Arleen's Poem

Saturday, July 29, 2006


When true love lost its wings
The whole world starts to wound
And the blowing wind sings
The saddest maiden’s tune

And I walked without destination
Without hope, without passion
And even though my heart continues to beat
I know that I’ve been deadly hit

Since the other day I lost you
In the sea of lost love, hopeless and drowning
I have lost myself, too
In the deep sorrowful mourning

For I have lost the love of my soul
And there’s nothing else I can face
For I have no more life, no more role
Till I find my love again in a faraway place

17 Mar 06

Thirty two Heart Beats

(A contemplation on my 32nd Bday)

When you look at each day separately,
Each day is not that much different from the day before.
When you look at each week separately,
They are just a string of seven days sewn together side by side.

A month is just made of four weeks or a bit more, but not much more.
And most of the time, last month feels just like the month before it.
And let me tell you about a year!
Each year has the habit of moving at record speed.

So one day, one ordinary day, a day that was not much different from the day before it,
I found myself being thirty two.
And I wonder where all those years had gone.

Of course I have lived each and every single day.
Of course I have lived each and every single week.. and month… and year.
And yet, thirty two years sound like a long time but feel like thirty two heart beats.

How I wish I remember where I was at every heart beat.
How I hope I have treasured each and every heart beat.
For if we don’t live that way,
We can’t really say that we have lived at all.

15 March 2006

Singapore Thirteen Years Later

I stopped by Singapore just the other day
I didn’t chose to be there but I just had to
And all the memories came flooding back
And filled me with feelings I never knew I had

Looking at my old school, the building was brand new
If it wouldn’t for the name on its gate, I wouldn’t recognize it
And the once so familiar street was not familiar anymore
And walking inside a building I used to visit a lot was like walking into a brand new building

I looked among the faces I saw on the street,
Trying to find one or two familiar faces. I found none.
How could the taxi driver told me nothing have changed?
When I found changed streets, changed buildings and
I guess a city grows together with its people.
And I guess I have grown, too

Thirteen years are not a short period of time
And maybe I’m not the exact same girl that I used to be
But I’ll keep my own memories forever,
I’ll save my own version of the city
And even if in the end, there’s nothing same aside from the name, Singapore,
I will always remember that I once had you as a second home
15 Feb 06

Life’s Big Wheel

Setting on the road of life
When every turn brings tears and laughs
And every second’s brand new sight
That feels so wrong and yet so right

And none knows what the next heart beat brings
Will there be joy or sufferings
But there’s always end to everything
The darkest dark will be ending

When one’s on top of life’s big wheel
The sun shines thru and joy’s so real
Remember our brothers down below
Don’t look away but let love grow

For love can help us bear all things
Endure the pain and worst of stings
Till life’s big wheel turn round again
And rainbow comes after the rain

24 Jan 06

About Butterflies, Strangers and Lovers

Adults were once babies.
Butterflies were once caterpillars.
Clothes were once just pieces of yarn
and lovers were once strangers.

Maybe it was magic but then again maybe not.
Maybe it was mother nature and also work of fate.
Maybe there were lots of efforts involved or maybe none at all.
But when strangers turn into lovers, the whole world celebrates.
(at least that’s how it seems)
And al the flowers are of bright red hue
And even the crows all sing the best of tunes

How I wish lovers are like butterflies.
For clothes can be ripped back into yarns
And adults can sometimes act like babies.
But butterflies can never again be caterpillars.
Once a butterfly, forever flying beautifully.
Too bad lovers are not like butterflies.

And when lovers turn back into strangers, the whole world mouns and weeps.
Thus the love they once found, was once again unfound.
And the hearts were shattered… shattered worse than the ripped clothes.

But life continues to go on
(althougth that’s not always how it seems)
more babies become adult, more yarns made into clothes
and more caterpillars turn into butterflies
And strangers remain strangers… until they turn into lovers
And the whole world celebrates once again

14 Jan 06

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Who have I been in the past 30 years?

