Valentine’s Day Anti-Love Poem Contest

Preamble, preamble. It doesn’t matter anyway. Nothing really does. Which really contextualises our futile struggles for connection in a dying world, no?

Top three



In a memory pulled from the heart, I found
a long-lost trace of your gentle cadence;
your fiesty tenor, diminished but resolute.
It compelled me, enveloped in a drugged haze
to once again wear the feel of you between my lips
like a wolf in sheepskin.

But the feeling is unfamiliar, the heft of a hilt
no longer meant for me to weild
for the edges of your inflections have ebbed,
and the shine of your blade has dulled, leaving your lustre
another discarded carcass at the mercy of time,
and another burden to be buried and offset.

Yet you continue to reside in the recesses of my soul,
the ghost of an old flame that withers me
when I hear your unmistakable lilt
trace the patterns of another
ousting upon me the unbearable realisation
that it is I who have lost you,
and not you who has lost me.

So I lock you away and leave the key
under my tongue, now limp and dormant,
until all that remains is my bored indifference
as my lips stretch, not into words that call upon you
but a tired yawn
as I look towards the laborious movement of hands
I compel to move faster still
and have now slipped gently through my fingers
to leave an awkward, uncomfortable stasis
that makes me wish I was some other where
so you would not be so regrettably out of my reach.



Caved In
a modified twin cinema poem


Ng Yu Feng

i dreamt of hell once in my sleep
an empty, endless limbo
where eclectic waters run forever deep
and 'ships without people
where fragmented mind-blips bob intermittent
and snakes of smoke cloud wistful brooding
the bleached corals, the false commitment
of colours, washed up shore
the stars were bright, bright as your face
but now constellations are fading, blinking away
you, a mangled array of utter misplace
can't muster the memory of your face
room waltzed with you, a crazed kaleidoscope 
sporadic coins of blue heavy on your eyes
and white sheets, and flustered red skin
and while im drifting away, a green goodbye
green of growth, of growing apart
blurring bounds between end and start
though your hands on mine, a gentle touch
but now, to me, it doesn't mean much
my bewilderment an abstract art
your grief-stricken a romantic 
im dissolving, a burst wart
confused world frenetic
morning i woke, drenched in brackish dew
and your schedule starts anew
i know you don't love me, you never do
but im willing to make do
i know this relationship is all scorn and torn
and our first and only child was stillborn
but i don't need your "love"
and yes i know, my "love" for you has burnt out too
my candle now half as long but just as bright
and i want to end it right
it was a mistake, this "love", just the two of us on a small boat parting from the main ship
but now we've come so far, alone
and i only have you now
and i just need someone to watch me die
i dreamt of hell once in my sleep
and as much as i hate to admit, i don't want to lose you

Consolations (five, no order of merit)


King of My Heart

Dear Anon: You are the king of my heart,
And I, your ever-faithful, loving queen.
Fate dealt the cards and I knew from the start, 
It’s your love that I’ve always sought to win. 

A dream you were, so close yet asunder. 
Bedazzled by the diamonds in your hand, 
I took a leap of faith, and went under – 
This shattered illusion my new homeland. 

I lost the bid when I gave you my life, 
Handed me a spade so I dug my grave. 
Threw away my ace and I took a dive,
But you are no knight - just another knave. 

And now Jack’s gone and he’s broken his crown, 
Shards embedded in my heart - rip! - they tear. 
In this endless ocean of you I drown,
Ever since you left me in my despair. 

But even though you’ve shredded me apart, 
Forever, you’ll be the king of my heart. 


ceryneian hind

the next morning it rained gray
i was left out on the hill
standing, staring, looking away
hunter's crossbow hanging weakly off my arm
how many people does it take to ruin a dream? 
the answer is none - a dream is like a bubble
shiny, iridescent, ethereal. be wary of when they pop.

