Maurice Ling's Website

                    Poems that I Wrote... with


-- 23/04/12


A person's life is just a few decades and
as Zhuang Zi said, is like a horse speeding
past a gate - there is no meaning in the
grand scheme of things. Yet, all these fighting
and politicking has kept us awake and bothered.
When I read history today and looking at the
blood shed by named and un-named warriors of the
past, be it Julius Caesar or Genghis Khan, I
cannot help but wonder why? Is it really worth
it? How much land one needs to be buried with?
Then I look again, what will the future say
about us?

Bacteria here I come
Striving in my own food dump
Called by many names
And none of them are ever the same
Antibiotics I fear not
Awashed I am in this very clot
Out come millions in a poo
So be it Im making more too
Water water I should not meet
But if you ever see me in one
Ill say You better run
With all the gathering of us fellow
We will turn MacConkey yellow


A "shit" poem describing the
bacterium that I had been
working on - Escherichia




-- 17/6/09


Sitting at the beach watching the waves hitting the shores. This sight probably had not changed much since milleniums ago but a person's time is limited and how much can one write.

Looking at people walking along the beach and wrote on the sand. It is like trying to write your life but the next wave will come and erode your words away. Isn't this like a person's life? Your words and work is only between each wave.

At the end of the day, what does all these means when people are forgotten? What remains is a smooth slate of sand.

The Balance Un-Tipped

Two days to the South
I looked myself in the path
It seems the winds had swept
A mixed thought I thought the sand had kept

Warm rays beat the ground
Words around
Lighting glows I found
Boy, in this, can I drown

Why had I walked from this rivers
Of the pleasure it givers
The jot of hot sun delivers
With moans too, that grievers

Stacks of words in a year
For the work I can hold dear
Seen by flickerness of the wind
it may all be an unfulfilled dream

Packaged thoughts
Pain and worry
Use the line
All these game I sight
I wonder where I can light
Admist the blight

Yet yearning
The excitement forthcoming
In this seemingly homecoming
How can I be receiving
With the balance lie untipping

-- 09/04/09


I went back to Melbourne in April 2009 to give
my final PhD seminar and to finish up the last
chapter of my thesis. This poem was penned on
the second day when I visited Kevin in Deakin
University and sat in for his lab meeting -
after a year. Looking at the scribblings on
the whiteboard and all the discussions flows,
I realized that I missed all of these. And I
thought that I had made the decision not to
do full time research. Little did I know,
the winds blowing outside the glass panel
had just unearthed all of these again. For
all the grant chasing I had seen so far,
I thought I had convinced myself not to go
for it again. I remembered telling myself
that for all the efforts I can put into grant
writing, how many am I going to get? It is
quite bleak. But yet, at this very moment,
at this most unsuspecting time, it got
unleashed in me again. Will this be the
start of another un-tipping?

三十载  语云立  坐已回守汝不级
一波浪  目异村  六春清早如一休
思当景  对今朝  心沸喜愁优乐待
欲二月  可侵猎  但有重重不可呆
离与惜  两头难  前车反复何不可
待一页  新一篇  魂归咀嚼梦作章
- 01/04/08
April Fool's 2008 was my 2nd last day in Melbourne.
This almost reads like a conclusion and what lies ahead
of my work and life in Melbourne. It is a nice city and I
love it. It talks about the emotional conflicts at that time
and my attempt and resolution to make sense of it all.
It is a time that I had chose to leave - the balance had
just tipped - despite all my intentions to stay on. It says
of a new page in my life and the past is in my memories
to chew - till the day when we meet again.

End of Supported Years 

Crochet centuria since first cry
Two in downunder lie 
Verbal word semi-decum past
I've hit end of pension glass    
Two years ran past by      
Two weeks there my script
Awaiting to be ripped      
Ten months of work     
Ten thousand speak the tales
End at that   
Thirty since first step    
Waging again  
Seems always with buckets of pain
Emotions wrecked
From tales four months back
Tears dry and gone
What me got but all alone
Work I put so much more
Knowing the art
Still placed among all
What meanings
This war wage?
- 19/05/04

One More

Two years downunder
Done what I've set upover
At this end of line
I sought for an extended fly
Saw it
A path aimed at the sky

Though a setback
I hadn't expect
Using as a force
To spur on-forth
To greater glory
Setback as my amesity
- 14/06/04


