Three-Word Sutra

October 24, 2015

This poem was published in The Other Merlion and Friends (2015). It was shared before on Facebook.

2 (small)

Three-Word Sutra

Gahmens at first
Are always good.
All their policies
Can be understood.

With time, complacent,
Their hearts recede,
So our votes
Start growing feet.

But, where there
Exists no contest,
Don’t panic yet!
Don’t go protest!

Lay low longer:
Someone should come
Who’s either smarter
Or more dumb.

Wasn’t PAP once
Able to please
As citizens rejoiced
To make babies?

But progress with
Family emerged rough,
So it mandated:
“Two is enough.”

Now we’ve become
All bedroom bores –
Lacking babies, it
Throws open doors!

Our population explodes,
The economy booms,
Living costs soar,
Train breakdown looms…

Education had been
Oodles of fun
Before this hysterics
Over Number One.

From universities down,
The obsession grows.
Whether knowledge is
Loved, nobody knows.

With childhood scorched,
We’re taken aback
That children are
Encouraged to slack!

Which parents would
Volunteer their kid?
Who would want
Theirs graded stupid?

Or consider how,
In its privilege,
Our Gahmen has
Kept discourse underage.

With culture little
And attachment less,
It resorts to
Promote more openness.

Then protesters throng
Hong Lim Park!
Online vigilantes grow
And ranters bark!

Unable to cope,
The grip re-tightens –
What is achieved
When authority frightens?

O the chimeras
We shouldn’t ride!
O low-hanging fruits
We shouldn’t bite!

O the ponies
We must kick
For having overperformed
One lame trick!

Only by routing
Those entrenching mess
Can society begin
To make progress.

But politics is
A funny game:
Who votes difference
Gets the same.

Gwee Li Sui

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