the day it happened: a deer galloped by
sun glancing off its dappled cloak.
it trod thousand-eyed dandelions underfoot
crushed carnations into red,
left me in dust. stunned.
such a pretty specimen. i thought. what a shame
i haven't seen a single animal in months.
i raised my crossbow, and
spent the next months stalking its tracks.
the next months. obsession blossomed like a rose
the longer the hunt went on. i trekked after trails
fought through underbrush
spent days listening avidly for the tales 
the leaves have to tell. 
(the nerve. i thought. to turn my life upside down.)
the day came too fast. i tailed it to a stream, 
got my first full glance: 
gold antlers, bronze hooves, what an image it made
this was my one and only chance.
a deep, silent draught, conviction notching an arrow. 
i thought i aimed true.
an arrow is fast, the deer was faster
it leapt over the river, outrunning the recklessness of my arrow,
ran off into the horizon, crushing my hope underfoot.
i knew it’d never come near me again.
how many people does it take to ruin a dream? 
the answer is none - a dream is like fiction
satisfying while it lasts, but fiction has to have an end
the next morning it rained gray
i was left out on the hill
an unwanted rag. beheld
the destruction the hunt had wrought
all for nought. 


On that harsh moonlit night
At a place where the sun does not shine
You appeared, a figure of light
Too good, too pure to be mine
As time flies and the miles between us grow
I wonder what I would sacrifice
To blur the line of truth and lies
Just for a chance to drown in your eyes
You were my anchor to this reality
Without you, I am blind to what’s ahead
Your cruel smile razes like the raging sea
Yet the warmth leaves me seeing red
Worlds collapse, dreams shatter, flames burn
With you, my heart runs rampant
Fact from fiction, I can’t discern
When unreturned, love’s a tyrant 


Life of Penguin
Today, she gave me the book,
Small with green pages,
Filled with messages of hope,
Fired up that you are incoming.
Today, she lay back on the bed,
Frail with pale skin,
Fraught with ridges of worry,
Fear that you are in trouble.
Today, I place you in a box,
Tiny, with brown sides,
Frigid with pangs of despair,
Flayed that you are inanimate. 

Joye Lim Qian Qi

scattered delusions

linger in my scattered delusions
as i drown in an ocean of sleep –
rippling refractions of sun on the water’s surface
that fade as i fall
down, and down, and down.
and down.
flit among the trees, 
always just out of my reach.
a flickering, dancing flame, bright blue against dark night
whispering for me to follow, 
and i do.
now i am lost, and you are nowhere to be found.
are a closed book, and i never learned to read.
every eureka is proven wrong,
every experiment blows up in my face. 
if a million stars and a thousand galaxies were scattered
across every night sky
maybe then you’d see me.
i hate you.
but the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference
and my hate and love are so entwined
they may never be unravelled.
sometimes they suffocate me.
and sometimes they set me free. 

All entries

Akeel Kani

 My back, it hurts from her scars,
 Love is a dirty trick,
 But now I’m smoking cigars,
 Going with whoever I pick,

 A second-hand emotion, that’s all it is,
 A husk of what you thought was real,
 Deceiving others when I see fit,
 Love, marriage?  just another ordeal
 Finishing and consuming every thought, action and decision
 Undermining your social structure and putting everything at stake
 Caring not for you and obscuring your vision
 Knowing your heart, it will crumble and break,

 I know the loneliness, I’ve been there,
 This isn’t cynical, it’s the truth – why love really stinks.

Akshara Arunkumar

roses, scattered on the ground
endless echoes all around
"just leave me alone", he said
"end those thoughts inside your head
can't you see i don't love you?"
try i did, but that held true
i, dejected, left the shred
of hope i had in fate's red thread
now my heart, no more, it's dead.

Neo Wee Zen

(don’t be so hard on yourself. issa good poem :>)

Stare with compassionate fury
As you settle the unruly jury
After all, you’re law and order, without reason 
So please, greet me with distaste and derision 

Deliver me death!
My adoration will stay so evergreen,
I wilt at the sound of your every breath 
This agony, more than you’ve ever seen 

For once, I was a tool, a jester under your rule 
Then, I disintegrate, a translucent ghoul
I’ll fall into my place, and never show my face 
For the fear of the taste of disgrace 
My tale is all made up,
My soul is all makeup,
Call me out for my fraud,
Redact the moments I made you applaud. 

She’s every misstep, every mistake
Her glance, her grin, an intoxicating gin
And a sentence said, with meaning but lacking intent 
A sin without a chance of repent
Delusions, illusions soon follow
Attempts at redemption ring hollow. 

