Solace in the perfect conditional

•January 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment


I would have loved to hear you sing to me,

underneath the autumn leaves of our favourite tree,

looking up to the clear vivid celestial blue skies.

I would have loved to hear you tell me stories

of your eastern adventures, great escapes and glories,

of the land of the people who’d once been demonised.

I would have loved to get to know you truly,

more thoroughly than your dearest friends and family,

and to hear of your deepest secrets, dreams, even lies.


I would have loved to bite on your soft ear lobes

when you least expect it, while amid the boleros

I hear your affecting laughter bouncing off the walls.

I would have loved to tickle your feet, your soles,

and nibble on your ankles, your heels, and suck your toes,

while you shriek, kick my face, bite your lips, roll your eyeballs.

I would have loved to see you wade in the river,

kicking and shimming stones like a giggling teenager,

bidding me to join you, screaming ‘neath the waterfalls.


I would have loved to caress your wobbly knees,

planting kisses from your birthmark down until your heels,

clutch you in my arms, and rub your aching pains away.

I would have loved to twirl your curls in my finger,

kiss your squinting liquid eyes, pull you close together,

and I would have loved to do all these all night and day

I would have loved to do many things, now you know,

from nibbling fingers and toes to tapas al fresco

I would have loved to be The One, not him you pushed away.


Squinting eyes

Background music: Ravel’s Bolero; conducted by Charles Dutoit.


Dialogue, an illusion

•December 30, 2012 • 1 Comment

This poem is based on pure imagination, creative licence applied. Any similarities between events imagined here and real-life situations are purely coincidental.

Immense gratitude goes to Mieke Kenis for providing that ooze of passion lacking in my humble words.

Thank you for listening, looking, reading and feeling.

Poems and images by Chiew Pang

Image reproduced by kind permission of © 2012 Chiew Pang




I didn’t get to know you, concealed behind that thick wall;

All that weekend, I waited for the promised phone call.

What kind of rose lies hidden beyond those petals of steel?

Something ominous or something gentle do they conceal?



Did I promise to call? Of that I don’t recall.

Words deceive, but deceive you I planned not at all.

I fear your power; your passion an intrusion;

I ran for I wanted not the certain confusion;



If we had hardly spoken, how could, how would you know?

Or could you plainly see right through my heart’s glass window?

My situation meant that I couldn’t want what I needed;

You simply put too much thought into what I’d expected.



I couldn’t not notice such love oozing from your skin;

I couldn’t risk it; I couldn’t let anything begin.

Hurting you wasn’t my intention, ‘twas quite the reverse;

I couldn’t imagine it taking such a turn for the worse.



Was it not kindness but love you felt? Was it really?

I thought I was giving the same to everybody.

Only your rejection surfaced my heart to my skin;

Else, be assured, it would’ve remained plain innocent.



Just turn the page; it was something that could never be;

Not then, not ever. Just wake up to reality.

I wish you the very best but please just leave me be

Forget my existence. Forget me. Yours sincerely.


Turning pages by Chiew Pang

Image reproduced by kind permission of © 2012 Chiew Pang



So easy

•December 3, 2012 • 1 Comment
Chilling out by the river by Chiew Pang

Image reproduced by kind permission of © 2012 Chiew Pang


Did you find it so easy to turn and just walk away?

Pray tell, what was it that you were afraid of, anyway?

‘scuse me for saying, I can’t help but feel you had it wrong.

And please don’t tell me I’m just being so goddam headstrong.


It was not the kisses lovers yearn for; no, not for me;

not even the embraces that feed the passion, honey;

nor cuddles in the cosy warmth of sofas and love seats;

no, it wasn’t any of those ardent physical treats.


All I’d ever wanted were the emails you failed to write;

or to hear a dream you had, a fancy which caught your flight.

All I’d craved for was a cosy chat, a heart-to-heart talk,

by the calming river, by the gardens, a casual walk.


Mundane they might be to some, but they wouldn’t have been for me;

an unexpected call, a hello, how-are-you, maybe?

