For the luck of a rover

For the luck of a rover
the preacher is willing to forsake
his pulpit and the audience.
There is no worse suffering more
than that of a man whose words
come bouncing back as arrows
repelled and now are lodged
thick in his soul, the weight
becoming his age and surrender.

When the luck of the rover comes
the preacher must decide
whether to dismantle his lectern
and send the audience away
or just leave empty the scaffold
as audience waits on trashing feet
for the next hanging man or
the fear it so closely guards
in its imprisoned heart.

Then the preacher shall no more be,
with the rover’s luck like evening cloak
securing him to a loser’s journey
though he must keep on hoping
for that caged fear to be free
or a better preacher than he is
to stare down from his pulpit
before it too crumbles with the ravages
of arrows and age.

© SSJ 1980

< WDP: Fortune >
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We are no Methuselahs


We are no Methuselahs
To waste our time wasting time.

Life is republican and death
A silent democrat.

The growing will almost always
Take us forever.

The dying is always now
At the back of our heels.

©  SSJ 1980


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Looking Back Into Ten Years

Looking Back Into Ten Years is a collection of six poems
first published in Focus Philippines magazine,
issue of 5 April 1980.
© SSJ 1980


Liquid seeping through the ground…



Might be in the deep night she came …


We are no Methuselahs … 


For the luck of a rover ….


All before in the days … 

This is not like it, the visions …



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Might be in the deep night she came

might be in the deep night she came
while i in my long hair was dead
(i could never be sure). like a surgeon
must have stitched a heart pulsing red
she in her angel wings and denim pants
tugged at dreams she tied like
sunrising balloons above my head.

alive in the morning my senses thick
i fell in limerence with love.

© SSJ 1980

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Worms, Birds & In Between

The worms that could not up
surface above neat pavements
carpeted floors or cold tiers
find their places in vaults
of Adam’s kin’s blood and flesh

And the birds that could not down
high winds and lofty
crystal skies and perfect sun
are the sole streaking life
in the wild eyes of the dying

And in between the space is what
stretches tight the variable
colors of gravity.

© SSJ, 1979


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@ the Perdana Botanical Garden, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, walkway approaching the Fantasy Planet playground. Photogaphy by SSJ, 2015

There are alleys
Like branches of a tree:
You grow some
Or you shed some.

Shadows can sometimes
Be heedless;
They grow on you
Or vanish
Under the many suns.

There are feelings
Of having lingered
Too long
And feelings of
Not knowing
Where to belong,
Or feelings of
Some more time
Or some more things
Or none of these.

We have the power
To add or subtract
To multiply
Or Divide;
We grasp the real
And the imaginary,
Yet we must move
And from end to end
We cannot see.

There are times
We pace slowly
Around a corner.
We contemplate
The colors.
The mind grasps
And sometimes
The mind blames
The heart.

It is of the heart
Which knows the road
And steers the wheel
When the mind sleeps:
A low-beam here
And a high-beam on
The next fateful curve;
It is a niche
Which harbors fire.
And how we mold fire
Can lead us through
Veils of light or
Burning amber.

Walk your way
To your heart’s delight;
Nobody will be
Walking for you.
These path-walks are
Full of choices,
A puzzle laid out
As a book.
And he is doomed
Who cannot choose
The pages of
His storybook.

© SSJ, 1993 


@ the Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Garden), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photography by  SSJ, 2015

Author’s Note:

The pathways of life will not always be some walk in the park.  And when you find yourself against the odds, you must keep walking the pathways until you reach your own fantasy planet.  🙂   (The linked videos of the Perdana Botanical Garden, here and here, have been shared by their respective creators on, and are better enjoyed when played on higher resolution settings.)  –  SSJ, 17 Feb 2017


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the whale sharks of oslob

the earth-man dives from his dugout canoe into the cove
to stare the whale shark in its beady eye beneath the waves
they dance in fluid harmony:

to fathom the depths of their hearts 

to measure the breadth of their souls. 

miles away in a skycraper the pluto-man grins
as he opens his planner while thumbing his way
through the website that chronicles
the cove and the earth-man and his canoe
and the whale shark who dances to a lullaby:

there’s a babe in the crook of a mother’s arm, 
there’s a suckling in the cradle of the sea. 

© SSJ, 2012

Be Aware : A link to a video about the whale sharks of Oslob here:

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