(a woman’s contemplation on her 30th B’day)

I guess I have been a traveler
Traveling roads with junctions and corners
Choosing new roads at every junction
Founding surprises at every corner

I guess I have been a witness
Witnessing events so pleasing others disturbing
Biting my tongue when I felt I should’ve shouted
Singing my voice to be heard others ignored

I guess I have been a discoverer
Discovering new feelings and responses
Swallowing feelings I never knew I could feel
Spiting responses I never knew I could make

I guess I have been a player
Giving and receiving with and without awareness
Teaching and learning with and without syllabus
Laughing and crying with and without scripts

I guess I have been an actor
Playing the scripts that I wrote and that others wrote
Playing scripts that were never written
Rewriting scripts along the play

I guess I have been an artist
Drawing my breaths of joy and happiness
Singing my pains and others with my tongue
Painting my life and others with my hands

Most importantly, I have been somebody
Somebody who does something to somebody
Somebody who is somebody to somebody
And I was never a nobody

15 Mar 2005

Terkadang cinta datang

Terkadang cinta datang
Lebih cepat dari yang kauduga
Terkadang ia tinggal
Dan menjadi bagian dalam hidupmu

Terkadang cinta pergi
Secepat ia datang
Dan semua tinggal buram
Seolah dunia hanya hitam putih

Bila cinta datang
Rangkullah cepat-cepat
Tapi jangan erat-erat
Karena cinta tak suka belenggu

Tapi jika ia kemudian harus pergi
Lepaskanlah dan relakan
Dan meskipun air mata datang berurai
Jangan lupa tuk hidup lagi

Nov 2004

Penabur Asa

Jika pernah ada asa yang kumiliki
Tlah kutabur di dalam sinar matamu
Tapi tak pernah kau pantulkan asa itu
Tak pernah pula kau genggam di tanganmu

Maka aku terus menabur asa
Sampai habis tak tersisa
Dan hatimu tetap kau bungkus rapi
Tak terjangkau asaku yang sedih

Jika pernah ada asa yang kutabur
Di mana kau menapakkan kaki
Asa itu telah hilang entah kemana
Hanya tinggal aku si penabur asa

Nov 2004

How could I have loved

Sometimes I wonder …
In all those years not too long ago
How could I have slept through the nights
Without knowing you’d be there tomorrow
How could I have faced the days
Before I’ve ever known you at all
How could I have felt at home
Without being at your side
How could I have had hopes
Before you started filling them
But most of all I wonder
In all those years not too distant away
How could I have lived my life without you
How could I have loved before I love you

22 Mar 99, 19:00

A Quarter

….. A Brief Contemplation on my 25th Birthday …..

Today I have lived exactly for a quarter of a century
And yet,
I have neither said nor done a quarter of the things I should’ve said and done
Haven’t even had a quarter as many good intentions as I should’ve had
Have neither known nor understood a quarter of the things I should’ve known and understood
Haven’t even learned a quarter of what’s out there to be learned
Have neither achieved nor been close to achieve a quarter of something admirable to be proud of
Haven’t even had the courage to decide what’s worth fighting for
Have neither touched nor changed a quarter as many lives as I would love to
Haven’t even given a quarter of kindness I should’ve been able to give
And haven’t even healed a quarter as many wounds as I planned to
In short,
I haven’t truly lived a quarter of even a quarter-full life

But then,
It doesn’t take me a quarter of a second to realize
I have definitely laughed more than a quarter of my share of laughing
Have loved more than a quarter of my share of loving
Have been loved way beyond a quarter of my share of being loved
I have truly had much more than a quarter of my share of truly living
Even though I may have had more than a quarter of my share of regrets,
They have forced me to see more than a quarter of my share of insights I would otherwise have never seen
Even though I may have done more than a quarter of my share of crying,
The tears I’ve shed were not even a quarter as heavy as those shed by others
So, I guess
Even though I’m not at all a quarter done
I have actually had a quarter of a century worth smiling about

15 Mar 74 – 15 Mar 99
(8 Mar 21:15 – 11 Mar 12:25)

Friday, July 07, 2006

By myself

Despite many guidance and advice offered
Never before have I experienced
Being at such a complete state of loss
Despite the presence of so many people around
Among all the roads I’ve chosen
Never before have I traveled
Along one that is lonelier

For each and every joke that I heard
I found nobody to really laugh from the heart with
For each and every new song I knew
I had nobody to sing with the whole body with
For each and every story I heard
I found nobody to pass it meaningfully to
For each and every event along the way
I found nobody to truly share it with

There were some at some different times
Who showed that they do care
Who asked if they could share bits and pieces with me
But I didn’t want them to stay
There were others at other different times
Who touched me in ways I would never forget
Whom I want to share my days and nights with
But they didn’t stay for long, just like they never promised to

And so I continued to be by myself
Laughing at jokes, singing new songs
Listening to stories, living my life
And until I find someone
Whom I can share the rest of forever with
I’ll just continue to be by myself

29 Dec 98 12:22 noon

Of love that never truly existed

Once upon a night in our lives as strangers
Our eyes accidentally caught one another
Something in the air forced us
To start something we were not supposed to have