She has me arrested, my thoughts overstayed. 
She has me blocked, in front of heaven’s gate. 
Filled with guilt, the atmosphere killed,
I pray for my love and the lights to fade. 

Yet, your serenity shines through the clouds! 
You unwrap my airtight shroud 
Convict me of treason, to the highest degree. 
Prepare my sepulchre and set my body free. 

Deliver me death!
I wilt at the sound of your every breath 
My adoration will stay so evergreen, 
This agony, more than you’ve ever seen. 


 God, my heart's vacant now
 Yeah, she hates me now
 I popped a couple bottles of aspirin 
 But it’s not enough, the emptiness still reigns
 I won't let the doubt creep in
 Banish the pain from within
 Happy I never let you in 
 Glad I saved myself from ruin
 Love’s a game, it gives me pain
 My heart breaks yet again
 All I get from you is pain
 Never wanna see you again
 Now my life is spiralling down
 Heartache is all I found
 With love around my life’s damned
 Now I’m lost, now what’s the plan
 Love’s not a thriller
 Nothing but a cold blooded killer
 You, with that Viper’s tongue of yours
 All you do, all it does is lures
 But now I’m done with this
 It is nowhere near bliss
 It drives me to death
 Forces me to take my last breath
 Love is cold, and I’m done with it
 After all this, I’m well and truly beat
 Are you happy with what you caused
 Or will you brush past without a pause
 Just as you did before
 I can’t take this anymore.
 Breaking it off is what’s best
 So why can’t I put this to rest
 I’m tortured from the inside and this is how I’m gonna die... 

Shen Xing Yang

 Distractions and Fears
 I'm not ready for such dedication,
 O my treach'rous heart, why do you flutter?
 Love unknowable, bard's inspiration,
 But to me it's all just needless clutter.
 I take comfort in your touch so gentle
 It's become to me like bread and butter.
 Every way both physical and mental,
 On you I've become far too dependent.
 Can we act like this is accidental?
 Feels like you're the judge and I'm defendant.
 Fear rejection, yes, I am a coward,
 I'll look from afar, you're bright and splendent.
 I'll just stay alone; my love has soured-
 (Hence abandon I my love, unflowered.) 

Eliora Delphine Loo Yun

 you know
 everyone thinks that they know us.
 how - how?
 is that so?
 they think they've got us figured out.
 we know better
 don't we?
 don't we?
 you do.
 i do.
 i do i do i do i do i do i do
 i do until i don't.
 i need you to know
 that this isn't a confession.
 of love, i mean-
 i mean - it is.
 just not like that.
 i mean - i'm afraid.
 i'm afraid that it will become so.
 i'm so afraid, because
 i know
 what love like that does.
 it consumes everything
 in its brutal onslaught.
 i'm so afraid, because 
 when it’s through with us
 there will be nothing left
 but a you-shaped hole
 in the fabric of my universe. 
 i'm so afraid, because
 what's been done to me -
 it would happen to you.
 and it would be my hands
 pressed over your mouth and nose.
 and i need you to breathe.
 because - 
 it's not that i can't, without you.
 but it's easier.
 with you.
 i cannot have
 that the end to this tale
 is us learning to breathe
 through the gaps between
 each other's fingers.
 we'd still be gasping
 for air.
 and, well
 i can do nothing but say - 
 God help me.
 God help me
 to love you enough 
 not to fall in love
 with you. 


 As I watch her from a few seats away
 Nice and beautiful, silent and sweet, her radiant smile illuminating my way
 Destined for each other, or so I hoped, despite my faults and her flair
 Running into her anywhere makes my heart stop, I swear
 Emotions flood into my head with each glance, it seems
 And here is her story, finally expressed in real words instead of daydreams
 Which I believe is true, no matter from whose view
 “Opposites attract,” Is it true?
 As I raise my head for a glance
 not daring to take a second one
 I start to wonder
 about the person out of my reach
 “The ability to see across worlds
 does not ensure granted dreams “
 Have I truly been wasting time?
 Daydreaming about happy endings
 When it’s simply nonexistent?
 If love is blind
 Then so am I

