Sg-US Ambassador Chan Heng Chee’s poem

My family is at that stage of life when we do more to clear stuff that has been languishing in our cupboards and shelves than buying new things to add to the collection. The only real collecting that is done nowadays is to collect dust 🙄

I’m now sorting out old books and magazines which I’ve been storing up — some to read and others with the good intention of re-reading.

Alas, had we “world enough and time”, as Marvell said to his Coy Mistress…..

Consequently, browned, dog-eared, signs of book-worm nibbled publications are being slowly but surely sorted out and discarded along with old newspapers every week.

Occasionally, very occasionally, I find something worth reproducing in this blog to share.

So before a 50-year-old copy of the magazine Focus goes into the recycling bin, let me copy a poem by  Singapore’s long-serving, high-profile ambassador to Washington Daisy Chan Heng Chee — as she was then known. It was written in her salad days. 😀

The safer art

He spat on his canvas

His hatred for

Conformity, Government and Tyranny

In blobs of blue, black, green

And screaming  hieroglyphics.

The critics peered… and lauded.

For in it they saw but


And Confusion was interpreted as themes

Of Rejuvenation and Exhortation.

The other held a pen.

His curses

Translated into words lucid and keen,

Were not pleasing to the rulers, displeased

The critics, did not please the crowd.

Placed under detention, he languished.

Were he gifted more in paints than ink

He would have enjoyed at least

A compromise freedom of expression.

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