Monday, October 16, 2017

Deeds great and small

Deeds great and small

By May Kwek

He built a tall and sturdy tower
And labelled it with his name
She sat down with a lonely child
To play a simple game

He made grand speeches
That drew universal cheer
She spoke a helpful word
Every day for a year

He ran a glorious race
And held the medal up to the crowd
She cleaned up another’s mess
And never said what it was about

When he spoke, people gathered round
And filled the gaps with praise
When she spoke, the intended heard
And a spirit was raised

When he walked through the halls
People got out of the way
When she walked through the streets
It was an ordinary day

And when he died he had a statue placed
With the wish ‘remember me!’
When she died the world forgot
And she faded even from memory

And so it is till that last final day
When they meet the Master above
And finds he cares not for idle fame
But little acts with great love

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lights

Lights

By May Kwek

Our world is filled with lights
From the first blush of dawn
To the golden shining rays
Of the sun at morn

They are beautiful in all colours
Brimming with life and joy
Like the stars that guide the sailors home
After a voyage of toil

Yet they are pensive too
So quiet and serene
Like the moonlight floating down
In gentle shifting beams

Or excitable like fireworks
Blazing through the night
Sparkling like golden dust
With their shimmering light

Or worse still, the herald
To disaster and death
Like the red blaze of a fire
In the midst of its theft

But they can also be life giving
As the rays of the sun
Bestowing growth to all that lives
Until the day is done

For all lights give clarity
Opening our eyes to see
Either the world around us
Or within what we’ll be

And what marvellous lights and wonders
I’ve seen wherever I’ve roamed
And each telling a story
That I have never known

But perhaps the light I love best
Is the one not distant and unknown
But the flickering lights in the night
That tell me I’ve come home

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th

By May Kwek

It’s that day again
The worse day of the year
It seems so normal, so sane
But danger is lurking near

And I cannot see it
Nor can you I am sure
This time it just hovers around
Like a curse to endure

So be careful where you go
And watch where you walk
Mind your business carefully
And be cautious when you talk

And if misfortune should strike!
Alas! Your precautions were in vain
Knock on wood three times
Perhaps it won’t happen again

But even if it does
Oh, don’t be surprised
For it’s such a day
When you fear even the sunrise

For this is a cursed day indeed
So remember what you’ve seen
And be watchful always
It’s Friday, the 13th

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Flowers

Flowers

By May Kwek

Silky soft and in full bloom
The joys that chase away the gloom!
Bright with cheer and generous with smiles
That bring hope and rejoicing all the while

Yes flowers singing under the sky
Land-bound but their melodies fly!
As they seek to bless the day
And reach out to the bright sun’s rays

They are smiles personified
Radiant in the morning light
The earth drapes them on in delight
In a crown sweet and bright

And the world is filled with their scent
As under the gentle winds they’re bent
And they tell the world the secrets they know
And sing them in a whisper low

For hopes, dreams and life in songs
Wrapped in blooms are forever strong
Written are they in a heavenly art
That never touches the mind without touching the heart

So let them bloom and let them glow
And bring joy to every high and low
And in that instant of eternity before they go
They would have lightened many a soul

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Sunday, October 1, 2017

For a season

For a season

By May Kwek

Once I saw a beautiful flower
Bright, sunny and sweet
And when I saw it I thanked God
That I was so fated to meet

A bloom of such beauty
Which brought laughter and joy
That shone despite adversity
That bloomed in defiance of toil

The days were bright together
Laughter and fun in the sun
And other blooms I gathered
And formed into one

It was a bright bouquet
Which bloomed best when it bloomed together
Meeting life and its adventures
For what I hoped was forever

Alas then that I was to discover
That it was fated not to be
These blooms flew away in the wind
Bringing smiles to others rather than me

And now I have to bid them farewell
As they fly somewhere I cannot see
And hope that at least wherever they roam
They will still be happy

The remaining dry leaves I hold in hand
To keep and remember the reason
That I thanked God for those flowers bloomed!
And I enjoyed them, for a season

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Monday, September 25, 2017

He took me

He took me

By May Kwek

I stood alone in the marketplace
As the others bustled about
Eager, like all new souls
To join the lively crowd

Some people came and I asked
If I could join them
They looked at me appraisingly
And said I was not worthy to be with them

So to the next group I offered
My love and my care
And they took it but left me
Once they’d had their share

Bereft I offered the next
My skills and knowledge too
They used it greedily
But then they left me too

And so alone I continued standing
Offering all I had
People came, they took what I gave
But left me with a ‘that’s too bad’

Then as the crowds thinned
I saw a different face
It was the Lord of Everything
He had come to the marketplace

