Tessa, At Clarke Quay, Singapore

I pondered on human deficiencies.
Then all that gaiety–surely
the need to be spontaneous, to hang out
drinking cocktails. On the sidewalk
the musicians played while above the trees
a capsule swung high and low,
a body strapped within.

Girls in heels and low necked dresses.
Men smoking hookah. A tonal quality
came with smoke and a shimmering
belly-dancer. Nothing’s off the mark.
We met with Rodney who was drinking
at Crazy Elephant. The smudgy past,
always there behind the ears.

And then I thought of the Chinamen
carved on lapis lazuli. They asked for
mournful melodies, Yeats wrote.
If I could only look into your eyes,
what would I see? Look lightly,
look askance, and acute, and I’d have
something to write home about.

Prompt: There’s something alluring about description. It allows you to see a scene and experience it, imbibe something of its truth. Maybe all poems should aspire to be descriptive more than anything else. I was just out at a place where there’re lots of nightspots. So here’s an attempt to capture something of the place’s atmosphere. Write about a place. Bring us there and then if you could, try and transcend by bringing us some place beyond it.


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