Hougang Green

photo credits here, and here; edited.

by tan yong yi

Curtain of malachite,
Tangle of green.
Storks fly over and roost,
Catch fish by the canal,
One leg in the still water.
Perching, waiting.
There used to be.

Mist tiptoeing, curls of vapour
Almost ethereal, like dreams.
Dreams long-gone,
Of bird-watching with friends,
Of fishing with Dad.
Swimming neon tetras,
Down the long canal lazily,
And into the ocean.
There used to be.

White and yellow dresses
By the granite pavement, stark contrast
Between rugged and grace.
Floral scent, light as cashmere,
Smooth like ghee, sweet like maiya.
Silken rafts on burnished water.
Visited by kingfishers,
In yellow and black.
There used to be.

Old men running swiftly.
Young people at a crawl.
Sunlight scintillating,
Soft breeze flourishing.
Children flying their kites,
Whistling at the fishes,
With heads over the railing, imagining

Treasure, fairies and magic,
Beasts, ghosts and nightmares.
Fog and abandoned wells,
Adventure thrills and dreams.
Beyond the malachite curtain green
There used to be.

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