truth nugget #40


today is the 5th anniversary of J.B. Jeyaretnam’s death, a man who had the balls to fight against the system in Singapore. he is remembered as a brave man with soul, a stalwart of the opposition, a loving father and grandfather, and an original truthsayer.

I wrote a poem about J.B.J. a day before Singapore’s National Day in 2008 and I didn’t let anyone read it, except for my best friend. it felt like a work in progress because he had only just started the Reform Party and I was moved and ready to follow his cause. I didn’t title it. a month and a half later, J.B.J. took his last breath. I named the poem “In Memoriam” and posted it on my old blog site which is now defunct.

here is my tribute to the man who showed us the truth and continues to give our opposition courage. peace be with you, J.B.J.


In Memoriam 

I sit on the stone step
It’s casual
I ask how you felt
And am surprised at your refusal
The night is heavy
Your heart no less
Your smile comes privy
To your sigh of hopelessness 

“If you must know,”
You say with weight
“They cut off my tongue
When I ate their bait
At first I jumped
And squealed in pain
But they’re quick to numb you
Your silence ordained.”

 I say, “That’s awful
But tell me more.”
You say, “They make you trust them
Till your face grinds the floor
I did not want trouble
I came in peace
To burst the bubble
Of content deceit 

Naive? Maybe
But there’s too much to be done
Only I can save me
From the system they run.”
They justify it
As they always do
Till you can’t make head or tail
Of what’s good or bad for you 

There’s a joker’s smile
On every face
At the steel cold turnstile
Of utter disgrace
There’s no squeak as it turns
They’ve made sure of that
All is oiled that could be oiled
But blotted and deceivingly matte 

“But you already knew this
You’d better draw your eyes
They don’t come with fists
But with fear and lies
Don’t say you weren’t warned
Big Brother resides
In the smoke rings you exhale
And the tears you have cried.” 

You get quiet
The moon gets high
The pavement gets colder
I feel a swell of pride
For you and your people
Who had the nerve
To ask the church and its steeple
For what we deserve 

And in your footsteps
We follow your cause
Exposing injustice
And the flaws of their laws
And in your memory
The good fight we’ll address
So as to achieve
Happiness, prosperity and progress 

Copyright © Michaela Therese
8 August 2008

truth nugget #40

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