Watching Fireflies in KL on Xmas 1998

We drove to see the fireflies

Surprised a night like this

No one but a boatman quietly rowing

Thousands of fireflies

Stars, moon and lightning

All at once   surreal

Fiery sparkles

dropped like rain

As if the angels were welding

A bridge to the heaven


The flies are blinking, twinkling

like lights on Christmas trees on and off

Like someone whose balance is uncertain after drinking

The night was soft as fur

The river of the voyages flowing

Cautiously over the dark distance

It is not the moon, I tell you, brother!

It is these fires

My chest caught fire


There was lightning

But no thunder, no sound, no rain


You put one of the flies on my palm

Let it die in peace

Your time to shine may be just tonight

I said, but I am your audience

I watched you dance your last dance

You lifted your veil and wrapped yourself in fire


We sat quietly at the name of no name

And in the trembling sky

A moon, a shell moon

The river reflects the stars,

As if the fireflies went to the sky and into the water.


The stain of fire

Is upon the world

Yellow, blue, red

It eats into the leaves

Smeared with saffron

Leaning against a dark velvet sky


If the water could dream

If the sky is a blackboard

The letter written on it would be:

Forget me not

The beauty of tonight will hurt

The rest of my life



* My Poet friend Chi’an is from KL, Malaysia