between clarion calls, we stand in the gap in
intervals of wounding.
room-bound I wonder:
should He see our
desperation, would I
want His pity? tenderly,
subcutaneous stems blossom
in place of straggling,
round fences, arching towards (beat) sun.
here we transact in soft incense, wafting
uneasy sacrifice given with trembling
hand. intransigent tendrils: do the broken
hearted put tender ears to them? strain to hear
the roaring tides of conch-shell pulpits?
bereave my model prayers, raise a song of ascent.
On 'blue pea flower'
I first incepted this poem during Singapore’s lockdown (our ‘Circuit Breaker’). During that time, I was working at two different NGOs working with the homeless and the red light district. I soon found myself with a public persona (at work) that appeared patient and loving in all the right ways, and a private persona (at home) that was impatient and hypocritical toward the family that I lived with.
Central to my anxieties was the anxiety and confusion of the pandemic, and the forced proximity with those closest to me that social distancing measures brought with it. This poem is therefore a documentary receptacle of the grace that I have received, both in my family and at work – it is a constant battle against performativity, for a more authentic relationship with those around me, and toward an attitude of love and support that I believe cannot be debilitated by the pandemic.