Valen Lim is an active member of Singapore-based literary collective /stop@BadEndRhymes (“/s@BER”). His pieces have appeared in various places such as Anxious Poets Society, Cathexis Northwest Press, Eunoia Review, Mistake House and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, amongst other publications. Recently, he also won the Signature Art Prize Poetry Competition in 2018 for his piece titled ‘Milky Bay’. Otherwise, his work can be found over at http://uglystage.com. He lives in Singapore.
In Luxembourg, by the river Alzette,
we found a kingfisher, his body a dart
in the canvas of winter. Afraid someone
may step on him, we took off our gloves
and sculpted him a little tombstone,
out of the snow and mud and leaves.
There we were, trying to help what we
couldn’t, taking turns building a little wall,
so that he may lay within, his house
a little tomb. How cruel nature is,
to toss us out into the cold like that,
to ask us to survive on our own.
How small we are if not for each other.
I still think about that kingfisher, as
I walk down the Liffey, past the
procession of empty coffee cups,
my hands deep in my pockets,
my coins averting their gazes.
Forest Clearing Meditation
There is a clearing, and I,
asleep, am awakened by
denizens of the sky.
The air, cool with silence,
is still for a while. There
are no voices in this
house of God, and the
sun sneaks a finger past
the clouds to brush
the trees. I suppose
I still wanted more.
I want a rabbit to hop
out of the bush like
blushing on cue,
I want to see a lake
stretched out to
swallow the stars,
I wanted to see a dream.
But there is none of that,
but there is the sound
of settling in the river,
of being washed away.