10am epiphany


All I have
for today’s summer song is
failure of words.

Summer birds on mango tree,
like grandkids running around granpa.

Summer birds,
fluttering hither-thither,
showering summer song.

Mango tree,
you (will) outlive me.

Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)
May 2017

Excerpts from a story

Poets write on you, heroes cry of you.
We have come a long way.
Your fragrance still runs through.
What must I do of you?


A ponytail, a plaid,
like an old-skool gait;
of nature and of simplicity,
your beauty has said.


Oh, wild flower, wild flower!
I know nothing much of you,
but of your beauty, and your smell.
Do I love you? Tell.


Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)
July 2016


Today, Florentino puts a mouthful of papers,
of letters, his fingers pushing them down,
peripheral vision tearing up, miserable face, miserable act.

Today, Florentino chews his own letters,
chokes on his own words, whitewashed, white lies,
romantacised, chiseled love, refined words, aged wine.

Tonight, Florentino dips a finger in ink, swims,
moves a leisurely leisure. No words, just lines,
little finger, swaying circles,
a curve here, there, a twist, a turn,
a circle, misshaped, misfit, a crooked rhythm.

Tonight, Florentino puts his face upon paper,
rests his face upon lamp’s lap, warm glow, warm face,
warm light, warm forest face, evening dusk, evening ends,
tearing eyes, tearing papers.
Florentino chokes for his unloved love letters.

Tonight, Florentino weeps, in bullock cart’s rhythm,
heart sobbing in bulls’ bells’ swinging motion,
face falling in face-cupping palm-hands, hair-pulling hands.
Sniffs, snobs. Life’s music — God hums, oh, Florentino,
oh, Florentino, He hums while Florentino writes another love letter.

Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)
May 2017

4pm epiphany

Lime tea has been a relief
A breather of long breaths
But — when the once timid-looking young boy
Who helps out Boss in his smoke shop
Now grown into a fine confident young man
Runs the shop by the college
Now almost a Boss himself
When he forgets the mint in the lime tea
I knew it then and I smile
I wouldn’t make it in this game

Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)