Telling ourselves and each other lies
Pretended to hope that we could one day be together
Neither has the courage to ask
Nor to be honest to one’s true self

Once upon a night in our lives as lovers
We were so caught up in a love that we never truly share
So lost in a love that never truly existed between us
So enslaved by hopes that would never arrive

Until once upon a morning in our lives as pretenders
Something in the air reminded us where our hearts truly were
So we stopped the pretentious dreams in a rush
Letting go of things that we didn’t truly have

Painful as it was
Everything said and done were left to bear
Leaving everything in the past
We simply moved on and good bye we waved

We continued to live as strangers
But we would always remember
That once upon a day in the distant past
We were once lost in a strange and dangerous wave

Of love that never truly existed

14 Dec 98 15:20

You were never mine to begin with

I thought I have had it all under control
But when I told you I could handle it,
It was myself that I was trying to convince, not you
And so far, I have been losing my way

If only I knew that I would see you at the end of the tunnel,
Things would have been much easier
But I knew that when you told me you were going to be there,
It was yourself that you were trying to convince, not me

Now that I’ve lost you forever
Please don’t try to convince me that I haven’t
It was the most unbearable pain I had to feel
Hoping you would be there, only to find that you wouldn’t

If I only knew how to let you go
I would have done it right now
But then I didn’t even need to try to do it
For I have already lost you anyway

I know you never really wanted to stay
So when you pretended that you would,
It did nothing but hurt me
And I was a fool who was fooling myself

You were never mine to begin with
Despite my hope that you would someday be
Despite your promise that you would someday be
Both of us know that you would never be

14 Dec 98 14:10

I’m waiting for you to tell me

I’m waiting for you to tell me
What does your gaze carry ?
What are your smiles trying to imply ?
What do your words truly mean ?
What do your actions really tell ?

I’m waiting for you to tell me
Whom would you want to wait for you ?
Whom do you think of second by second ?
Whom would you yearn to share your dreams with ?
Whom would you give your heart to ?

I’m waiting for you to tell me
Why did you smile but looked away ?
Why did you come but went away ?
Why did you give hope but moved away ?
Why didn’t you ask if you truly wanted me ?

I’m waiting for you to tell me
Where do I stand ?
Where do I belong ?
Where will you be ?
Where do we go from here ?

I’m waiting for you to tell me
Will I ever see you again ?
Will we ever be together again ?
Will you ever come home to me ?
Will I ever know the answer ?

I’m waiting for you to tell me
How can I tell if you truly care ?
How can I ever look into your heart ?
How do I know if you never tell me ?
How am I supposed to live my life without you ?

10 Dec 98 10:40

I wake up before my alarm went off that morning

I wake up before my alarm went off that morning
Knowing that unlike all the previous days, that day would be different
Silently, I brushed my hair
and I found myself unconsciously glancing
at the cordless phone that was sitting quietly beside my pillow
Yesterday and on the days before it, it should’ve been ringing by now
But that day I knew it wouldn’t,
still I kept glancing at it, hoping it would ring
And the silence suffocated me
So I got ready for work at full speed

I reached the office one hour early that morning
Realizing that that day was indeed going to be different
I sat down at my desk
And my hand immediately reached for the phone
Only to slowly put it down again
Yesterday and on the days before it, I should have dialed your number
To let you know that I was at the office safe and sound
But that day I knew you didn’t care anymore,
still I recited your number inside my heart
And the emptiness strangled me
So I started immersing myself in my work

Soon it was lunch time
And I realized I hadn’t bother to look for lunch companion
After all I never had to before
But that day was different
I looked around and asked my neighbor in the next cubicle
“Sorry, my boyfriend is picking me up for lunch,” she said
“Never mind,” I thought, “I’ll plan better tomorrow”
And suddenly I realized I could make all the plans by myself now
That should’ve pleased me
Instead, that scared me almost to tears

I walked down to my office lobby
And waited in front of the receptionist desk
Only to remember I had nobody to wait for
Still I looked around to see if your smile was there
Just like yesterday and on the other days before it
But that day was different
The buzzing crowd made me dizzy
And I walked down town alone

On my way back to the office I saw a beautiful dress on a store’s showcase
I came in to try it on
It clinged well to my body
And I thought if you would like it
But I would never know, would I?
So I put the dress back on its hanger and hurried back to the office

On the way home I decided to just get some Chinese
For I couldn’t bear sitting alone in the restaurant
Watching couples sharing thoughts and laughs
Maybe in a while but not that day
That day it would be just too painful
To watch lost moments that I would never get back

In the driveway I looked for a familiar license plate
Only to realize that there shouldn’t be any
Still I couldn’t refrain from looking
Just in case you changed your mind
And stopped by to say you missed me
I guessed it was just a wishful thinking
For your car was nowhere within sight

I unlocked my apartment door
It was cold and dark
Just like my heart had been on that day
On my first day without you

9 Dec 98 16:54

Did I have the choice otherwise?

