25 December 2006

The Adoration of the Magi

            December Shopping

            Here comes Christmas. Take it, strip it down,
            wash it clean, then doll it up, prettify,
            package, add a ribbon. Now offer it up for sale,
            an orchard road product made new again.
            See the santa claus reindeer at centrepoint,
            touch the gold-dusted wings of angel
            mannequins, feel the softness, the warmth
            of cotton-wool snow, meltproof against
            the little coloured blinking bulbs.
            Do you not rejoice, would you not sing
            along in a fa-la-la-la-la sort of way?
            Meet baby jesus and holy mother,
            starring as takashimaya decorations,
            the three wise men as props.
            The crowds are awful, the roads too long,
            for roads that lead nowhere,
            but the lights are bright and the sales –
            oh, the wonderful sales! – are truly
            a shopper's paradise. What you buy is
            what you are, and what you are is here,
            on display, for sale, at a discount,
            very, very cheap. What joy! What happiness!
            What a birthday bash! Give thanks,
            for the power of visa, the size
            of your December bonus, for this
            great offering of material things.
            Let us eat, let us feast like gluttons,
            swarm like flies, drown in proverbial milk
            and honey - it’s christmas, after all,
            Singapore’s greatest shopping season.
posted by Gilbert at Monday, December 25, 2006


Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

I like that. :D It's jab at our commercialistic christmas but I like that.

"the three wise men as props."

December 22, 2005  
Blogger =pinksheep said...

"What you buy is
what you are, and what you are is here,
on display, for sale, at a discount,
very, very cheap. What joy! What happiness!"

Lines that particularly caught my attention. Overall very nice. =)

December 22, 2005  
Blogger floots said...

i'm a bit of a "bah humbug" man at heart so this struck the right note for me

December 22, 2005  
Blogger dreamer idiot said...

Wow, I am floored. This is sharp, incisive writing that cuts right through the heart of Christmas in S'pore with all its exterior trappings.
The last lines sum it all, "it’s christmas, after all,/ Singapore’s greatest shopping season."

December 23, 2005  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Thank you, people, you are very kind. This poem is one in which I, for various reasons, have not been able to fully trust, in the sense that I personally have doubts as to whether it works or not. Now I know that it does ...

December 23, 2005  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

reminds me that i have not gone down to orchard road for a while.. :)

December 24, 2005  
Blogger karebu said...

here, baby jesus and holy mother as taka decorations.


December 25, 2005  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Reposting this old poem, it being timely with the season .....

December 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, Gilbert.

December 27, 2006  
Blogger MARK CHAN said...

I had to do this for my Literature exam. Why have thou forsaken me Gilbert.

March 11, 2015  

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