I searched my full pockets
But in his sight they were empty
I hadn’t a single thing
I could offer with me

So I checked my appearance
But a hideous visage met my sight
A liar, a sinner, puffed up with pride
That was who I was under his truthful light

I bowed my head as he came near
So I wouldn’t have to see
The just anger and disgust in his eyes
At the sight of one like me

I heard him stop before me
And waited for him to turn away
After all, I had nothing to give
And that’s how everyone had acted that day

But then he held out his hand
And offered it to me
By some miracle, where others left
He decided to take me

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Holmes and Watson go camping

Holmes and Watson go camping

By May Kwek

Holmes and Watson went camping
And in a field they spent the night
Set up their tent, cooked by the fire
And then slept side by side

But then in the middle of the night
Holmes woke Watson with a jab to the side
“What do you see?” he asked as they looked at the sky
“The stars Holmes,” Watson replied

“And what does that tell you?” asked his friend
And Watson bowed his head
Knowing the clever Sherlock Holmes
It had to be something really great

“I see that we’re so small,” he replied
“So insignificant and tiny
And perhaps somewhere in the great universe
There are others just like me”

“On planets that could bear life
And trees that have good fruit
Now Holmes are you impressed?
Aren’t my thoughts good?”

Holmes shook his head slowly
Then sighed and shook his friend
"Watson you idiot!" he cried
"Someone has stolen our tent!"

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Evening’s Beginning



Evening’s Beginning

By May Kwek

Have you seen the evening's content?
As the light fades and falls
Things you knew morph their shape
Till you wonder if you knew them at all

A strange darkness descends
Upon the quietening of the air
And with the wind falls like leaves
The burdens of toil and care

And with its quiet comes the peace
Of the darkness of the night
Where what is far cannot be seen
Out of mind once out of sight

For as the sun fades to tomorrow
And the moon comes into view
The day and its troubles are over
But the night, my friends, is new

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Wayside flower

Wayside flower

By May Kwek

Oh little flower growing on the wayside
Dancing with petals ever so bright
How you shine in the day long sun
And sleep gently when the day is done

You never notice the crowd that passes you by
For your thoughts reach for heaven’s sky!
For it you dance, in it joy you’ve found
Although you may be earthly bound

Oh little wayside flower, gentle and meek
Yet striving in beauty that which you seek
Little you know the enduring joy
You bring to those who pass you in toil!

So grow on, wayside flower and seek no other view
Than the azure blue sky constant but always new
And in your dreams, bloom ever so bright
And bestow on the passers-by some of your light!

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  
- Luke 12:27, NKJV

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I’ll wait

I’ll wait

By May Kwek

Man counts progress in hours
The Lord by years and a day
From the springs that grow into winters
Rather than the sun that fades away

Years though long seem short
Under his knowing eye
A chick that cries now for a moment
Becomes an eagle that flies

So now though it seems glum
And naught is as I planned
I can girdle myself to wait
Until I understand

That everything has a time
And everything has a moment
And until that time, that time
Don’t speak yet, listen!

For there’s a plan in action
Clicking in slowly by the days
From little words, thoughts, actions
That are thrown our way

At the right time they’ll fall in
Exactly as they should
But with a plan stretching years
Only at the exact moment they would

And until the last piece is in place
In days, weeks, years, decades
Because I know he has a plan
I can content myself to wait

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Life’s path

Life’s path

By May Kwek

All are travelers on the road of time
Running over life's messy plains
Falling, stumbling, running, striving
Ending then seeking to run again

For our paths were counted
Long ere we knew they exist
The paths we took, those we forsook
All lead to the end as it is

And along the way we forgot
That we’re all going the same way
And both the strong and the weak
End with a last day

So we fought, we struggled
For the ephemeral success
Without a chance or a pause
To consider what’s truly best

We pushed fellow travelers aside
To the glories we ran!
Never cared, never looked
Just did everything we can

But the paths we travel
However long they might be
End in the same destination
Man’s fated destiny

Where all the glories we picked up
We’re forced to cast aside
And we are as we are
Without a place to hide

And at the time and at that end
There is no U-turn at the bend
So now though that time is far from me
What should I do on the path before me?

