Photo by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash

I am thinking of far-flung lands where
iron towers rise from the muddy earth
erect and foreboding, these beautiful
sabers aimed at the heavens. The clouds
are a splotch of grey vomiting out the
dried-up tears of yesterday’s disaster,
but they are not enough to put the
fires to sleep. Rain pulses across the
roofs of quiet buildings in waves,
sliding into every column and tile.
I am sitting in the canteen of a school
which I care little for, and in the corner
it is beginning to flood. The man continues
to eat his lunch in silence, uncaring
about his trousers getting wetter and
wetter. If I were to describe the place
in a single world I’d go with dark.
Every thing is imagistic, every thing
has meaning beyond itself, but only
when I take a step back to make
a huge reach. Every day now is full
of poetry, pouring down the roofs
and in every cup of kopitiam kopi,
every seat at every table, in every
tower, every beam, every word of
every lunch-time conversation
whether quiet or not, whether
alone or not, in every possible
variation of the weather, in each
line break, in each serif, in each
use of anaphora, reptition, irony
and snark, every typo, every possible
thing has managed to become poetry
because everything can. It is still
raining but I choose to defy
expectations by not being sad.
Somewhere in the world,
someone is going to bed
dreaming of warmer days
and the sun so bright
that it could swallow everything
and spit out the manuscript of God.
Somewhere in the world is the last
place that poetry has not touched –
and now that place is poetic too.
The man has finished his lunch and left.
And so will I, soon enough. I have eaten
and seen enough, and there is meaning
in all this. I will defy expectations and
make meaning where there wasn’t
already like I am a tree growing out of the sand.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

Filed under: Freewriting, Poetry


A member of Singapore-based writing collective /stop@BadEndRhymes ("/s@ber"), Valen dwells in the swamp of poetry. He has been published in various publications, including Anxious Poets Society, Eunoia Review and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He has performed his work at the Arts House, the Singapore Art Museum, and in various dingy bars.

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