Leong Jiandi Nathanael

My Unrequited Love
 When I saw her, it was love at first sight.
 Made my heart beat like the clock at midnight.
 Her shy and reserved personality,
 Was one of our commonalities.
 Her blushing face is too delightful,
 others glare at me, oh so spiteful.
 That pout when she gets a little mad,
 Makes me want to comfort her so bad.
 Fluent in both English and Japanese,
 Traveling overseas would be a breeze.
 Having an obsession with history,
 Makes our convos a constant mystery.
 That girl, she is simply divine.
 Forever showing up in my mind.
 I want to go out with her already.
 However, my love is stuck in 2D.


 Pain, pain
 Pain again.
 When they leave.
 Slice, slice.
 Snip, snip.
 All cut.
 Time passes.
 Gets better?
 Sulfuric acid. 


 you, your eyes as dark as night
 as the blackened skies where birds take flight
 no emotions in them two
 cold and endless, black and blue
 under the depths of the sea
 now you have imprisoned me 


 last year, i made a wish
 a hope to get you as a duo
 school was a time to group
 talking to you was nice
 looking to your time to get
 expressing my attempted push
 then sent a message, did i
 to tell you how i mean
 eleven minutes, before long
 receiving none bliss
 exit my delusion, not a spec
 attempts too far, too extra
 creeping gave you more pain
 harassing made you no closer
 lying to myself was no cure
 i myself made this major mess
 new year new me?
 edit my fingerprints, i cannot 


 My Valentine's gift 
 A long awaited day 
 So loved be those that are loved 
 And lonely to those who arent
 Butterflies flutter in my stomach as i think about whats to come 
 In the morning when I arrive 
 Students sleeping 
 He walks through the dull hallway into my class
 A spark in the midst of gloom
 His friends await at the door
 Eager to see my reaction
 My heart pounds
 He hands me a letter 
 Encased with hearts 
 Said something to me 
 So passionate and
 Full of earnesty
 "im breaking up with you" 


 So much for roses
 “I loved you so much” 
 Chanting in my head while I carry
 Visions of what we might have been
 I would walk barefooted across the deserts
 Swim like a dolphin, out of quicksand
 To seek you
 As I swim across the moat, hack at your fortress walls
 I scream “LET ME IN!!” 
 I will prove my worthiness of entering your garden oasis
 Let us be friends, so we may then be more than friends.
 Excuse me please, while I still dream of holding 
 flowers, for a while longer in your corridor dead-ends.
 Lower your guards, please. They bug me
 While I sugar a distraction from my intrusion. 
 Don’t raise suspicion. Please trust me,
 Allow me the way into your heart chamber.
 Where there is no red carpet
 I pave the forward path with a gilded tongue
 Climb up upon lines of vines 
 To reach you
 Here are a thousand poems dedicated to you,
 I will write more every time I
 smell your rose scents. 
 see through your tinted glasses. 
 hold up your bouquets by the stalk.
 hear the music of your fauna. softly
 harvest, plucking each plant one by one.
 hush my wincing. Until I can’t even hold a pen.
 My hands hurt, and they don’t look any less 
 A bloody pricking mess. What a catch. 
 Cast an eye of disdain over the pain.
 Or cover it up, lest resentment infects it. 
 Day by day, our flags seem to match closer to the red carpets.
 Since when? Did we litter rose petals on the floor for the purpose
 Of being trampled upon.
 The more I explore your castle,
 The emptier this Large House feels.
 Seeing red everyday doesn’t feel so rosy anymore.
 Maybe I loved you
 Only so much.

Ernest Emmanuel Cheong Haoen

 our fanfiction

 The whole wide world was our galaxy,
 Big enough for just you and me,
 And you were the brightest star that could be.
 She took off the head of Cassio,
 And tore you away ‘till I let you go,
 To leave me stranded with no way to know,
 And in this equation 
 We solve for all three bodies
 In a constantly chaotic path,
 Because there is no solution
 To the end of our stories
 And the parabolic curtain laugh.
 We used to rule the seven seas,
 Even though I grew weak at my knees,
 Couldn’t see the dark forest for the trees.
 She rocked our boat like a tempest storm,
 And before I knew it you were gone,
 Swept past me with the past that I still mourn,
 And in this assertion
 We find ‘Z’s ‘Y’s and ‘X’s
 In a constantly chaotic path,
 Because my revolution 
 Around the central axis
 Has been snipped in two and folded in half.
 And there is no one in space
 To stop tangential rejection
 From the supernova’s aftermath.


