It’s no wonder
how they were made for storytelling
when paper came from their veins,
and us placing ‘scroll’ in their name,
and not thinking about the ink.
It’s a wonder
why Singapore cultivates them
these invasive, exotic, herbs
a long way from their Nile,
their deserts and their kings.
Perhaps it is
to follow in the footsteps
of those with great temples and tombs
and write our history on ancient canvas,
only hoping to be remembered.
My only wish
for this story’s retelling
is that we did not need to
import the ink.
Note: This piece was inspired by Cyperus papyrus, which is a native plant species to several countries in Africa. The Ancient Egyptians used this plant to make papyrus or paper. According to ‘A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore’ compiled by Kwek Yan Chong and colleagues in 2009, this plant is cultivated in Singapore, probably for water management and aesthetic purposes. It has known to be invasive in other parts of the world.
Cyperus papyrus by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.