No. 9


Heng Siok Tian  

Shakespeare Garden

In my gardens, 
I stroll,
converse with Cordelia
wandering lonely as a daffodil,
banished by a unfatherly Lear,
seeking solace besides a tree,
perchance a tembusu or angsana?

Imagine their wilderness
in rainforest humidity
instead of barren moors,
is it worse there 
as a poor bare-forked animal,
with a kingdom lost?

In my cinemas, 
I watch
unEnglish movies “Ran”, a Japanese Lear,
“The Banquet” a Chinese Hamlet.
Imagine Shakespeare musing at the
globe-trotting remixes of his chronicles.

Imagine my wonder
confronting Titania
rehearsing in mid-summer madness
with hungry ghosts 
holding lanterns in mid-autumn festival,
with Puck peeping out from nowhere.

Imagine my tempest on Prospero’s island,
discovering a Shakespeare garden,
imagine Prospero should he be shipwrecked
onto the middle of the twentieth-first century,
in the midst of a major shopping district,
howling Gucci, Versace, McDonalds, KFC,
brave new worlds
with muzak that would numb Ariel and unsooth Caliban,

Imagine my swirling globe,
atop a rooftop garden,
as I sit, sip soya milk 
bought from a Singaporean kopi-tiam.




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everything published 
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with the authors.


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