News on Onangkiu

New beginnings 
The season renews the landscape
The pen and the mind.

Dear Zalina,

Congratulations! The Calistro Prize is pleased to announce that you have won the Runner Up prize for your entry, 'Onangkiu: The Warrior Princess of Gellanggui'. 

Best Wishes,
SCBWI Malaysia
Secretariat to The Calistro Prize

Ikesha's Illustrated Book Of Pi

Ikesha was very taken up by the movie Life Of Pi. Being six years old, she could not read the novel so I agreed to write a simpler Life Of Pi for her to read if she would draw the story.

So here it is, 
Ikesha's Illustrated Book Of Pi
Original Story by Yann Martel
Illustrations by Ikesha

My Name

Pondicherry, India

Moving to Canada

The Storm

Pi escapes

Pi's crew

Richard Parker

The Moon


Goodbye Richard Parker


Between Mac, iPhone and JPG, I could not rotate those two illustrations so I left it until I can do something about it later. Blame it on blogger fatigue.


snow falls, love and grace
envelopes the earth we know
shall be borderless

merry christmas, my friends

la neige tombe -
l'amour embrasse de la terre
il n'ya pas de fin

joyeux noël, mes amis


For Haiku Heights
And Open Link Night at d'Verse

Tragedy and the Healing words of Sting

Andy Magee

These days, when I hug my children at night I know I hold them tighter, longer and with a depth of feeling that is so profound, I almost cry. I thought I was a poet, a writer - one who could wield and arrange words to reflect what I feel adequately at least.  I could make people feel compassion and nostalgia. Love and hatred. Equally.

But I could not. Not this week.

Neither could Obama.

For words failed us this time around to comprehend the tragedy and horror that beheld a small town half a world away. How the lives of little angels were cruelly cut short.

Children of America. Children of Gaza.
Children of Myanmar. Children of the world wherever you are
who die of man created violence.

Words failed me.

So I turned to Sting.

And nothing brought this closer to heart and reminded me  how fragile we really are as this simple short song did.

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

Lloras tu
y lloro yo
y el cielo también
y el cielo también
Lloras tú
y lloro yo
que fragilidad
que fragilidad...

Life is really fragile. Therefore, guns and wars really have no place in our civilian society, do they?

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There's no such thing as a winnable war
It's a lie we don't believe anymore

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if 'we all' love 'our' children too

We try to make sense. But it will never make sense. Deep in our hearts, we do not stop crying.

Would I cry for you

Under the Arctic fire
Over the seas of silence
Hauling on frozen ropes
For all my days remaining
But would north be true?

All colours bleed to red
Asleep on the ocean's bed
Drifting on empty seas
For all my days remaining

But would north be true?
Why should I?
Why should I cry for you?

To try and understand the evil in the world, I try to remember that everyone had a family, a childhood, a love lost and maybe never found. There is a story. A tragedy that begets tragedy.
He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
 know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art

But that's not the shape of my heart
That's not the shape, the shape of my heart

The siege guns had been pounding all through the night

And if I built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire

Finally, when I can't take all this sadness and need to think of love again, I turn to Sting's 

Though all my kingdoms turn to sand
And fall into the sea
I'm mad about you I'm mad about you

And from the dark secluded valleys
I heard the ancient sighs of sadness
But every step I thought of you

Every footstep only you
And every star a grain of sand
The leavings of a dried up ocean

Tell me, how much longer? How much longer?

Until you love with that kind of ache and longing, perhaps you have not loved enough?
And yet,  while half the world panics and the other half wonders about destruction on 21.12.12 - what is the new wave to hit Mankind? Sting sang of the seventh wave, bringing real hope in his words.
Every ripple on the ocean
Every leaf on every tree
Every sand dune in the desert
Every power we never see
There is a deeper wave than this
Swelling in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

Feel it rising in the cities
Feel it sweeping over land
Over borders, over frontiers
Nothing will its power withstand
There is no deeper wave than this
Rising in the world
There is no deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

All the bloodshed, all the anger
All the weapons, all the greed
All the armies, all the missiles
All the symbols of our fear

There is a deeper wave than this
Rising in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

The man is a genius. Thank you Sting.

