Do you see?

Art by Musin Yohan

do you see a life of existence 
a path trudged daily
endless road

do you see a life of acceptance
a view enjoyed daily
such possibilities
a future

do you see a life of serenity
a choice taken daily
the blessings

What do you see?


For magpietales


after hundreds of years
of retellings, of tragedy
of sacrifice, of true love
the little mermaid finally

finds an end to suffering
a twist in the tale
she marries her prince
she rises above the waves

but what awaits ariel
life of a mortal, of mankind's
absolute control over  the world
abhorrent to her own kind

does she yearn for the deep ocean
does she long to return to its wisdom?

elle fait aspirer à l'océan
veut-elle à son retour d'un bleu profond?

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved.


While I understand that movie adaptation is required, I often miss the parts of folklore that was deleted from movies. For instance, the little mermaid's grandmother was such a force to be reckoned with in the fairytale. She dictated the rules for the princesses and wore 12 oysters on her tail rather than the customary six. And yet, she no longer existed in the movie.

I love legends and folklores from all over the world, and through this appreciation, learn to love the Malay Hikayat even more.

Summer Crescendo

bird songs, singing brooks
nature forms an orchestra 
Summer crescendo

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved



she lit up the room
ignited the space between them
her knowing smile. his passion. 

long before the flick of the lighter
the bursting blue white flame
reached the cigarette

between his lips

by ninotaziz


Burning the candle for legends

Huminodun by Malek Rahim

I burn the candle at both ends
Writing legends
I am told I should take a breather
Yet I am driven

Biting off more than I can chew
The folklores are petering out
So I rack my brains
And try not to be bogged down

It is a bitter pill to swallow
that maybe we don't care about folklore
I get the drift
But I carry this flaming torch

I guess I break even in my quest
To stop the loss of legends


Kelvin is host today over at dVerse. And he inspires us with idioms!

This is certainly not one of my best poems. But the subject is real. I am exhausted. For our national day celebrations this August, I have been writing A Hikayat A Day, for 17 days of the celebration, targeted for schoolchildren. The illustrations are lovely, but the writing is relentless. 

Which stories to include? What lessons from the stories do I keep?

Would the kids enjoy these old ancient legends?

The Owl who dreams

The moon says farewell
as the owl looks at the clouds
covering the open skies

The moon in my palm
disappears as water slips
through my fingers - farewell love


La lune fait ses adieux
quand la chouette regarde les nuages
couvrant le ciel ouvert

by ninotaziz

There is an idiom in Malay, "Bagai punggok rindukan bulan"

It means, Like the Owl who dreams of the moon, and signifies one pining for a love they can never have.

I am beginning to believe that we Asians, because love was once-upon-a-time a secret, often undeclared affair, play havoc with imagination and thus write poetry to express this deep longing and overwhelming feelings that otherwise would simply drown us (long sentences are bad form but here, it was  unavoidable).

We have pantun, ghazal and now sedoka.

This week, Samuel Peralta confirms this once again through his post, The Princess' Poem.

As a poetic form, the sedoka is one of the rarest forms today, not often seen even within its native Japan. And yet, some scholars have contended that one of the greatest poems of the Japanese language is a sedoka – a poem composed as a declaration of love by the Princess Nukata. Read more here

And Kelvin talks about idioms this week. So, here is a Japanese sedoka based on an ancient Malay idiom.


Here, at a crossroad

I stand to be so delivered 
Here, at a crossroad
There are no cars, no bikes, no boats
I must pick myself up and work
On choices I inherited
Here at this crossroad.

by ninotaziz. all rights reserved.

For dVerse - thank you Tony for the rondelet.

This was too difficult to do in french!

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