Some tapas, Japanese sushi, some jazz, soft and mellow;

basic necessities for an existence so hollow.


So, was it that easy for you to turn and walk away?

Why couldn’t there have been a convo, you know, something two-way?

Something so simple, how did it ever go so, so wrong?

So, was it easy for you? Aye, I’ve known it all along.


Big Man, you're in this, too.

Guitar Man

•November 30, 2012 • 1 Comment
Guitar Man, poem by Chiew Pang

Image reproduced by kind permission of © 2012 Chiew Pang



I saw you under the bitter orange tree;

asked you for a tune and you played it for me,

thinking of her –  didn’t even have to infer.

I said for me, thinking of her, as it were,

knowing she’d be gone after the dark full moon,

while your fingers glide over the mournful tune,

and never to be seen or heard from again.

Don’t stop, keep on playing, Mister Guitar Man,

such pain, such agony you are portraying,

not that my burning pains are you allaying.

Who was it said “parting is such sweet sorrow,

That I shall say good night till it be morrow”?

Never in my world is it sweet that sorrow,

even though I would see her on the morrow,

but to make my sorrow even more woeful.

Play guitar man, play softly, though it’s painful,

as softly as the murmurings in my heart

adios, amigo, may you ne’er lose your art.




•November 28, 2012 • 1 Comment




If I could turn the pages back,

and put myself on the right track;

If I could have kept a distance,

and not resist your resistance;


If I’d not given so freely,

so gladly, so unthinkingly;

If I’d poured ice on the passion,

tried to ignore the attraction;


If I’d kept the lid on the fizz,

let it stayed under the surfaces;

then I might still have been a friend

and not be stuck here in shadowland



that was all I’d wanted,

was all I’d expected



If ever you break that wall round you,

you’ll find me waiting right on cue;

though you may not even know my name,

I will be out there just the same;

though you may not even know the face,

I’ll give what’s there to give with good grace.




Ironically, high walls by Chiew Pang

Image reproduced by kind permission of © 2012 Chiew Pang

Rhymeless Rhapsody

•November 26, 2012 • 3 Comments
Rhymeless Rhapsody by Chiew Pang

Image reproduced by kind permission of © 2012 Chiew Pang


There’s no mystery

in the physicality

of hurt


It’s not just the dry tears

in the dead of the dark

waiting for sleep to come


It’s not just the numb pain

in the brain from trying

to catch the gruelling dreams


It’s not just the fucked-up coordination

resulting in self-inflicted wounds;

random, accidental… or… are they?


It’s not the shrinking of the belly

when food has lost its compelling taste,

when pleasure has lost its acute sense


It’s not just the danger of non-seeing eyes

nor the deafness of unhearing ears

nor the numbing of the nasal nerves

when roses lose their exotic smell

when the sun loses its sensual warmth

when the moon loses its soothing glow

when the stars lose their glittering hope

when the sky pales in its mystic blue

when the sea loses its vast allure

when syllables lose their rhythmic sounds


It’s all that… and more.


That’s the physicality

of hurt.

Dedicated to the Big Man
Thanks for inspiring me to seek the art in the hurt
You’re rocking heaven and hell right now
Me, I’m just trying to move those close to my Earth

Double Planet

•November 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Double Planet, poem by Chiew Pang

Behind the warmth and the life-supporting energy of the sun

lies a hidden fury so overpowering and raging-fierce;

behind the soft glowing light of the seemingly romantic moon

lies a surface so dark and impervious, so dry and penurious;

behind your angelic clear blue double Planet*, surprisingly

lies what I thought were joyous and pleasing but, in fact, are furious

thoughts and supposition I can’t fathom, not for the life of me,

not quite nefarious perhaps, certainly curious and mysterious;

behind your gentle mellow words, innocent and innocuous,

cutting through me, lies what’s not so obvious and rather more dubious.


*alludes to Shelley’s To Sophia (Miss Stacey)