Songs and lyrics by Sting
Last line in Russian, slightly amended to reflect the tragedy faced by all of us...


if wishes have wings
the earth is one kingdom -
for man and nature


Man was given intelligence so that we can understand nature and live within its rules. Not so that we could rule nature. It is impossible.

Written for Haiku Heights.

Missing you

I love you today
more than ever
the words you 
easily confess

and the look that says it all

and yet I miss
the tentative words 
you took your time 
to say to me long ago

the uncertainty of it all

when we first met
I was so shy
the words we simply 
could not say then

were the best of all

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved



For d'Verse Open Link Night


Last moments

Storms of the heart rage
In the cold December month
Love dims slowly -

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved

For Haiku Heights

Through the night and back

I live today, in the moment
Daily loves, daily routines
Daughter, lover, sister, parent
Alive and well - I'm flying

through the eyes of a child

At night though, dreams take hold
The centuries fall back, I travel
The waters of time withhold
their secrets no more - I revel

through the histories of the times

My home lies in the Malay Peninsula
An ancient bridge to the world
 I walk the Silk Roads to Persia
Drink tea with Cheng Ho, the Admiral

through time, I witnessed the cycles

Rivers flooded and man rebuilt
Houses on stilts, palaces and tombs
Huge bahtera sailed across the seas
Garuda flew the skies of doom

through the legends of the night

Civilisations rise and fall 
Princesses continue to beguile
Ruling houses, one and all
Conquer for a while

through the might of the crushing hand

Kings leave monuments - awe-inspiring
Sorcery and magic abound
East or West, from Chini to Ys
Serpents or dragons come around

I am enthralled.


For dVerse Open Link Night

My journey as a writer has resulted in the publication of Malaysian and Asian folklore and legends. And I am forever thankful for this opportunity to introduce Asian legends to the world.


Three different poems on the desert

usah mencari
diriku yang lara -
di tengah gurun
je suis allé
seul dans le désert
I will be here
Like the wind - no, the storm
That rapes the desert

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved
 Bahasa Melayu, French &  English

we grow old

Toi et moi
Nous vieillirons
dans l'amour, nous

rirons sous la pluie
pleurons ensemble
nous partageons

notre sourire secrèt
sous la lune
sous les etoiles

Cri de joie
dans le soleil


you and i
we shall grow old
in love, we

smile in the rain
cry together
we will share

secretive smiles
under the moon
under the stars

cry out in delight
in the sun
for always

de ninotaziz. all rights reserved


For Magpietales


Travel far into space and time
What did H G Wells find
Man lost his mind

His reason, his cunning
All that were left - machines
Silently humming

In houses of light.


After 30 years, I re-read H G Wells The Time Machine ( a class reader in school)
and found it as riveting and fascinating as the first time I had read it.

Lone tree

Torrential monsoon
Young tree shivers all alone
Survives in the morn

A tribute to 1Q84 in haiku

Two hands clasped in fall
Reached across childhood borders
A lifetime promise
Aomame's summer
Brought the night of two moons
Upon her suddenly
Tengo's Town of Cats
Unhappiness reigned free fall
How do I venture?
Yet, hearts and loins
Struggled to rule all actions 
While Little People play
Deep into the night
Sinister at every turn
Surreal loveliness
Two hands clasped in winter
Love found for keeps, for now
One moon remains -
by ninotaziz. all rights reserved
IQ84 is Murakami's latest novel.
Surreal. Intense. Satisfying.
For dVerse : Literary Allusions

Cleaning Up

First I have to get rid of the dirty laundry.

Then the messy plates and what about the two wine glasses that have to be washed and steamed until they glitter spotless, devoid of any trace?

Oh, yes - those shiny Ikea knives must be placed back carefully in their knife block.

Finally, the lovely lifeless body of my ex, a little cut up here and there.

This business of a woman scorned must be taken seriously.



