Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ode to the Election Commission


By Meera Badmanaban


You were born after independence, for our nation.

Set up under Article 114 of the Federal Constitution,

To regulate and oversee the running of an election,

With efficiency and transparency, was your mission. 


Your task to register voters, strike out the deceased,

Oversee borders of constituencies if populations increased.

Appropriately redraw boundaries, if under-represented,

The guardian of the electorate, fairly administrated.


A partisan body of independence and scrutiny,

You held in your palms the country’s destiny.

Why did you choose to create disharmony?

With blatant gerrymandering so deliberately?


Did you think we would be quiet for ever,

That you could manipulate us whenever?

That we were brainless, or not as clever,

And we would never fight back, ever?


How wrong you were, you great authority,

We swept aside six decades of atrocity.

Fed up with your corruption and superiority,

You underestimated us, we are a majority.


We queued up for hours, baking in the heat,

Determined, silently waiting, refusing defeat.

With wrongly labelled boxes, why did you cheat?

Did you think we are sheep just here to bleat?



We the Rakyat are not stupid, make no mistake.

Be accountable for the responsibility you undertake.

Did you not care that our freedom was at stake?

Our right to vote yours to safeguard and caretake?


And so we stained our fingers with crimson,

Unfolded the ballot papers, acting in unison.

Our will unbending, steely, despite jettison,

Hearts and hands trembling with our weapon.


Did you see our power when ignited, united?

Toppling the monsters that you knighted

Your turn will come, spotted, investigated,

Corruption and cronyism unearthed, blighted.


Behold and witness our silent revolution,

Quietly and peacefully, in Malaysian tradition.

Demise of a kleptocracy with swift execution,

Truth and democracy the future of our nation.


Bio : Meera Badmanaban is a law lecturer and ordinary Malaysian citizen. She believes that poetry can be a powerful means of social change. 

This poem is dedicated to the people of Malaysia after the tsunami of the 14th General Election that toppled 6 decades of power by the ruling coalition.

Meera's creative process :

She will always cherish the memory of her ink stained fingers in GE14. Toppling a ruling coalition of six decades was something unimaginable at one time. But it happened. A quiet revolution. The rise of a new dawn, full of hopes and dreams. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Poems by Joseph Gordon Wilson




Welcome to the far reaches.

Where corrosive waters lap on black sun beaches


and tree leaves sing sardonic songs.

Where seekers ponder as they long


and what a sailor dreams when he looks out to sea.

Where roaring rivers meander quietly


and red fish trek upstream to spawn.

Where gold dust sparkles from the light of dawn


and is drowned in a velvet mist.

Where above the blue raaks list


and dreams conjure eagles from your hand.

Where Alice returns homesick for Wonderland


and time blows like the golden dust.

Where the moon tastes like stale pie crust


and the night twinkles like the stars.

Where the sign says, "Nice try, but it isn't Mars."

The Moon Apple’s Fall




I would sleep.

The moonlight keeps waking me.

            Dance with us. Be with us.


I stumble outside into my dream.

The moon haloes a hallowed apple.

The picked apple is not yet ripened.

I chew a bite—it tastes…off. 

            Dance with us. Be with us.


The boughs of the apple tree are heavy.

The moonlight must mature the fruit.

All I can say is “Hello!” to the moon apple.

So many years reduce me.

            Dance with us. Be with us.


The voices of the night call.

My troubles are their pleasures.

I fumble into the jumbled bed covers.

I beg to fall asleep.

            Dance with us. Be with us.

Numb Blood



Life friends is boring. We must not say so.

                        —John Berryman



I am as numb

as my salted veins,

in the weighted

crush of pills,


bills, and commercial information.

I should run along

to the safety of world conquest,

but my shit is paid for with my insane blood.


I have this life,

and I am told that I may have another,

heaven on a cloud,

or not.


Leave boredom 

for the restless young,

to seek excitement in two girls,

and their cupped excrement.


