"we have nowhere else to hide our dreams"

Alvin recommends these online literary links.


Even though there are more
websites on you than verses
Even though you evoke
cameras more than pride
postcards more than praise
Even though your titan child
is now terrorising history and
small children on Sentosa

Still you seem to have a face poets love
to woo. There was the old gentleman,
windswept, seablown, wandering home
with a suitcase of dreams, who
treated you like a queen, hoping
to press you for secrets.

And then the lady with the thick glasses,
who thought she saw Ezekiel's cherubim,
the sign episteme of higher forces
forever barring the way to paradise.

And that young man, himself half lion,
with barbed tale raised, his words coiled
like a fist. Eyes louder than silence.

Still others, perplexed
as much by your blank stare
as their maddening need to know,
burden you with the fret
of lost causes and years of waiting

Become now the need
to apostrophise what is rock
to make it bear weight.
How we wallow in metaphors!

As a child I walked through a garden
to gawk at the back of a giant too tall
for a child's mind
to wrap around. Risking the simplest
of pleasures: a closer glance, a furtive stroke,
Pitting heights with the dwarf twin, long since gone.
Reaching for scale and contact,

And now, as a man, forever measuring shadows.

No need to go on with this pretense,
these riddles and voices. This is a heap
of fashioned stone, too light to carry souls.

Rough beast, you are neither idol nor ideal.
Your heart is hollow, cold, and open
for admission, but we have nowhere else
to hide our dreams. Take what names
we have to give, and hold our secrets well
Keep what matters and what counts
The rest you can spit as spray.

Alvin Pang

"By night, The Merlion awakens during a spectacular light, sound and water show extravaganza. The 'Rise of the Merlion' will be staged three times a night. Colour lasers will shoot from the eyes of the Merlion and from the Musical Fountain in synchronisation with the symphony of dancing water fountains in a 15-minute show designed to be a crowd-pleaser"
-The Sentosa HomePage

"In the park people see Merlion from behind, so most visitors gather across the river."
-Japanese Website

"Perhaps having dealth in things, / Surfeited on them, / Their spirits yearn again for images"
-'Ulysses by the Merlion', Edwin Thumboo

"O feckless wanderer / remember to respect my creators."
- 'The Merlion to Ulysses', Lee Tzu Pheng

"I still do wish it had paws."

- 'The Merlion', Alfian Sa'at

Alvin Pang read English at the University of York, England graduating with First Class Honours in 1994, and is now a civil servant, His poetry has appeared in several poetry publications, including the anthology In Search of Words (1991). In 1995, he was commissioned by the Singapore Youth Choir to pen texts for several original choral pieces. His first volume of poetry, Testing The Silence, was published by Ethos Books in 1997.

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