Tag Archives: nesa sivagnanam

Graveyard Shift

In old Malay, draped in forest
lies heat swamped George Town
along tree lined avenues
abandoned colonial mansions
forsaken, cracked, diminished
irrelevant to today
they rot in new technological haze
yet from shattered empty windows
evening jazz drifts across warm night air
inside, lights flicker
shadows dance over damp walls
slim couples flirt and smoke
your exploratory visit
brings silence
reveals vacant rooms
missing floors instead of lively dancers
they were the old tenants
hantu partying on the graveyard shift

Old hotel, four square and white
now with modern pool and spa
and the original private beach
golden, secluded, sunlit
it’s a long walk
but a short drive
a bus plies the mountain road
past green country and
decaying tombs behind
collapsing walls
the last ride of the day
is often full
today extra guests board
quiet individuals
some tall and lanky
a woman in a green qipao
halfway back, the bus empties
although the feverish driver
can’t remember stopping
his new passengers have
truly started their graveyard shift

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Graveyard shift’ was first published at The Insignia Series: https://insigniastories.com/2019/11/21/instincts-2-graveyard-shift-by-kim-whysall-hammond/

In loving memory of Nesa who told me the stories in this poem. We miss you Nesa.

Full Moon

I wave at the man
Smiling in his immensity
Sketched out by mountains and lava flows
And call him friend
He has lit my way home
Coloured my evenings
Lit up my childhood
With dreams of space travel
How many others see him this way
The Man in the Moon?

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Nesa, who loved this poem of mine, but didn’t see a man in the moon. As she told me in 2016:

“You see a man in the moon. I see a rabbit, crouched down, ears sticking up. Have seen him since I was a child and still watch for him to follow me home.”

We all miss you Nesa, so much……

Global

She flies in to a land below the sluice gates
under leaden  wintry skies
braving bone chilling, joint stiffening cold
to regain a lover and husband,
surprising family and friends
with a festive presence.
He cossets her adoringly
treasuring the time they are together
sharing memories of a hot Penang wedding  a world away
that celebrated a fealty lasting across oceans and years.
Tenderness and  connubiality,
happiness built on avocations and contrasts.
Cherishing time together with all those they love
partaking companionably
endearing us all to them.
Soon, she will travel back
to the other side of the planet
to summer heat and extended family
that now stretches globally
to a tall Dutchman.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Nesa Sivagnanam, who passed away on the 7th of March  — and for Edgar Held, that tall Dutchman, now alone.