Sunday, November 14, 2010


by Yusuf Martin

you come to me
all soft and creamy
scents of coconut, rice, bamboo
fire-smoke and banana leaf.
I sense your firmness, al dente,
taste your pliancy and succulent delights.
i want to drizzle you with wild bee honey,
drip over your sides
bite into you
sweet stickiness dribbling
into my beard
while you
kill me


Malim Nawar Morning

surreal hummingbird mornings
garden papaya dripped dew
kingfishers flashed blue against candyfloss skies.

Judy Collins sang of Chelsea
warming the chill of my jeep cabin
softening the hard pangolin killing road
taking me back to the three cat stooges in my compound.

warming sun brought bougainvillea bright
golden helliconia, jasmine
and that mangy, mangled one-eyed thief into my kitchen
stealing fish.

brighter hotter morning
sky cleared to pale blue
sun pounding grass to yellow
bleaching paintwork
sending cobras slithering for shade.

another languid day in Malim Nawar
post colonial, lost tin town
forgotten as the centuries and railway track passes
leaving Mrs Hameed’s Bollywood restaurant
feeding post Ramadan thosa eaters
sitting between time and teh tarik.

© 2010 Yusuf Martin

Yusuf Martin was born in London but lived mostly in East Anglian, England, briefly in India and has finally retired and settled in rural Malaysia, amidst the water buffalo and civets.

He has written several short stories published in collections in Malaysia and Singapore, has been Guest Writer for Lit Up Singapore literary festival and Guest Writer for The Commonwealth Writers Festival in New Delhi. Yusuf has been working on an album of poetry with a prominent Malaysian artist and recently has worked with a Malaysian film director.

Yusuf is currently putting the finishing touches to a book of short stories about kampung life in Malaysia, finishing a fantasy novel concerning a bomoh (shaman) called Melvyn and a novel based upon his social work experiences.

Yusuf's sites:

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