(Singapore) a poet, writer, editor and literary activist from Singapore. In 2005, he was named Singapore’s Young Artist of the Year. His debut Testing the silence (1997) was listed among the top ten best books in The Straits Times newspaper. In 2001 he edited, along with three of his colleagues, an anthology of Singaporean-Philippine love poems for which he, in 2003, received the Philippine literary award for poetry. He is a founding director of WORDFEAST, Singapore’s first international poetry festival.
"My love, I fear the silence of your hands."
Overnight, my heart, the forest has grown cold
and every leaf shivers with the sure knowledge of its fall,
shivers yellow and maple-red and mauve, Summer remembered
in vermillion dying. When I walk the river now
it bears merely the lightest press of feet, my body swaying
to keep balance in the whetted breeze. I had to leave you
on the absent shore, a warm bloom nesting in the reeds,
an unfixed, iridescent eye. How we part
only the morning knows, and what we said already dew.
Tomorrow after tomorrow we will find the tongue to
remember our silences, or borrow words from the night's
vocabulary of sighs. Grief will teach you new names
and I will answer, hollow, in drumbeats and echoes,
in footsteps and softly closed doors, never looking
at you, never back. I place these words now in the vault
of sleep before it comes. Before the burial and the blood.
in a perfect world souls would not exist forever
our sins would wash away in the nearest puddle without the need for verse
each smiling morning flowers would brush my shadow from their frocks
sunlight would be enough to see by
birds would eat my words and live