Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Photographs by Vernon Daim

See the sprawling branches of a tree

bound by bloodties and surnames

on the wall. Frame by frame, 

be awed by milestones and anniversaries.

Look closely at the kindegarten shows, 

graduations, holidays abroad and weddings 

of relatives close and distant. Notice how 

at reunions and birthdays every one smiled 

their genuine best, their artificial best.

Can you, like Tolstoy, distinguish

the unhappiness of each unhappy family?

We were told, for the sake of posterity,

resentment and rivalry would look ugly

So we kept them veiled, masked and hidden.

We let the poison slowly, quietly fester

while frame by frame, the precious prints on the wall 

slowly, quietly discolour and fade. 




Vernon Daim was born in Taiping, grew up in Kuching and found himself in Edinburgh. His poems have appeared in online literary journals such as Anak SastraEastlit and Asiatic

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