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The Blue Moon Review
 

 
Gamelan
by Hsien Min Toh
It wasn't Hang Tuah who was sent to borrow

A divine gamelan, though my knowledge

Of Malay mythology is narrow.

His kris, being wavy, never had a dull edge,

And he set out instead to steal another's

Fiancée for his sultan.  What a rakish

Admiral!  How dangerously his rudders

Must close upon the edges of the brackish!

I imagine how a gamelan would sound:

Like fatted droplets on a rainforest floor,

High branches swishing to a stray macaque,

And, somewhere darkly close and underground,

A river rumbling on its determined tour

Inside the granite where it's good as black.


Hsien Min Toh is the author of two collections of poetry, Iambus (1994) and The Enclosure of Love (2001). His work has been published internationally in journals such as Acumen, Atlanta Review, London Magazine, Oxford Poetry and Poetry Ireland Review, among others. He is also the Founding Editor of the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, the leading literary journal in Singapore, and a recipient of the Shell-National Arts Council Scholarship for the Arts.

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