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dreaming in the night

Dreaming in the night

By May Kwek

Take me to the moon
High up amongst the stars
For when you dream touching the heavens
Dreams don’t seem so far

The stars twinkle down their good wishes
The night would lend its fancy
And dreams which were so vague
Begin to gain some clarity

The clouds shift their forms
Into the landscape of your dreams
And they seem so real, just beyond
Almost in reach it seems

And you could be content forever
High up in the air
Dreaming dreams with the stars
Without a thought or care

Unknowing to the passing hours
Or of the daylight’s morning ride
They don’t exist, there’s only
You, your dreams, the night

Until you float down to solid ground
As the sun rises and the moon bids adieu
But the hope you found so far above
Will always remain with you

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ambition

Ambition

By May Kwek

All men to great deeds aspire
For it some men rise from circumstance dire
Ever they seek to rise higher and higher
If one has run far, the other farther

Aye they seek with chisels of wax
To on Time immortal carve a crack
If possible to carve a name
And lend to it glory and fame

In striving so they’ve shed many a tear
Sweated blood, suffered in fears
Broke their back, lost family and friends
Striving always, till the end

And at the end, did they ever know?
Time’s many notches were infamy so
And those who on Time’s wall blazed a name
Cared more of others and less of fame

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Today is the reason

Today is the reason

By May Kwek

It is Easter today
And for the very first time
I wonder why I’ve never celebrated it
With ornaments of rhyme

For today, today is the reason
The reason for my hope’s joy
The reason why we press on
With faith none can destroy

Yes, today, today is the reason
I can bow my head and pray
Call the Almighty “Father”
It’s an audacious thing to say

Today! Yes today!
Is the reason I can live
The reason despite all life’s troubles
Some have heart to give

Today, yes it’s the reason
That prisoners can be free
That all lost souls can be found
And sorrow flees

For it is today! Two thousand years past
Amidst the tears that wouldn’t dry
That Hope rose from the dead
And dried every eye

And today is special
For just one reason
For today, yes today
He has risen!

Happy Easter!

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Evening chimes

Evening chimes

By May Kwek

Grey slants strolled down the corridor
As I watch quietly by
The end of the day is coming
And the world’s waving goodbye

The blue sky has turned whiter
Like whispers of mist
The wind blows softly now
Like a goodbye kiss

The trees are losing their shine
As the skies turn grey
Sunset is soon but not yet!
It’s only nearing the end of day

Flowers fold their buds to sleep
The birds return to their nests
The songs of morning are now quiet
As fits this peaceful time best

You would have thought me sad
That a beautiful day had to end
But nay, I still smile
For I have the wind for a friend

And the wind would not let any mourn
Or even frown at the end of a day
For it flew in and sang to me
Before it went on its way

And it brushed the wind chime as it flew
And how those chimes sang!
Crystal clear, bright and light
Like a silver bell they rang!

And as I listened to its song
Each note seemed to say
Enjoy the night and its splendor
For tomorrow’s another beautiful day

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Strike

By May Kwek

This poem is based off a scene in the 1855 book North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. In the scene, there is a strike and when the strikers hear that their employer had tried to break the strike by hiring non union Irish workers, they riot outside his home and he comes out to face them. 

In that time they referred to employers as Masters and I have kept it in my poem. 

The situation

The air isn’t dark but it rumbles
The sun shines but there is fear
People run and shout, demanding things
Yet oddly their demands are clear

It’s a strike turned into a riot
“Raise our wages!” they declare
And the Master emerges from his house
And fixes them with his stare

We pause the scene for a moment
Let’s enter each of their minds
The Master and the workers
And see what we might find

The Master

They call me cruel, so many have
Unfeeling, uncaring, proud
Look at them, my workers
What a rowdy crowd

I have done an honest business
Indeed I truly have
But it doesn’t run on charity
Indeed it couldn’t have

It must make money, it must
Or else everything will end
So I cannot raise wages
I am being squeezed on both ends

If I fail, and I might
This whole place will shut down
Everyone here that I support
Will be squashed into the ground

I have hundreds of livelihoods
Dependent on that monthly check
It’s my duty to keep it coming
Even if enough it lacks

I have spent the money
Keeping the air they breathe clear
Lost both pounds and pennies
So that they can still be here

Yet, it’s not enough, it wasn’t enough
I have done all I can
What more do you ask of me?
I am just a man

The worker

I have slogged long and hard
Days and nights I slaved away
To put food on the table
To live till the next day

I cough, I fall ill
I came to work anyway
Life is too short, too precarious
To afford to waste that day

I have given my life
So that I can keep living
If not for me then for my family
Who are at home starving

I have given all I have
For this measly check
These meagre pennies
Aren’t equal what I can’t take back

It’s not enough to live on
My back’s against the wall
I’ve tried everything
Everything! Every and all!

Yet, it’s not enough, it wasn’t enough
I have done all I can
What more do you ask of me?
I am just a man

The Conclusion

The scene is still paused dear readers
I cannot will it to move
For peeking into both their thoughts
I find that I’m confused

For I came here expecting
To support the weak and disparage the strong
But I found a situation so terrible
And no one really wrong

Copyright © 2017 by May Kwek