Dystopic snowflake

I see your tangled smile,
your crooked patterns
twisted out of symmetry.

What happened to you?
Did you drink up too much icky smog?

I can see it in your eyes.
Gone to town with those impurities
and let them cling to your crystals, haven’t you?

But with an open bar in the currents,
a free for all pollutant buffet,
you really cannot be blamed
for the leftovers we blew away.

Note: This poem is loosely inspired by the fact that air pollution can affect snowflake shapes but not necessarily it’s symmetry. More scientific literature on snowflake shapes needs to be developed before any concrete conclusions can be made. This poem dramatizes the worst. Read more about snowflakes and pollution here!

Creative Commons License
Dystopic Snowflake by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Two Years and A Few Hours

This piece is in response to the news that some school mergers will occur, more specifically Junior Colleges. This poem is dedicated the students, teachers, staff and alumni of the affected schools.


The first time I found out I was dyslexic,
I was in denial.
My teacher pulled out my essay,
circled ten words,
all the same
spelt differently,
and asked,
‘Which one is correct?’

It was my A-level year,
and I rushed to get tested
and then rushed my special needs applications.

Suddenly,
two years turned into
two years and a few more hours.

Words still seem to skip up and down my pages
and letters are changing places;
my essays are a playground for
the written language.
It is the chaos of playing catching,
and I am still trying to keep up.

Now, it weaves into my work,
threading the pieces together,
like a jigsaw with no big picture to follow,
and so I see ‘merging’ and read ‘closing’,
I see ‘moving’ and read ‘demolishing’.

I read an article and noticed
they circled a handful of schools
Junior Colleges,
with same syllabi
built differently
and asked,
‘Which ones are correct?’

Soon the place I first found the playground,
I will read as a graveyard. Exhuming footsteps
from repurposed ground is too massive
a feat, but it doesn’t matter. Soon it will be illegal.
Our late nights are over, with
bubble tea and cup noodles,
and coffee stained notes
spread across every reachable surface.

Two years may have turned into
two years and a few more hours,
but it was never after 9pm,
more like reaching early to copy homework,
rushing between lectures,
sleeping between tutorials
and lingering during breaks.

The aunty is chasing us out now,
it’s time to leave the grounds,
she is going to lock the gate,
she sends us all packing home,
holding us to our promises of
play and sleep and dreams,
outside of school.

I used to see ‘lock’ and read ‘safeguard’
but now I see ‘lock’ and read ‘forsaken’.

Creative Commons License
Two years and a few hours by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Cheat Sheet

I had lost track of how long I had been sitting here,
no differentiation between night and day, time and place,
a cloud of mathematical symbols,
enveloping me in a bubbles,
my handwriting in font size four,
what better way to optimize the space
on an A4 sheet of paper?

Note: ‘Cheat Sheet’ is a piece of chop poetry with the original text coming from Agnes Chew’s ‘The Desire for Elsewhere’. It is dedicated to all the students about to sit for exams.

Creative Commons License
Cheat Sheet by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

ORAGAMI

This is dedicated to the cast and production team of Normal, 2017, written by Faith Ng and Directed by Claire Wong. It was a pleasure having you share your secrets with me. This poem was also partially inspired by the documentary: Origami Code.

From a single sheet,
Possibilities multiply
With every fold and crease.
The complexity of a plane
Holding secrets worth revealing,
Stay hidden in the folds.
Unwrap to find the simplicity,
Carefully unfolding
But never un-creasing.
The damage left is permanent:
When splayed out, it is vulnerable
When shaped, it is beautiful.

 

Creative Commons License
ORAGAMI by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Anoxia

Anoxia wears her hair down, her long dark fringe covering her face. She sits quietly in undisturbed corners with little foot traffic and sitting on her favourite warm brew.

She tends to her musings in isolation, drafting her news creations whilst reviewing her older inkblots, working on them, building on them, smudging their edges with thick ink, casting shadows into her white notebook that was never meant to stay white. They were nothing like her sister’s, Aerobic, bright colours and intricate details.

She signs her name –a bleak scratch – in the corner, conveniently leaving the date out at times. A dedicated artist; she remained elusive and mystifying especially when her pieces were unearthed. Anoxia’s work sat in the depths of her notebook until curious explorers walked onto undisturbed corners with warm brews.

Creative Commons License
Anoxia by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lifeforms

There is a quite breath
rustling through the field,
where nodes lead to answers,
with the networks found
at the ends of monopodic branches,
reviving more than just
a layer of tissue,
soon tugging veins,
(never at vines)
rooting them with the strength
to support life
regardless of its form.

Note: This piece was inspired by the article Spinach Leaf Transformed Into Beating Human Heart Tissue and some preliminary readings on Spinach anatomy.

Creative Commons License
Lifeforms by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.