 When I first saw you, my heart skipped a
 Beat but down the rabbit hole I go uh-
 I’m addicted to you like a bottle of pills
 And before I know it, everything’s going downhill
 My brain’s high and it’s drowning in toxin
 Drunk with dopamine and oxytocin
 It’s like I’m taking a puff of a cigarette
 It hurts but I’m still chasing your silhouette
 My mind wanders around, I think I’m lovesick 
 And I still continue being overly optimistic
 But you shot a bullet through my heart, “Eat lead”
 Left me on the ground to bleed a shade deep red


 Two Weeks of love: A Brief Summary of Infatuation
 Monday, I first set my eyes on you on the way to school
 Tuesday, I can’t stop thinking bout’ you
 Statistically couples fall apart but we might just be true
 Wednesday, gathering my courage, I approach you and ask
 Surprise, there’s a smile there right behind your mask
 With you with me there will never be a single laborious task
 Thursday, we learn more about each other, at this moment (I think)
 Between us appeared the red string, an invisible link
 We talk to each other at the skating rink
 Now this is a ship that’ll never sink
 Friday, let’s watch a movie
 Saturday, walk in the park
 Sunday, go for some ice cream
 And walk home after dark
 I’m starting to lose myself
 Don’t want fame and don’t want wealth
 You’re the only thing in my soul
 Monday, my eyes don’t feel quite right
 Tuesday, my mind is telling lies
 Wednesday, my love’s fear in different light
 Thursday, new complications arise
 Friday, I realise, I have been blind
 Replay our memories in my mind
 Shake free of our untrue bind
 And go forth, leaving this all behind
 Saturday, I wander through the street
 Don’t know and don’t care who I will meet
 Alone, by myself, I go for a treat
 Sunday, I’m binging by myself, I’m seriously done
 Let’s hope tomorrow I won’t meet another one
 I guess I’m myself again
 No more heartbreak, no more pain
 The obsession has taken its toll

Vadivel Jaivasanth

 Witch Oh Witch Oh Witch Oh Witch
 should’ve listened to my friends and ditched
 thought we were happy together
 but you kept changing like weather 
 girl I know the love is dead
 should have known it way ahead
 you told me he was just a friend
 I caught you cheating in the end
 I treated you like such a queen
 but u went out with him on Feb 14
 Trying to forget all that you’ve said
 Can you just stay out of my head.

Lim Woon Seng

 He was rich and she was young.
 He was rich and she was young.
 It was quite clearly not love,
 When both act in self-interest,
 While saying the same “I do”.
 He was rich and she was young,
 On the special day, they went out, 
 To get fifty-dollar chocolates by the river Seine
 And pictures that last as scars soon after.
 He was poor and she was young,
 An economic crisis, a job retrenchment,
 Laid bare the problem with the “love” between.
 She was sad not for him but for herself.
 He is poor and she is old.
 He was tired, she was sleepy.
 A petty argument over dishes.
 A slow fire that burns.
 He looked at himself in his mirror,
 And she looked at herself in her mirror,
 It didn’t reflect the image of who they want to be.
 Thus, they slowly agreed, 
 That now, perhaps is the time,
 To acknowledge that there was no “love” to speak of.
 Her for him, and him for her,
 It’s all a lie, it’s just a facade.
 So much for love and joy and whatever
 That you see in those cheap magazines from the corner stores
 For humans are strange creatures who prefer the artificial safety of beauty and money
 Over love.

Law Rui Xi

 Fluttering of petals, flowing like time,
 Clouds drifting freely in the sky.
 The girl I like, drawing sandcastles in the air
 She’s so gorgeous, I think I could cry

 Sitting at her desk, a picture of beauty,
 Pencil poised, words dancing on the page.
 She answers posed questions with unrivalled fervor
 Her bright eyes are the highlights of my day.

