26 September 2006



          Camera

          You think you know my camera well.
          The Nikon F2, the reliable silver one, the one I carried
          For years with me to weddings, birthdays,
          holidays, the convocations of favourite nieces.
          To the gushing Merlion, to the National Day Parade,
          to the sunset views from the Benjamin Sheares bridge.
          To our vacation on the island of Mauritius
          where we made much love and swam together
          in a picture-perfect blue-green sea. To all our days
          together that mattered, and to those that didn’t.
          Wherever we went, that old camera came along
          like a silent witness, preserving what I saw
          through its clear lens. At home, you browsed through
          the thick collections of our days and seemed surprised
          by how people were always happy, smiling,
          looking the right way. Even inanimate objects like rocks,
          flowers and the white sands of beaches took on
          a calm, benign personality. They seemed to assert
          that the world was full of love and other good things
          and would stay that way. You did not understand
          my art. You did not know what my hands and eye
          had done to those moments, how this camera had closed
          in what it wanted to see. With care and precision.
          With a skill I’d honed for years and practised,
          almost like deceit.

posted by Gilbert at Tuesday, September 26, 2006

5 Comments:

Blogger mrdes said...

I like the play of "skill" with "almost like deceit" at the end. is this a new one?

September 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice.. :)

this poem reminds me of Snapshotland by Sylvia Kantaris.

September 27, 2006  
Blogger prayingbudda said...

i'm so glad you're back posting again!

the last three words of this poem are fab! they sum up the poem really well.

love your works.
(:

September 27, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Nice of you people to visit me again. :)

Mrdes, no it's not new, I wrote it a long time ago, then left it somewhere in my hard disk and forgot all about it. Just found it again last night.

"Snapshotland" - thanks for the link, very nice indeed. :)

September 27, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, Gilbert. I like this one a lot. Really.

September 27, 2006  

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