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Anthology: The Rising and Falling Tides

This is the Ageing Ocean

14702474_1322727277738544_1970579317567606553_nShe is the baby in blue,
with her face of innocence
longing for her voice
to be heard.


She is a trembling child,
the smell of driftwood
on her knees.

bowseatShe is twelve years old,
realising the lie that
surrounds her life
The plastic human lie.

She is a mourning mother,
holding the carcasses
of her children,
the albatrosses choked by plastic.


She is old now,
greying hair and half-moon glasses,
wrinkled elephant skin.
She looks at herself in the reflection,
and knows there is no future left
for the girl who never had a voice.

From her heart to mine

She has the heart of
a glowing splint,
a faint diminishing glow.


She has the skin
pierced with fragmented plastic,
scars she didn’t cause.


I forgot to care for her.
I forgot to listen to her call.
I remember the plastic I left behind.

She has the legs of
a crippled soldier,
unable to avoid the plastic trap.


She has the hands of
an innocent criminal,
cuffed and restrained by plastic bottles.


I forgot to care for her.
I forgot to listen to her call.
I remember the plastic I left behind.

I have her blood on my hands.
I have her heart in mine.


I remember to care for her.
I remember to listen to her call.
There is no plastic I left behind.

She Holds Me Tightly

I wade through the ocean,
she holds me tightly.

I hold my breath and listen.
Amongst the violent screams
of the waves behind us,
she yearns for a voice
to remind us
of the animals dying each year
at the hands of our plastic.

If only we thought
to ask the ocean,
before releasing the
plastic bags,
the urban tumbleweeds.

If only we thought
to ask the ocean,
and think about the consequences
and outcomes of our actions.

A 1.25 inch fish
with our 84 pieces of plastic.
A disrupted food chain
at the hands of our plastic.

I wade through the ocean,
cleaning up our mess.
I wade through the ocean,
she holds me tightly.

-E Wen Wong (2016)

http://fromthebowseat.org/downloads16/16M-PO-2-Wong.pdf
http://fromthebowseat.org/winners-2016-ms.php#

Past Normality

Because my father
taught me to imagine,
my mind is like water,
ideas never still.

It is valley of the unknown,
pathways thin
but hills thick,
seas wild
but rocks calm.

As I walk through the valley,
discoveries are made,
ideas are salvaged
from rocky seas.

Time passes but
never just as memories,
this is the valley
of real imagination.

The Legend of La Jolla’s Coastal Potholes

The Legend of La Jolla’s Coastal Potholes

During times when bleached white clouds conquered the sky, stealing all essence of hope and glory, storing it way up high, La Jolla, California’s future was looking a gloomy, grey hue

Caelum, the sky god, was the mastermind behind this, his constant angry emotions causing the sky’s depressed colour. For what seemed like years, Caelum’s ferocious, obstinate attitude had frightened any visitors or gods from taking home to La Jolla, until Terra, the earth god, stepped up to the challenge.

Mere seconds went by before the selfish Caelum realised he had company. Terra had quickly settled down creating a ground.

“What are you doing in my land!” Belted Caelum.

“Well actually, your land is in the sky and mine is on the ground so I’m not on your land,” replied Terra, matter-of-factly.

“You have no right to be here!”

“Well actually, we live in a free society so, you know, I do have my rights.”

“Oh no you didn’t!”

“Well actually, it states in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (summary version) number fifteen (and before you ask, god rights are the same as human rights): we all have a right to belong to a country.”

“You can enter the country but not La Jolla.”

“Well actually, it states in number thirteen: we all have a right to go where we want in our own country and travel abroad if we wish.”

Caelum was furious for Terra did not seem afraid of him like all others, so he schemed to destroy him.

“Okay, you can stay here,” replied Caelum.

He racked his brain for the most extravagant idea to harm Terra. Hmm… Shoot him with a shotgun? No, too messy. Strangle him? No, too suspicious. Chuck him out a window? Now we’re getting there but where’s the window? Something triggered an idea in Caelum’s mind, he would drain water from the sky and make a sea which would drown Terra.

So Caelum went on his mission, gathering his power, preparing to target a strong blow to Terra. The full moon gradually lightened itself up into the sky, singing its night tune, providing Caelum with rest to prepare him for the day he believed would become historical in years to come.

Daytime had approached, waking Caelum early for his big day. He used his power and grunted. Slowly water was leaking from the sky, flooding and drowning the innocent Terra who was bounded to the Earth. Before long, Terra was sunken underwater and put to rest.

Caelum was jubilant and victorious but soon realised that there was no longer a ground; it was surrounded by water, the La Jolla sea on Hospitals reef. Fascinated by such an occurrence, Caelum hurled himself  to the sea that he deemed his because it was sourced from his sky.

Splaying his hands, Caelum dug his hands into Terra’s face, evilly laughing while Terra lay lifeless, his blood filling the holes Caelum had made. Experiencing a great deal of pleasure from his actions, Caelum continued until Terra (the equivalent of the whole land) was completely covered in holes. As the holes developed and filled with blood, Caelum spat in each and every one to prove that he owned Terra.

Following much effort, Caelum relaxed in his La Jolla sea, admiring his work on Terra. Rocking back and forth, Caelum created waves that danced against the many holes in Terra.

“Hah,”scoffed Caelum “I can see right through you!”

Gradually, on a level invisible to the naked eye, the holes enlarged because of Caelum’s waves. They were like tadpoles transforming into frogs; their size doubled making them one to two hands long in diameter!

For the time being, Caelum believed that his work was done so he returned to his home in the bleached white sky. Satisfied with his achievement , Caelum drifted off to a peaceful sleep.

Daytime had arrived again and Caelum travelled down to his sea but something had changed. The holes were an array of colours resembling an artist’s paint tray or the like. Mesmerised by his own work, Caelum travelled closer. ‘Wow!’ Caelum was in awe until he thought of a possibility. Was Terra alive again? As he thought of this he grew angry and when he looked down, the holes were a darker colour. When he began to calm down, they became lighter!

Being the obstinate god he was, Caelum convinced himself it was an illusion or something playing with his mind but deep down he knew it wasn’t. The holes resembled his feelings, half because he spat in them; half because the sky also showed his feelings and they reflected onto the holes, though Caelum seemed not to care as his plan was a success, Terra was no longer free.

To this day, Caelum still lives in the sky but allows intruders (holidayers) to examine his coastal potholes, though they are not aware of the story behind them let alone his presence! So come to Hospitals Reef in  La Jolla, California to see the result of the pain inflicted on Terra: the holes that have been dug into history. What mood will Caelum be in?

This is the legend of La Jolla’s coastal potholes.

-E Wen Wong, 2014