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Poem by Johari Ismail

July 18, 2008

One evening at our usual watering hole … where the usual crowds usually hang out … a friend of mine, in between his coffee sips, whipped out his mobile and said he wanted me to have a poem which he had written on the spur of the moment some time ago.

“See what you can do with it … perhaps put it up on your blog or something,” said Jo.

He spoke in his usual low, soft voice accompanied with his usual impish smile that seems eternally botox-ed to his face. i wish i have this side of Jo’s demeanor which probably help explain why he doesn’t look his age.

Here’s that piece which Jo sms-ed me on 10 June 2008 at 8.47 pm. i hope i have reproduced Jo’s original spellings, punctuation marks and line-breaks faithfully. Should there be errors, they are mine.

Hard Rain Over Malaysia
( The night of 5 June 2008 )

Back in my teens
am used to the man
singing, ominously:
It’s a hard
It’s a hard
It’s a hard rains
are gonna fall
The stampede has begun

Unlike the regional hubris of the ‘90s
We are now the surging herd running amuck:
an unsightly illusion of our known existence
as a nation’s people
Tonight’s our night
One night too much of
stampeding herd mentality
Tonight our dreary grey milestone’s
fast turning tombstone white;
as white as the whites of our eyes
for losing Batu Putih
We’re fast undoing
what’s been done good
some 50 years ago.
By the way
if they asked,
just say:
our meek flock shan’t inherit
We’re really marked for the slaughter
in the global altar of greed and corruption;
Of the ever proliferating false Gods
we helped create;
in spite of our meekness
and fake plugged-in existence.
The rain’s still falling.

One Comment
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Yes, Mr Johari, with Singapore now claiming the waters around Batu Putih (Pedra Branca), the “rain is still falling.”

    We have fcuked up big time!

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