A collection of poems about living in a dystopian paradise.
I live in Singapore. It’s an orderly, peaceful, efficient, tiny city-state in South-East Asia. One of the richest countries in the world; and one of the most unequal. One of the best education systems in the world; and one of the most oppressive.
I’m a teacher. Every school day, I take three trains and a bus to get to work. Along the way, I started writing to pass the time. I posted these poems online, and after a while had enough to gather into this collection.
The title is based on the Singapore national pledge that every student in a Singapore school recites at the start of every school day. It’s a hopeful pledge, the promise of a better tomorrow.
Each section of this collection of poetry takes a segment of the pledge as a starting point for exploration.
A personal favourite of mine is the poem below, “blasphemy”.
I wrote it as the Facebook posts, press releases and news articles were flying overhead between and about the children of our late Prime Minister.
you may be in heaven
but hollow is your name.
Your kingdom came crashing down,
your will was done in a “deeply troubling” way,
on paper, in contrast to what was said in Parliament.
Give us this day our daily allegations,
and forgive us our trespasses
on your property as we forgive those
who trespassed against common sense.
Do not put it to Cabinet Committee,
but deliver us from squabble,
You can get a copy of “We the Citizens” from Amazon or you can order a copy directly from me via the form below, at SGD$12 (excluding postage).