On the table
Chrysanthemums so pretty
Deadly spikes beneath

Sur la table
Chrysanthèmes tres jolie
Mais pointes mortelles

Sungguh cantik
Bunga kekwa berseri
Dipasak duri

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved

Haiku in English, French and Malay

for Tackle It Tuesdays
dVerse Open Link Night


This poem was originally written for Tackle it Tuesdays. However, the poem has its origins in my early days as a junior executive at the 100 year old Royal Lake Club Kuala Lumpur, over 20 years ago. I had newly joined the Club, and normally spent my lunchtime at The Buttery. I was determined not to forget my love for poetry and spent that relaxing one hour having lunch and writing poetry.

The Buttery had  floor to ceiling windows overlooking the century old Lake Gardens.

Fresh flowers adorned the restaurant in those days. And they were changed every three days. To make the flowers stand, spikes were placed at the bottom of the vases.

And I thought to myself, so often, we have to use harsh measures to look beautiful. Why?

Wow, Joseph - excellent idea to recount the origin of our poems.


Verdun, 1917 Felix Vollotton

Under the beauty of the blue heavens
Hillsides stripped, burned
Animals looked to the same sky

Cursed and cried

Acrid smoke, dried out earth
This relentless plunder
Sherry's standing people fall

Small and tall

So the floods came with force
Hurricanes and winter storms
We could only scramble high

And still we wonder why?


For me, the war against nature is of the greatest concern today.
For the Magpietales

The Mistress

I am the fragile beauty.

A creation of the your malady.

Unfashionably late apologies.
Unfulfilled promises.
Unfaithful character.



pregnant meditation
silence in autumn

le silence de l'automne
méditation profonde


The rain fell on the pebbles, fallen leaves and umbrellas bobbing above a sea of people. Washed away sorrow, tears and the harshness of the city . Bickering stopped and all turned to lending a hand. The rain and wind picked up strength and we stayed hidden away, enveloped in warmth of the fire.

Autumn brings the storm
I reach out to you, neighbor
Keep safe, my friends

Behind the window pane, two lovers stayed under the covers, to keep the hurricane away. Children huddled together read books while the wind displayed its mighty strength, trying to pry open any weak entry. The old and sick braced themselves - medication, heat, food. Stay indoors.

Frail and yet, humans
Will prevail in the face of
Adversity -

Goodnight my friends. I wish you well. Hold a hand, hug a friend, have your cellphones fully charged. Keep your loved ones safe and sound, the door closed, the windows barred. Listen to a song, say a prayer. Stay indoors, stay safe.

Hallways give shelter
Toddlers in closet room tents
The cat on the ledge

As we listen in to the news, Sandy arrived - crashing at 86 miles per hour. Eerily the carousel at Battery Park stayed lit, surrounded by rising waters. The New York I knew and loved is devastated, deluged in sea water. Newsmen, ambulances rushed. Fires engulfed homes. Snow fell in October. Announcements made - stay put til morning. Stay safe. Stay brave.

The news strike fear
Toronto to Quebec City
My haunts, Canada

I am shocked. My favorite cities in Canada - Toronto, Peterborough, Quebec City - so many memories and fondest moments. Friends I remember well. I did not realize this would be closer to heart than I thought. I am keeping vigil and hope to hear from you soon - Verlia Stephens. Chris McInnis. Larry Coplen.


For the Magpie Tales


The world was grey everywhere he looked for he was born of sight but color blind. And yet, where there were herbs, the very texture of the air changed and he sensed the purple in the lavender and the brown muskiness of cinnamon.

He could mix these elements to create the most marvelous cures for any desire and illness.

For any wanting of mankind.

And as his magic touched all corners of the world, the colors tinted his grey world to become a wondrous kaleidoscope of million pixel dust.

Fashionably late?

Summer ends and autumn chills
Bring together warms hands
A mask hides your lovely face

But not your gasp of surprise

You see me, all that is
Important for a dance and shared breath
of loveliness and wonder

Behind The Manor's doors

And all I care about
Your shapely lips that can cover mine
Today and always

But most of all - at midnight


The Willow Ball is here

And we dance up the stairs.


Tonight, I am here at the Willow Ball with my life partner and best friend Rudy.

Goodnight everyone!

Web of Lies

I saw you standing there 
Hand on her waist 
pulling her closer

And I knew then
All that you said last night
Was a web of lies

Intended to lure us into your lair.




