A Storm is Coming

The waves still sway softly by the shore,
And the mist of paradise still curtains the land.
But yonder back clouds hold their council
To herald the approach of war.
A storm is coming.
The wind screeches and mocks us.
This time there is no escape.
The boat, oft besieged by rain, cannot withstand more.
The mist dissolves.
The sun hides in fear.
A storm is coming,
And the boat must capsize.
Its cargo, gathered lifelong,
Unseen treasures destined to delight,
All will succumb to decay
When the storm arrives.

I pity thee, woeful captain, who dreamt of
Happy excursions on summer days,
Envisioning love, and feeding on laughter.
Summer has run away, captain.
And winter is in charge.
From now on, storms will reign and rage.
But worry not, captain.
A mighty storm is coming.
You will soon be at rest.

Back to London

This is a poem that expresses how I feel about returning to London after spending most of the summer having fun overseas.

The black shadows of memories embrace me.
As paradise flies away on a paper plane
And the leaking vase of joy falls into pieces.

And I awaken on the riverbank
To see all,
My hopes, my dreams, my life flow by
Slowly, surely.
And only London stays behind;
My nightmare in daylight,
The city of choking air
And empty hearts.

I hold onto the wind, the smoke, the puff of steam,
All that’s upward-bound
And saves me from the inevitable,
Ultimate fall.


Falling in love, with sights, flavours… and people is an inevitable part of every journey. It makes it painful to leave, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This poem below is a souvenir from an encounter that, however casual it was, still left a deep mark on my heart.

~To K.~

Daylong I hunger, but food cannot sate me,
Daylong I shiver, but fire cannot heat me.
My desire, my wish, my all
Is the golden-haired, golden-hearted boy,
Mine for a moment
And gone forevermore.

Oh, warm, hazy red nights,
The orange flame in your eyes,
And me, white, raw,
Rarely marked by love.

But your soul kissed my soul,
And your heart embraced my heart,
And time stopped, and my love was born.
Until daylight invaded and hope vanished.

I fit into your arms
So well that I thought
I belonged there.
But I belong to no one.
My love, my smooth, polished crystal heart
Vanquished by the world;
And distance,
Mountain after mountain
Between us.

So I drift on, and long, and hunger
For love that cannot be;

Amor vincit nihil.


Is home the four walls I call mine

For a little while,

The pillow my head longs for

on a too long night?

The noise of a party

Creeping inside?


Or is home where my mother sings,

And my father scolds,

And my sisters laugh,

And dogs bark, and roosters crow,

And memories are painted on every rock?


Is home the kitchen sink

Where I labour for bread?

Or the well-worn plush

Of a theatre hall?

Or the crisp air

Before an early flight?

Or the winking sea

On a summer eve?

Or the melting concrete

Bathing in neon-light?


But the song quietens, and the address changes, and the plane touches down, and the curtain falls, and the sea dries out, and the lights flicker, and the party ends,

And I realise that home is not a place, but a feeling.

Perhaps I Love You

~To N.~

I pray for you by every crucifix

And toast you in every old tavern.

I cry for you in every empty corner

And whisper your name on every windy hill.

But when you are near,

I hide behind a fan

And tell you there is someone else.

Always ‘someone else’.

Perhaps I love you, but I cannot yield.

Not because I do not dare to love,

But because I’m afraid to lose you.

And I would lose you, that is for certain,

Because loss is the end of every love.

God vs. Gurus

It is without doubt that spirituality is gaining popularity. Websites and newspaper articles wax lyrical about mindfulness, travel agents earn fortunes with their spiritual retreats, and there are regular meditation courses even in smaller cities. More and more people, disillusioned with a selfish and cruel world, set out in pursuit of something beyond its limitations. But while we are ready to accept the existence of supernatural forces, why do we reject religion so stubbornly?

This could be a sign of the selfishness of our times. The old-fashioned, traditional sense of community is often sacrificed at the altar of individual goals. Everything around us tells us that we, our dreams and our desires are above all else. Others matter less and less. Eager to pursue our dreams, we turn to supernatural beings because we believe that they can help us. We are attracted to guardian angels because they can ward off danger. We rush to return to our past lives through meditation because they nurture the illusion that not our current mistakes but events in a different lifetime are responsible for our failures. We meditate to empower ourselves and shut out a cruel world. We gladly dip into the warm pool of spiritualism, because it comforts us with encouraging messages: we are valuable, therefore we should only accept the best and never compromise or give up on anything. And most importantly, they give the impression that we are in charge of our lives, and we can even control supernatural forces.

By contrast, religion cannot offer such an appealing message. God says that we are born to be humble servants, not haughty rulers. And even harder to stomach is the fact that God is not a magician who will make all our wishes come true. In fact, it is us who have to submit ourselves to His will. But we abhor the idea of not being in control, living for others, and not only for ourselves. In an individualistic society, it is unthinkable to put our dreams on hold to help someone else. In addition,  in a time when ‘anything goes’, we are unwilling to live by the moral guidelines of righteousness set by the Bible. We don’t think that anyone has the right to tell us what to do. In short, unlike our spiritual gurus, God does not say that we will glide smoothly through life. We will inevitably experience bumps on the way, and at times God will lead us into darkness, in order to draw us closer to Him. Following God means sometimes accepting suffering and knowing that He will set everything will right in the end. But many people are unwilling to suffer even momentarily, because it goes against the world’s governing principle of instant gratification.

It is promising that an increasing number of people are beginning to realise that there is something beyond this life, beyond human understanding. However, we miss the point if we only accept the pretty side of the truth. While we are keen to invoke otherworldly spirits, we do not consider what will happen to us after we die. We put all our hopes in this life. That’s why FOMO is so prevalent. We want to experience everything to the fullest in this life. But our earthly life is only a tiny fraction of the life that God intends us to have. True, we may have to give up on some of our dreams, and embrace suffering, but all earthly discomfort and glory will pass, and we will eventually reach our final destination in heaven, where eternal happiness is our reward for a righteous life.