i had the pleasure of reading this tanka sequence at a panel during the Singapore Writers Festival 2022:

visiting the grave

of grandma

who never loved me

a moth joins me

in prayer


dead grandma

appears in dream


to be loved

i turn her down


lighting incense

at dusk

trail of smoke

leads me to

grandma’s photo


sounds of wailing

scratching walls

after midnight

ghost of grandma

appears in my room


corpse exhumed

from backyard grave

burnt to ashes

by the river ghat

rest in peace nana



of river and sea

paper cranes

snatched away

by hungry waves


silence at

war memorial


requires sacrifice

of blood and bonds



the midnight border


a handful of soil

goodbye home


the smoke

of enemy cigarettes

snakes across

demilitarised zone

warning shots fired


even the seas

do not get along


by green blue black

coexisting indefinitely

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