I landed into a  forest filled with luscious green peaceful giants and scurrying living creatures. Stepping out, the moss covered ground tickled my lower limbs, sending life signals that spread throughout me in delightful shivers. I looked up to see the wide span of blue dotted with nebulous waterforms - the open skies I cruised through upon entry.
 Then, I heard alien voices filled with  hatred and machines roaring in the distance.
In that instant, I understood my mission and why my superiors called this beautiful orb flawed.
My first attempt at Five Sentence Fiction.

Autumn dreams

Dreamcatchers dancing
in the summer breeze that fades
Autumn dreams are here

Thank you, Kristjaan!


I have often wondered
About the symbols man leave behind
Clues and secret treasures
With no one to decipher
What dreams and guesswork
They begin to inspire
Writers and dreamers are agog
Many turn to spin on blogs
Here is the Eye in the sky
Certainly I am reminded
Of Alan Parson's project
I hear you object
The  American dollar
Places this symbol into
Each and every American's hand
So that they can say 'I  can!'
And yes, this is the symbol
Of the American Seal
Novus Ordo Seclorum
A New Order of The Ages?
A poor offering from me, for the Magpietales
I can't wait to see what Berowne has written this time!

An October to remember

October was the longest month
Still is, and the worst 
Was yet to come
I was drowning, I confess

But here is salvation!


I must admit, without shame and total disregard for high society etiquette, I reached out to Tess on Facebook and brazenly asked her, "When is the Willow Manor Ball?"

October is truly the month when everything appears like a roller coaster. I am a working Mum, writer and free-lance copy-writer cum gardener and cougar loving wife, loyal friend - proper daughter, aspiring poet, French student, math teacher and family disciplinarian all rolled into one.

I desperately needed to go to the Ball of the Year!

My loving husband has just asked me to accompany him while he has his dinner.

Bye everyone and see you at the Ball!


Oh, yes, here is the Magpie this week:

I watched, while they slept
One stood guard, his breath
Escaped into the night, full of fear

Afraid to switch off the lights
They sensed me tonight
Watching them watching me

Queen of the Night.


For the Magpie Tales


Summer fading fast
Looking back at my footprints
You are left behind

For Haiku Heights

The Birth

Birthing rituals
Languid moments await
Ahhh, such tenderness
For Haiku Heights


I am an island
girl who attracts the rain
to glimpse at rainbows



Bare footed freedom
Fields of paradise on earth
Wide eyed innocence


Rebuke ended  creation
Aborted life -


Melancholy falls
with autumn leaves, golden brown
come revelation
Written for Haiku Heights

The downfall of Malacca

Unending summer
Long ago admirals marched
Endless siege

The only way
To conquer the city gates
The bridge must fall

Warriors divide
20,000 fell, more came
From the river

The drawbridge
Held the key to glory
To downfall

Waterways so conquered
was no more


Onangkiu's blue moon

Onangkiu, the ancient princess of Gellangui called to her father
Her mother, her ancestors - all was lost. Beloved country razed to the ground
Anguish seeped deep into the motherland

Ancient eyes
Looking to the skies
Chilled bones die

Strength from within grew stronger as the blue moon appeared. Moon spiced
thrill ran up and down her spine, giving the chills. Her awakening was a wonder
to behold in the brilliant spotlight under the stars, amidst ancient forest

Starry eyes
Cold splendour at night
Blue moon sighs

Her ceremonial coming of age rites gave her the luminous spark of life
She turned away from the sun forever and embraced the night. The princess
became the prophetess, the queen of the new ages
Lovers' eyes
Stars at sea guides
her journey
They went to her for news, for life, for medicine. They came for hope
She held out her hand, come my people - do not despair, I shall live
So, she lived by the light of the blue moon, in a new land - Queen!

Copyright 2012 (c) ninotaziz


Trevor in Siena

Trevor in Siena

My friend is traveling
Back in time, he is lost 
within Siena's bluest skies

I think he is walking
on streets of old Siena
admiring old frescoes

I imagine him listening
to the classical music he loves
as centuries disappear

He is drinking 
in the sights of ancient Rome
I hope he remembers

To come home...
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