Carmel Chameleon: Migs Bravo Dutt

February 4, 2019

 

Migs Bravo Dutt lives in Singapore and has been published across countries, regions, and cultures. Her short fiction has appeared in 22 New Asian Short Stories 2016 and The Best Asian Short Stories 2018. She has co-edited "Get Lucky: An Anthology of Philippine and Singapore Writings", a Singapore Writers Festival bestseller in 2015. Migs has contributed poetry to SingPoWriMo; From Walden To Woodlands; Ceriph Literary Journal; My Lot is a Sky; and Anima Methodi (Singapore).  Her two poems appeared recently in Issue 7 of TAYO Literary Magazine (2018, USA) and new ones are forthcoming in a US literary magazine in February (USA, 2019). She has also written for Royal Bhutan Druk Air’s Tashi Delek and other travel guides and newsletters. 

 

 

 

 

 

"I've always believed that we are all interconnected however far the geographical distance. I try to show this in my various writings. I'm sharing a few poems in this submission - Friday Morning at the Barrage; Carmel Chameleon; Travel Notes - which I hope will likewise convey the message of connection."

 

 

 

Friday Morning at the Barrage
 

I watch a colony of ants emerge 
From a crack nearby, an offshoot 
Of the digging for a tower that will soon rise
Not too far away from this man-made lot

 

They say today’s tragedy is man-made too
But I am here and shouldn’t be bothered 
By the flooding halfway across the world 
I can just sit on this rock and watch the ants 

 

And breathe in the morning sea breeze 
I can just watch the birds as they emerge 
From the clouds and pass me by
Without a glance as though I were a rock 

 

But now my old folks’ tales are flooding back 
They said I am a descendant of John
The cowboy from halfway across the world 
Even he was never really alone 

 

 

 

Carmel Chameleon
 

You used to marvel at the roaring sea 
And the goldfinch that swooped down the rocks 
But in time your gaze became empty like 
The mansions along tree-lined roads nearby

 

You stopped longing for things beyond today 
And you have returned to your faith, too, 
That is how we found ourselves at Mission 
Where you tried to say your mother’s prayer

 

Then you took refuge under a cypress tree 
Where you sighed and wanted to decompress 
You hid it from me then though I could see
And smell the traces after you were done 

 

Now away from Carmel, trails of smoke 
Wafted from the incense at the altar 
And I remember the white stick you held 
Smoke, too, escaped from your lips that day 

 

Cigarette—feminine, gentle, sibilant 
Wrapped in white and ends in diminution
As though harmless—your loyal companion 
In solitude and perhaps until the end

 

 

Travel Notes
 

On the twentieth floor of a historic hotel
I open heavy blinds that reveal buildings
In stages of birth and decay
Scarred ones beside steel rises 
Towering above shacks and sidewalks 
Where motorbikes are snakes on steroids 
Slithering between fancy cars and delivery trucks
As a black swift cuts across the setting sun

 

Along the Mekong, a woman in gray dress
And conical hat sails away in her boat 
As though burdened by a new disappointment
Across the opera house, an old couple hawks
Maps and local trinkets that a lady ignores
For shinier jewels and logos in glass cases
I draw the blinds and step out for a map
To retrace the stories that were erased last night

 

 


 

 


 

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