Prose & Poetry

welcome home, starling

you are safe now

Singapore, with beach glass

Singapore, with beach glass

Singapore, with beach glass
- sea glass, really, 
because you are beside the sea,
the sea with the gentle waves,
stronger when the ships plough through
to change space and time and tide,
debris that speaks of pre-use,
and the hands that touched them,
thrown away, bits of things:
 
bottles, concrete, marble,

joining

crab-shells, shells from old seafood restaurants,
and true blue mollusk from the sea.
 
Tumbled, polished, the sharp edges gone,
mellowed down by erosion,
and gentle-harsh love from nature.
 
Discarded, but still with a purpose,
green, blue, transparent
like clear tears that flow
when day's end comes to the beach.
 
Go home now, children,
wash away your sand,
put away your shells.
Put the beach glass in IKEA jam jars
so that you can remember
that glass can be smooth,
kind, not more sharp edges.
 
Only time will tell
how we treat ourselves kindly,
glass or Singaporean.

 

Joyce Chng lives in Singapore. Her fiction has appeared in The Apex Book of World SF IIWe See A Different FrontierCranky Ladies of History, and Accessing The Future. Joyce also co-edited THE SEA IS OURS:  Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia with Jaymee Goh. Her poem "dragon girls" is with other fine work in Rambutan Literary. A poem based on the Chinese festival of Qi Xi will be published by Uncanny Magazine in August 2017. Her alter-ego is J. Damask. You can find her on Twitter as @jolantru.  
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