from Lines From Batu Ferringhi

The hour has come
When night descends,
Gathering around me,
With its silence.
On this lonely beach
Far from the city,
Far from havoc,
The night becomes
Almost hourless,
A continuous moment
Within which I’m enclosed:
A world within a world,
Whole as a blue
Balloon idling in the air.

     Speaking in undertones,
Tide ripples whisper
     As if they were alone.

It's time to move on,
Return home,
Although home’s only
A rented room.
Never mind. After all
Homeliness can’t simply be
Measured by the amount
Of furnishing.
It’s what I can invest
Within bare walls,
Where my mind’s at ease,
My spirit can come to rest.

I walk away, lurching a bit,
A bit tentative, this first day;
It’s only the first day,
I would not fret the slow-settling,
Should instead take delight
In this refluent shore
Where the lighthouse by the headland
Has begun flitting its light;
A beacon to lost ships,
And, hopefully, lost souls
Who will be renewed by sleep.

by Goh Poh Seng
from Lines from Batu Ferringhi (1978)


SELECTED POEMS: "Bird With One Wing" >