My pricey curiosity comes

as my death goes.

All feeling’s meaning is world present

and oppressive in its hungry blood.


Where is the invisible rain?

Where is the silent jazz?

It is not

here in me.


The night

will soon come

on the darkening evening gusts,

and on the mosquitoes’ blood thirst.

The Watch



Watch-tick winds down.

Creatures of the night

fall asleep.

Fireworks of dawn.


Swimming with orcas.

Fish glimmer time.


I choose the morning commute.

Ants speed—

cars crawl over the highway.

Waitress feet walk on titanium nerves.


Fish glimmer time.

Swimming with whales.


A cane is a beautiful weapon.

I wish I knew everything

you forgot over bridges of years,

experience weight gain.


Fish glimmer time.

Swimming with killers.


American flag flaps power of authority. We burn

all our gathered works. Castrate

the switch. Screen binds

us to sight.


Joseph Gordon Wilson's poems have appeared in Assisi, Carcinogenic Poetry, Cooper Point Journal, Dead Snakes, Arnazella, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Slightly West, Danse Macabre, Bluestem and Between the Lines. He lives in the Seattle area. He has an M.F.A. in poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, where He had Carolyne Wright and David Wagoner for poetry professors. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Have You Forgotten Me? By Meera Badmanaban

Have you forgotten me?
I am the boy whose legs turned black.
You saw my amputated legs; didn’t you?
The rubber hose was his form of attack.
I prayed hard for the torture to stop;
But he still continued; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
I am the girl who was raped by granddad.
You read the papers; didn’t you ?
He loved me, he said; his face all sad;
But what he did to me hurt real bad.
I screamed ; “Atok ! Jangan ! Tolong ! “
But he carried on; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
I am the boy who fell asleep in the van.
You heard the story; right ?
The driver forgot me right at the back,
My unconscious body limp and slack;
He realised too late; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
I am the girl at the back of the class.
Did you know they threw acid on me?
I just could not take it anymore;
To another world I had to go.
I hung on a rope; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me?
I am the boy who drank poison;
You don’t believe the gang forced me?
They said they would kill my sister;
Slash with a Parang my brother;
Poured it down my throat; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
I am the girl they found in the gym bag.
All tied up; neatly; don’t you remember?
Like a sandwich, my holes were stuffed,
With a brinjal and a cucumber; buffed.
I was only eight; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
I am the girl made famous on Facebook.
“Fat Ugly Bitch” - a friend called me that?
“Cheap Whore”; and a whole lot more.
I slashed my wrists and  posted the gore.
The blood spurted and spewed; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
I am the boy in the plastic container.
The triple murder case, do you recall?
Thrown like garbage, with my sister;
I shouted “Come; arrest my mother!”
But you came too late; and so I died.
Have you forgotten me ?
My ghost – do you not see?
While my bones are rotting;
You just sit; doing nothing.
There are others out there;
All around you; everywhere;
Beaten; bullied; tortured;
Neglected; abused; raped;
Why do you turn a blind eye?
While our children slowly die?

Meera Badmanaban is a mother and teacher.
This poem is dedicated to  victims of child abuse in Malaysia.

Meera's creative process :
Day after day, we hear of children being abused in Malaysia. Abuse is a vague word and covers so many things : neglect, bullying, beating, domestic violence, torture, rape, sexual abuse, cyber crimes - the list goes on. Statistics show that these horrors are increasingly ending in fatalities. Sometimes the ghosts of these children haunt me. They appear before me and beseech me to remember them, and to implore society to change for the better.
2. Bio :
Meera believes that poetry can be a powerful means of social change. She believes that bit by bit, words can make us think or see something that we did not before. They can help us to heal, to hope, to inspire and to aspire to be a beacon of light in times of darkness. Being trained in the law, she is concerned about miscarriages of justice that happen around us. As a teacher, mother, and Malaysian citizen, she dreams of seeing her country be the glorious nation it is, and can be, in the future.

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