being with our team
We always look forward to training
And so long as we continue to paddle
Carol shall live happily in all of us

Fly high, Carol!

This poem is a loving tribute to the colourful paddling life of Carol Waitohi. Carol has sadly entered the Pearly Gates while on training with her beloved team. She’s a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister and a strong, respectable Pink Ribbon Army supporter of the Dragons Abreast Gold Coast and Currumbin Dragon Boat Club.

Photo Credit: John Napper

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Water to Fire – Ode to Dragon Boat
POEM: Into the Dragon’s Lair