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Astrea Jul 2022
silhouette of sails breezed through the twilight hour,
the working man was long aroused from his sleep,

long strips of inked paper billowed out into the dank alley,
infused with the rotten aroma of yesterday.

the paper-thin veil draped over the construction site,
the working men had their silhouettes enslaved to the sheet,

an arrow of shadow shot through the muted screen of the cinema,
a line of laundry zigzagged the sky overhead, ******* pages of blue,

the rickshaw man was crossing stairs,
toeing winding train tracks, children nimbly dashed past danger

a fisherman was dreaming of secret deluges,
he would oar his way through the overflown streets, catching a dim sum box or two

a seagull fixed its hungry gaze on you, chewing stick
you leaned on the cart you have been pushing, facing habour
this was inspired by a photography collection— Hong Kong Yesterday by Fan **, which I came across a few weeks ago in the bookstore. His works leave a strong, lasting impression on me, and thus was this poem born.
Astrea Nov 2021
I dreamed of an age old dream
when Old Man Time had not
bleached into everyday oblivion,
and the Sun still faced his two Foes

I dreamed—saw
you there
waiting for me with
your pastel camera —
the look you gave me and that
hard paper magazine which you always wanted to make art with—

I knew you, somehow,
we had swum among midnight sunflowers in bloom,
the twin Moons at our back,
the finger I lost to a crimson butterfly
which you told me not to touch

I knew you, and you me
as the Sun knew the Moons
as Starfish knew her Ocea—
it’s always known, I know, alone,
I know, and yet—

I woke up, again alone, knew not
that the Night was decaying,
and so was the aged old dream
sometimes memory comes to us in forms of dreams, a kind of memory that is pared off from everyday reality -- the reality we thought we know
Astrea Jul 2021

tangible darkness
let me take a picture of you

paint you on the wall
scribble your name on waters

in your naked form
bend you, so no one else

knows you but me, alone

insomniac darkness — tell me
my muse, let me taste you,

bewildering, like arrows in disarray
and white birds

surreal as falling seraphs and forked tongues

moist darkness
what is sulking inside you must submerge

with manta rays hemmed in circles long ago
curled horns probing, testing bygones,

frozen dawn condensing my azure dreams ashore
Astrea Jun 2021
Stranger to earth, to her body, to the church. I often wondered how she could remain stoic as her blood licked the grass blades at our feet, the moth falling with her finger, drowning with my grief into the ring of fire. How far can one go, she asked me, to live without participating in the circus, to resist clowns, to not register pain, family, injustice, rain. Look, I said, they endure, the sound, the visuals, the memory – episodic, yes, but they endure – people would not forgive bystander. The moth fell again, shuddering, struggling. And her finger, gushing with golden blood, was still pointing at the priestess, who smiled, and said, you decide, it’s your body. To sequester, draw a line on the snow, better with blood, but tears would suffice too – and so the stranger was repeatedly created and destroyed.
Astrea Jun 2021
I discerned a face in the sand. It peered at me the way a child may peer at ants. I knew that face, had traced over the wrinkles marring the forehead, rubbed a finger on the mole below the eye, thought it was grime, realised it was not, and poked at the nose that was half an inch too long. It was a face of a woman, the eccentric lady who frequented my dreams, always walking with clicking heels, ivory robes dragging sludge, who dug pits with her purple fingernails. Are you look for this, I asked, handing over her face. She stood, corpse-like, and said, this lonely and bright thing, it beckons me, but this is not my face. This is yours.
Astrea May 2021
The dragonfly
that perches on your finger,
on the wall, at the doorstep,
like still life human history,
on the page, close to the vines,
balancing atop that blue teacup,
fanning steam

as time slips, whistles, rips
like stitches twisted, which
unravelled, like a wish
you made last summer
when horses snickered, reined by
steel knights sweating and kissing
gloved hands, ladies laughing
over earl grey tea and shipped silk,
the dragonfly danced upon
melancholic waters

what is skulking in the moist darkness
must come forth and answer
how one equates infinite and none,
vain, like history, snow, and gold,
before sung poetry from the old —
to live one’s life for something, you say,
is to live one’s life alone for something

what is repeated,
wars and manipulation,
mutual destruction, human reproduction,
drilling and penetrating,
with rhythm and with force,
Is intrinsically obscene,
the mechanics ancient and ******,
beastly brutal and brutally simple –
the human wheel of time

dawn broke
over churning waters, a cycle of
chalky, foamed flowers grew and died,
quivering is the white fish washed ashore
twitching, pulsating, then stilled

the dragonfly, sensing death,
skitters away
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