First Motar Shot, and On-going

Four seasons had passed
Since the day I left home encrusted
Feelings of which are hard to find
Written in three coloured proses lines
There I pen my blood in tears
One pushing joy
One pulling fear

Eight scripts, hexa-tens I have back
Looks like a winning strike
But in marginal plight
Inked merely hepty three

Annum ahead had just begun
Must ready myself with arms
To tackle furry milk
My arcane on silk
- 13/7/04


Five weeks to the call
Of the summer dawn
I waited for long
To breathe frozen air
Under lighter skies

Is it cool as I may
I do beg and pray
Find a place where heart flows
Out of damn furnance
Of what? I don't know

Doubting clouds overcast the skies
Paramountic pressures churning inside
Silly as it seems
Out of usual raying beam
Consequent of slag
Months of cerebral deprivity

Light on the end
Oncoming avalanch or fairyland
Sloughting insights from limbical lord
Who knows what may I be prod
- 3/6/02


In 48 Hours

Tickling along little streams
Time goes by
In short brightness sun
I've been here twice

Seeing one when wake
No feel of late
That's eight rounds ago
Now to see another go

Depths of red sea
Bless them true and free
May time will see us glamour
Of spent sum

Next on list
Here sits me
Feel notes wierd
Of what I wonder
Of unseekness I ponder
- 4/7/02

Churned Limbical Notes
Day to move
In grimness to prove
Wierdness of feel
That refuse to appeal

Sitting on bed
I look around late
Like firstness sail
Funniness can't be said

Anxiety reads the going man
Fearness lingers at plan
Not clearing the sight
Rushed blood with melacholy sees the light
- 6/7/02

This trilogy of poems illustrates my feelings of my impeding departure to Melbourne for my further education then, on 6/7/02.

This is the day, the event that I hoped and foreseen since when I'm 16, and it's finally coming my way, real near me. However, as the days draw nearer, the pressure and uncertainties builts up. Perhaps it's the money spent, perhaps it's the expectations I have, perhaps it's the unknown awaiting me. It may be a blend of all, I can't tell for sure. With all my mights, I put up a strong front, layers of cosmetics. Reckoned that to "tremble" at this stage will put all around me into untold worries which is something I can't do at this point in time. I'm sure this is a common feeling experienced by all sharing my path.

As what Keith encapsulates it, "It's like military enlistment all over again. Pre-enlistment anxiety......"

One in a Million

Out'd cosy warm waters
We face the world
Within cocoon stay for five
Little butterfly break and fly

From Fresh foreign faces
To each other live's places
So long had time walk
To see strangers in flock
As such, pricision crafted destinies
To set paths into unities

In proverbial tone
'100 lifetimes to meet in same raft
1000 to rest on same wollen bath'
Worthy friends are hard to seek
Thus I hold all in reach

Out of the sudden, while waiting for Eric to arrive for Chinese New Year visiting, I contempt the value of a friend. By the time I wrote this poem, I've sent 4 friends off in the airport to pursue their dreams overseas......

I begin to wonder the fate in play for 2 person to meet and to become great friends, or just friends. Came a conclusion of the immensity of fate at work, to think, there are about 6000 millions of people walking Earth today... Ask ourselves, DO WE HAVE 6000 FRIENDS?

Thus, a friendship is really "ONE IN A MILLION"


Fly At The Speed Of Light

Arrows of time
Rays of light
Sped pass us with heculian might
Flows of ice
Waves of tide
Washing horizon with freshen pride
Time had gone
These ties will be for long

Glaze through event glass
Near six years had passed
Sit at time of fly
Realise that age gone by
Who knows when we next meet
How changes have been made
Perhaps another few had sped pass
Perhaps in pale beard and golden brows
Savouring the days we had in youth
- 15/2/02
This is one of the follow ups of the poem "One in a
Million". Also written during the period where I've been
sending a number of friends off for further pursuits. 
Somehow, it came as a revelation that six years had
passed since we first saw each other in polytechnic. In
many context, we can be considered to be "old" friends
already. How time has gone by is indeed fearful.
Perhaps without conscious thoughts, we might mimic the
grand-daddies having coffee and savouring the time
gone by. As in the song "Those were the days"......

