Do you know how loud it is
the sound of silence
it deafens and drowns
each passing sound
seconds into minutes
flowing into my aging river
where you drown in my silence

I’m not unable to hear
I just hear the quiet
louder than you ever could
louder than I wish I would

You write down words
to tell me that a bell should ‘clang’
and a plucked string
should sound like the letters ‘ting’
You feel only certain frequencies
but I’m the ‘specially abled’

For me a bell can go ‘plop’
and a guitar can sound like
a warm cup of coffee
our mother’s sobs would sound
like a crumbling phoenix
that rises from its ashes
when she smiles

I could tell you
the hands of a clock
don’t tick, they sound
like my heartbeat
I could tell you
that our father’s laugh
sounds like Orion’s belt
on a clear night sky
I could tell you
if I knew how

You hear sounds
I hear silence
You hear noise
I hear quiet
You hear colours
I hear the canvas
You hear matter
I hear space
You hear riot
I hear peace
You hear me
I hear me

Sometimes my ears
hey lift their veils
and they listen to you
and the universe
they tell me you sound
like a honeybee
buzzing, prancing
from flower to flower
finally settling
in my arms

I make you scream
and touch your neck
I make you laugh
and hold your cheeks
Now I understand
the resonance of joy and pain
the vibrations of you vocal chord
how they should have been
reflected in my ears

I’m your Beethoven
your musician gone deaf
your artist gone blind
you imagination gone wild

When you sing, I hear you
I see your every inflexion
I feel your crescendos
I notice every note you hold

They pity me
that I will spend
my existence
in quietitude
these fools who fear
death and the unknown
But I shall exit
just as quietly as I came
because one of my
senses transitioned
a long time before
the rest of me
was ready.


Postcard from the Moon

Send me postcards

from moon craters

and hollow spaces.

Send me seashells

burned by the sun

touched by your dark.

Send me roses

from the garden of Eden

cursed by the heathen.

Send me letters

written out of love

signed by another.

Send me a ticket

to leave this despair

to leave their care.

Send me the fare

of that ticket.

Send me

the moon

I’m already in the craters

I only know hollow spaces.


To Pauline Wong

A deer
you taught me
how to stretch
my fingers around
crotchets and minims
how to read
clefs and breves

A drop
I pause and begin
at the tap of your foot
the rap on my knuckles
the metronome stands
nothing but a symbol

A name
you gave me
patience in semibreves
happiness in quavers
fleeting semiquavers
and I showed off
with the demisemis

A long long way
we exist in two timezones
You said one day
we’ll watch an orchestra
together at the Esplanade
I still wait for that day

A needle
I, the thread
that you tried so hard
my fingers to unknot
“Octopus hand”
you say when my wrist
raises itself as I attempt
to reach beyond an octave

A note
you play
for me to sing
the examiner must
be impressed
I must not tarnish
your repute
But Aural always
took me over

A drink
one day we’ll share
when I find you again
It’s been seven years
and counting
but you’ll always be
the one that taught me
how to practice
how to feel
how to be
my art

And you will bring me back to

No one knows me like the piano
in my mother’s home
– Sampha


Cheers to Babylon

We’ll meet again one day

in Babylon, it’s not far away

I’ll lay out my armour

you’ll leave your armchair

We’ll sing tales of old

We’ll find out in time

Mozart’s unfinished requiem

You’ll play Lacrimosa

and I’ll call you Barbarossa

We’ll look for St. Clementine

is he still on his tea and croissants?

We’ll sing of Galileo

and reminisce Ronnie Dio

Do you think he feels hollow

Despite them chanting

Eppur Si Muove

And when you’ve found love

And I’ve found life

we’ll send each other postcards

written in the dark

in the shadows of a theater

while Lubitsch paints a story

and we find we’re turning thirty

We’ll raise our pens in silence

Cheers to Babylon.


Barfuß am Klavier

Is it okay to want to play

everything at once

I’ll be barefoot at the piano

and naked at the harp

Can I sing you a lullaby

without losing my rhythm

Can I bid you goodbye

but not for eternity

Will you let me come back

and play you Chopin

Will you let me fly away

and learn the ukulele

Do you think I could save the world

one song at a time

Cool down the earth

with my equations

Could I extricate

all your knowledge

Is it a labyrinth

is it too intricate

Can I mix it all

my art and my science

Can I just be

a busker on the street

Would it hurt you to know

I’ve played it all

but all I want to be is

Barfuß am Klavier



via Daily Prompt: Hideout

I needed a prompt to let the floodgates out this time. I have a scar on my arm and I don’t know where it came from. I have discovered divinely immersive music after a long time. Tigran Hamasyan, Shai Maestro, Takuya Kuroda, Thelonius Monk and a little more Jazz make up my evening playlists. I have a very strong feeling that I need to be doing something else, i.e. not research, with my life. But I don’t know what and I’m unsure as to whether I even want to find out. Maybe I’m comfortable with the idea of a comfortable position as a scholar or researcher. But as was said in Dead Poets’ Society, isn’t poetry, romance, beauty and love what we live for? Do I need a noble pursuit to justify my existence or is that an overly exaggerated, capitalistic view? Do I owe it to my parents to keep pushing on in this field? I think I know the answer to the last question.

I need to know what constitutes satisfaction. Happiness, I am aware of. But true satisfaction, I have yet to experience. The mental kind, not the physical. Is it the practicalities of life clashing with the picture I’ve painted in my head of what life should be like? Is it just a childish pursuit of idealism that has left me in want of a state that I may never attain? Am I asking too many questions, throwing a fishing line into a polluted river and expecting the finest catch? Can I be trusted with finding my way in this world?

And if I assume this is all an illusion, why does that have to make it less real? Can curiosity get any curioser (“and curioser!” Cried Alice)? Am I painting the person in the mirror with impermanent watercolors? Am I too enraptured by fleeting encounters that were never meant to be? Or is this all just an excuse for me to hole up in my hideout and bury my head in the sand when reality comes knocking at my door?

We are all stardust

There is beauty in the in-betweens
in the infinite discourses of time and space and breath
in the nuances of the unintentional
the moments seen, tiptoe away, unheard

To know all that is within is without
and all that is lost may be found
in recesses forgotten, in disparate encounters
in a look met, a look given

There is depth in the silence
in a view shared, between this and that
in the leap between F minor and A major
when you’re swaying to a tune, but steady

To seek anonymity in travel
Blending in order to observe
and when observed, to be understood
To obnubilate in order to expose

And in the in-betweens, the silence
in every inflection, every glance and riposte
There is meaning in need of cognizance
There are stars in need of fuel.