#46 Poem: Behind Steel Bars

Behind Steel Bars

Steel bars line the edge of this world.

Clad, cold, courage,
rust bearing steel bars.
Be strong.

Guard us.
Vestige reminder –
the colonial knights armour,
there is faith in steel.

Guard conscience, pray they
from perils that lay await.
Still, idle imagination loiters.
Give colour to grey steel bars.

Think.
Keep safe, this world.
Guard against, the light of night
Come what may.

Tall – stand picket.
Poke sharp, the heavens soft whites.
Reach high, the blue distant moun-tains

Or is it sky?

Picket steel bars,
stand watch.

Yet, the darkness in day
pierces the safety of this
prison.

@ Hans Lee

Where I wrote this
This piece was written in one sitting at the Airways Hotel in Port Moresby. I was looking for place to sit, read and write and this was the only (third) space that I could really work in. I highly recommend it, though I don’t know how busy it gets here – I was lucky enough to have it all to myself (and the security guard) while I wrote.

As you may have guessed it already, coffee definitely had something to do with this post. Nothing like a bit of caffeine to get the creative juices flowing.

Why I wrote it

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Dr Steven E. Winduo’s ‘The Unpainted Mask’

At the time of writing, I was reading Dr. Steven Winduo’s book, The Unpainted Mask, which had weaved through the stories these ideas of objectivity and reflection. Telling his story from the first person, he observed the irony of the residents in Port Moresby who work to be part of a life that was ironic, bordering moronic, according to him. People who work so hard to keep an image that is expensive to maintain (the masks).

It made me reflect on where I was at in that moment of writing, looking out into the distant natural landscape through steel bars designed to protect me. From what? Well that was just it, I didn’t know. Maybe it was to protect my conscience from whatever was out there. In the distant was the cloud and blue mountain (or sky) but in the foreground was the protruding steel picket fence.

I was taking refuge behind these fences to carry out the art of being this version of me. It is definitely part of this Journey Home for me. I can’t say anything because I am (unfortunately) part of this group, but I shed no regret for this lifestyle. I wouldn’t be who I am, writing what I write, if it were not for my experiences.

I’ll leave it at that.

@ Hans Lee

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#28: Poem – Breaking up with a Friend in a One Page Letter

Two things really prompted this poem. One, I have started penpal-ing again over snail mail and the other was a conversation I had with a friend of mine who was worried that I was ghosting from that friendship. I don’t think I am, but it did make me think about how I would ever end a friendship. It’s not often something we think about but how would you approach it?

I also wrote this with the intent to perform it at our Pizza and Poetry nights in Cairns, hence the breaks.

Breaking up with a Friend in a One Page Letter

My Dearest Friend,

I know we haven’t spoken in a while.
The last time we did, all I left remembering was the
dark
silent
void
that lingered like the echoes of laughter we used to share at the bottom of our empty coffee cups.

Yours was full.
The inside joke that I hated computer technology and spelt it out in a six letter F word F.U.C.K.I.T.
“Ah fuck it!”.

Those were the days. Do you remember?
I call you friend. I haven’t found another word to replace you. How a six letter F word could keep me laughing – F.R.I.E.N.D.
Now you remind me of who I no longer am. A six letter F word that I want to F.O.R.G.E.T.
But reading comprehension was never your best suite. You liked Chemistry and Music, which only a friend would know.

So I’ll have to
break
it
down
for
you.

Our friendship was like gold. It was worth a lot.
Past tense.
I used to like heavy metal.
So I fade away. Into black.
Insert Metallica reference – Fade to Black.
Or from Black to White and moonwalk out of this.
I like Michael Jackson. R.I.P to this.

Now,
pointless conversations mean little, like the one about being lost at sea.
Like I’m drowning in this. Not drifting anymore. Drifting apart, unlike before.
‘Tis time. ‘Tis me. Not you. ‘Tis change. It is life.
“Ah fuck it.”
I am being vague as I get to the end of this page.  And I guess I just can’t find the words to say what it is I need to
say right now.
But until then,
until I do.
I guess I remain.

Your dearest friend,

Hans Lee

 

#18 Failure on the Trodden Path

(Updated to include Business Insider insights on 15th August 2017)

I am always fascinated by the weight of criticism offered to those who found ways to become successful in life.  This piece of prose that lyrically explores the mentioned theme of how we swallow success when it looks different to how we imagined it to look.

Failure on the Trodden Path. 

Continue reading “#18 Failure on the Trodden Path”

#7 His Story

This poem came out as a burst of creativity in one sitting at the Blackbird Espresso Bar on Grafton Street in Cairns. The inspiration behind this came from the image of the Huli Wigman (a locality in the Papua New Guinean Highlands) while I was using Pintrest in a brainstorming session.

Part of the thought behind this piece of prose was aimed at being an exploration of how the Papua New Guinean man balances his own identity between pasin kastom, in the sense of being traditional, and being modern.

Continue reading “#7 His Story”