Joy of Lion                                                       Eagle's Cry

This animal we know                                      
Soaring majestic clear skies

Dressed in golden glow                                   Only those wonderous flies
Sitted the warrior god                                    Looking up
Lion we call as lord                                        Lies the envy of many landed ducks
                                                                 The ants only sees the eagle at height
Roving across landscaped sky                          Not knowing that the eagle cries at night
Harbouring no strings behind
Free as it comes                                           
His majesty owns the sky

Ease as it goes                                              So why it needs to cry
In this glamour                                               Be the lord of great blue plains
Mind seeks to harbour                                     Is the wishful hope of many little dames
                                                                  But inneath heart's weakest lames
Running pass the hindbound guys                      Is a soul that can weep in pain
Evoking passions
Through enjoyment of life's sessions                  
Sorrow sits as buddy mate

Exist in dreamland                                          Loneliness serves on plate
Aborted plan                                                  Watching ants in clusters
                                                                  Can barely hide in plasters
How I here to ply this world                             For the heartness wound may just tear
Alone with lion's pur                                       At the slightest touch there
How I want to fly this plain
Housed in golden mane                                    
Born as an eagle

I am this lion                                                 Endowed upon freedom's freeder
To seek sparkling flame                                   To be fighter's leader
- 31/1/02                                                     Torn by a love for land
                                                                  A eagle can't be bounded then
                                                                  Chained eagle is just a dead man
                                                                   - 31/1/02


These two poems are analogous duets of each other, in the sense that they speaks of opposite emotional tones. The emotional-existential extremeties of a youthful "great man" are imposed on two animals of majesty, the lion and the eagle.

The lion sets to enjoy the glamour of being in high places, the envious eyes of many sighting him. To many, a lion's achievements only exist in dreams, never attainable......

The eagle sets to epic a wound in the heart. "The greatest has no friends." And certainly, this is a sorrow for the eagle, for he has to fly alone and in loneliness. In the day, he enjoys all the shine but at night, he can only shed tears in silence. He wants to be down on land for a while but doesn't know how to...... Being an eagle, his mission is to lord over, therefore, despite his desires, being landed will make him lose all zeal...

Greatest Teacher

    Thou art greatest teacher there might be
In life one might see
Searching vast land for his greatness
Neglecting the one in liveness
Far might have been
Near might have seen
For excellence is once called Life
Knowing thou eminence
Tasting thee forbiddence
Thy seek
How life teach
In a way nor mortal mentor does
Life let you stay in rust
Without ruth
Trials ply prior lessons truth
In pain
You learn and gain
Etching the mind where innocence slain
Sending the law
In varied forms
Hitting the mind where it becomes norms
In pain in life you learn
Where this teacher dignity earns


Possession of Treasured Wine

Sixty lunars of my years
With friends I thought so dear
Hoping the forged bonds can stay the ages
But a mere stone throws off gauges

On that day of eleven
Writing scrolls upon heated head
That I drop in rolls
That in fate I seal
To find in zeal

Thrown through shuttle
Agonizing tears across flutter
Waving hands to thyness above
Coldness cuts I feel alone

Sheering sleepless nights I thought
For all the pain sustained
Like sleeping on rose bed
Pushing beneath thorns me bled

In slain
Stepping onto solemn lane
Forgoing the slainful dust
I mount on with new bust
Welcome the warmth amist joyous tears
Bathing me heart in deep sea
Of cherished love
Of joy

Asking providence
What true friends might be
As the old man say
They are like treasured old wine
To be savoured in pleasure
For it will tend your wounds in leisure
- 02/02/99


"Possession of Treasured Wine" is one of my earliest poetry works.It speaks of an invisible "caste" system of elitism in S'pore's education structure, of which I walked from one layer to the next lower by a "sad" twist of fate. "Sad" because I've suffered but grew greatly in the process. I thought I must as well write it down before social numbness got into me......

For a large part of my primary school life, I'm in this so-called "best class". During primary 5 final year exam, a high fever resulted in me merely passing all papers and thus, outcast from this class. "Outcast" is a very real word and feeling I've felt.

There I was, almost friendless, as my so-called friends of my "former" group just brushed pass my shoulders when they see me. I WAS NOT THEIR GROUP ANYMORE. An angonizing fact. In this sadness and tears, I made some strong friendships which endured till now.

I ask God, or anything high up, "what are true friends?" The answer I got is "true friends are like vintage port. To be savoured and enjoyed over almost eternity." With this...... I hope all who reads this till now, can find your true friends......