When you asked if you should ever leave
You made it as if my words would make a difference
But I knew you have decided to go
You already knew what you wanted
So I gave you the answer you needed
Did I have the choice otherwise ?

When you left like you wanted to
You made it as if you would only be away for a while
But I knew time was not the question
You have set your heart on other hearts
So I saw you off and let you go
Did I have the choice otherwise ?

When you came home like you promised to
You came to me with your smile on
But I knew that you were already taken
You have left your heart beyond my reach
So I smiled back and waved good bye
Did I have the choice otherwise ?

4 Dec 98 15:30

Candy and Me

(A Poem for my Stuffed Animal)

I caught your eyes several days before my sixteenth birthday
My heart leaped on your lovely gaze
And I knew right there and then
That we are meant to be together

On my sixteenth birthday we were already together
You and I through eternity
You laughed at me when I tried on my lipstick,
but I forgave you
‘cause you never laughed at my mistakes
when all the others did
You smiled with me when I won the Math competition
You comforted me when I screamed
in front of a lizard in my bedroom

You were with me when I had to go away to college
You stayed awake with me
when I was writing my term papers
that were due the next day

You shed happy tears with me when I graduated
And comforted me when I got my first scolding from my first boss
You were there to help me pull through friends’ betrayals

And during the times when the sun was not shining for me,
you curled with me in the dark
And during the times when I feel all alone in the cruel universe,
you made me see that I wasn’t
And during the times when no other single creature understand me,
you do
And during the times when I was crying my heart out,
you did not complain even though my tears wet you all over

And after all these years,
through each and every thick and thin,
you were there for me
And I know for sure that we will always be together
My yellow stuffed duck and me

For Candy with love

8 Nov 98 22:20

Is late really better than never?

I found a smile among many
It was yours
I thought it was for me
I was right

I found a heart among many
It was yours
I thought it was for me
This time, I was wrong

I never regret the day I found your smile
It’s mine to keep forever
I never regret the day I found your heart
I only wish I did it sooner

Is late really better than never?
I can never know for sure

8 Nov 98 21:55

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I have no choice but to let you go

I have led you to a complicated qualm,
I wish I could put the doubts aside
But you gently moved away in a gentleman’s way
Knowing I needed more time to contemplate
This time around,
I have no choice but to let you go
Sending you off with hope that you’d safely come home

Next time you come,
I may have chosen to be by your side
knowing all along you never keep me at bay
wondering if it’s already too late
scared that I may have found
that I have no choice but to let you go
Forced to send you off knowing you’d never again come

27 Oct 98 16:55

Each time

Each time the phone rings
It’s your voice that I hope to hear
And most of the time,
it’s really your voice calling to say hi

Each time there is a knock on my door
It’s your face that I hope to see
And most of the time,
it’s really your smile on the other side of the door

Each time I feel all alone
It’s you that I hope to be with me
And each and every time,
you did come to cure the loneliness

Each time I was down
It’s you that I hope to pick me up
And each and every time,
you were there to do it for me

But after all this time,
at the one time I asked for your heart,
You shook your head and left
Leaving me with nothing but a broken heart

21 Oct 98 20:51

Just when you think

Just when you think you’ve found the answer,
another assumption is challenged
and you find yourself back to square one.
Just when you think you’ve possessed enough,
another need comes along
to break your satisfied silence.
Just when you think you’ve given enough,
another sick orphan
sits around the corner.
Just when you think you’ve known enough,
another mystery knocks you down clueless.
Just when you think your heart has found the right heart,
Another heart comes knocking
and you find yourself opening the door.
If you don’t see the pattern soon enough,
just when you accept that life is but a roller coaster ride,
the ride would have been ended.

16 Oct 98 20:45


the love is gone
yet we’re still here
we can’t go back
nor can we move on
we had something
yet it was too vague to carry forward
like a mourning period after a sudden death
like a cloudy late afternoon after the rain
when the sun is no where within sight
we no longer own each other
yet we’re not ready to be free again
we stood still
while the world moves forward
we’re merely two people
trapped forever in an afterlove

30 Sep 98 22:35