 Her house stands on a tree-lined street,
 Her dogs greet her at the door.
 She walks into a house smelling of delicious pie
 And curls up on the porch with a tome.

 A leafy dish graces her bowl as
 She laughs with the apple of her eye
 This painful truth, I struggle to grasp
 Why must it be him? Why can’t it be I? 

 I am the only one for her
 Why is she so blind? 
 I’ll prove it to her 
 That she can only be mine

 I drag her away one day like a prince
 Rescuing my princess from the dragon’s claws
 I convince myself she did not just wince;
 She’s with her only worthy worshipper at long last.

 A brawl breaks out, a fist to my cheek
 A foot to my chest and my ears start to ring.
 A strangled scream calls me a “creepy freak”
 But you refused to come with me 

 Is it my fault?

 Scarlet mars my vision like blood in my eyes
 The hum of strength coursing through my veins 
 I surrender no more to indecision
 and ignore their desperate pleas I shall

 She’s mine she’s mine she’s mine she’s mine
 She’s mine she’s mine she’s mineshe’smines

 By the end of it all, I wield a shattered bottle of wine
 I stagger to my feet, woozy in the head
 “It’s going to be alright now, it’s going to be fine.”
 She flinches away, features plastered with dread
 “Finally. At last, you are no one’s but mine.” 

Ritkriti Chatterjee

 What's the point of love?

 Love, you tell me
 is something that’s everyone’s cup of tea
 But I just have one doubt –
 What’s the point of all this stuff?
 What’s the point of love?
 Remember that couple out on the beach?
 They were smooching and hugging as though in love
 But guess what? It was all fake
 For exactly ­three days later, came the news
 that the boy had left, and the girl suffered a heartbreak
 What’s the point of love?
 Now before you argue – here’s one more case
 There was a second couple, who after reading
 the fate of the first, decided that never by force
 would they fall in love. But guess what?
 They had three children, and then divorced
 What’s the point of love?
 Not satisfied? Here’s another tragedy
 A couple were dating, but then were separated
 The man went overseas, and three years later came back
 The girl was delighted – But guess what?
 He was carrying a baby and a diaper-filled backpack
 What’s the point of love?
 The last case is not so tragic
 Two high school sweethearts were married together
 They promised each other that they would never part
 But guess what? The man died of a heart attack 
 and left the woman with an unfixable hole in her heart
 What’s the point of love? 
 Is there any point of love seen?
 I can’t see any – can you?
 So is there a point of love?
 I’ll say no – but it’s up to you 

Zhu Yancun

while True:

     a few glimpses away
     our eyes met
     a smile
     a look
     and we darted away
     a few days at times
     our paths crossed ways
     a touch
     a wave
     and I fell again for the crime
     a few nights in a row
     you flickered here and there
     unconscious laughs
     unfiltered glee
     I was kept lucid, yet alone
     a few months trickled by
     no there wasn't a few months
     had fun while it lasted
     felt dumb when it ended
     oh wait it happened again :0


It seemed too good to be true 
I fell in love without a clue 
I loved her with my heart and mind 
Never did I think she would leave me behind 

It all ended that fateful day 
When her feelings drifted away 
Why did it have to end this way 
She had left me to decay 

She always wanted to go higher 
I must have failed to fulfill her desire 
Was she always a liar 
She just had to set my heart on fire 

Possible I was not caring enough 
Perhaps I wasn't bold and tough 
Why did I have to fall for her charm 
Now in return all I get is harm 

It has been so long since she left me 
But she never left my memory 
This has been my burden to carry 
Never ever can I hope to be free 

Why did I have to love her so much 
Now all I long for is her touch 
She was my love, friend and so much more 
She had sent me begging at her door 

As my cold heart shatters 
It makes me think nothing matters 
From love and anti-love, I choose the latter 
Nothing is served on a silver platter 

My empty feelings cannot be expressed 
All I am now is depressed 
Wishing that I should have shown my best 
Wishing I could die of cardiac arrest 

Why she left I can never comprehend 
All my hopes are left to spend 
Now that my poem comes to an end 
Are you sure you want a girlfriend 

Hope you feel less lonely after reading these poems, and thank you to all the participants!

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