When religion enters the equation, in Singapore, we often find ourselves unable to disentangle the real issues and engage in constructive discussion. Sincerity is absent if honesty and openness must be checked in at the door when religious matters are to be discussed. It does not help when the Government and authorities choose softly-softly approaches to problem-solving when religion is involved as it only entrenches existing attitudes and behaviours and sends the wrong signals to the impressionable in society. It also emboldens those who know that playing the religion card often puts a stop to conversations.

The Horns of the Morning, Phillip Larkin

The horns of the morning
Are blowing, are shining,
The meadows are bright
With the coldest dew;
The dawn reassembles,
Like the clash of gold cymbals
The sky spreads its vans out
The sun hangs in view.

Here, where no love is,
All that was hopeless
And kept me from sleeping
Is frail and unsure;
For never so brilliant,
Neither so silent
Nor so unearthly, has
Earth grown before.

Phillip Larkin


The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found 

A hedgehog jammed up against the blades, 
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once. 
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world 
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence 
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind 
While there is still time.

In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself… I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see.
— C.S. Lewis

The Bird-Understanders, Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one

the way you write me from the gate at the airport

so I can tell you everything will be alright

so you can tell me there is a bird

trapped in the terminal all the people

ignoring it because they do not know

what do with it except to leave it alone

until it scares itself to death

it makes you terribly terribly sad

You wish you could take the bird outside

and set it free or (failing that)

call a bird-understander

to come help the bird

All you can do is notice the bird

and feel for the bird and write

to tell me how language feels

impossibly useless

but you are wrong

You are a bird-understander

better than I could ever be

who make so many noises

and call them song

These are your own words

your way of noticing

and saying plainly

of not turning away

from hurt

you have offered them

to me I am only

giving them back

if only I could show you

how very useless

they are not

(From One Hundred Years of Solitude)

When he was alone, José Arcadio Buendía consoled himself with the
dream of the infinite rooms. He dreamed that he was getting out of
bed, opening the door and going into an identical room with the same
bed with a wrought-iron head, the same wicker chair, and the same
small picture of the Virgin of Help on the back wall. From that room he
would go into another that was just the same, the door of which would 
open into another that was just the same, the door of which would
open into another one just the same, and then into another exactly
alike, and so on to infinity. He liked to go from room to room. As in a
gallery of parallel mirrors, until Prudencio Aguilar would touch him on
the shoulder. Then he would go back from room to room, walking in
reverse, going back over his trail, and he would find Prudencio
Aguilar in the room of reality. But one night, two weeks after they took
him to his bed, Prudencio Aguilar touched his shoulder in an
intermediate room and he stayed there forever, thinking that it was
the real room. On the following morning Úrsula was bringing him his
breakfast when she saw a man coming along the hall. He was short
and stocky, with a black suit on and a hat that was also black,
enormous, pulled down to his taciturn eyes. “Good Lord,” Úrsula
thought, “I could have sworn it was Melquíades.” It was Cataure,
Visitación’s brother, who had left the house fleeing from the insomnia
plague and of whom there had never been any news. Visitación
asked him why he had come back, and he answered her in their
solemn language:

“I have come for the exequies of the king.”

Then they went into José Arcadio Buendía’s room, shook him as
hard as they could, shouted in his ear, put a mirror in front of his
nostrils, but they could not awaken him. A short time later, when the
carpenter was taking measurements for the coffin, through the
window they saw a light rain of tiny yellow flowers falling. They fell on
the town all through the night in a silent storm, and they covered the
roofs and blocked the doors and smothered the animals who dept
outdoors. So many flowers fell from the sky that in the morning the
streets were carpeted with a compact cushion and they had to clear
them away with shovels and rakes so that the funeral procession
could pass by.

He would shut himself up for hours on end to play the zither. One night he sang. Macondo woke up in a kind of angelic stupor that was caused by a zither that deserved more than this world and a voice that led one to believe that no other person on earth could feel such love. Pietro Crespi then saw the lights go on in every window in town except that of Amaranta.
— One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Upper Pond Tree House. Another beautiful piece from tree house bed and breakfast in Issaquah - Treehouse Point. The nest was designed for families and it has a a table that can seat 6 people and beds that can sleep up to 4 individuals. A nice outside deck is perfect for observing a serene upper pond and lounging during warm months. Located in Issaquah, Washington, USA.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines. 

Write, for example,’The night is shattered 
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’ 

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines. 
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. 

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms 
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. 

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too. 
How could one not have loved her great still eyes. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines. 
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. 

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. 
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. 

What does it matter that my love could not keep her. 
The night is shattered and she is not with me. 

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. 
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. 

My sight searches for her as though to go to her. 
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. 

The same night whitening the same trees. 
We, of that time, are no longer the same. 

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her. 
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. 

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before. 
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes. 

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her. 
Love is so short, forgetting is so long. 

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms 
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her. 

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer 
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Pablo Neruda :

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of the easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost