INSTINCTS #2: ‘Graveyard Shift’ by Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Welcome to our second INSTINCTS publication: a free-style poem by new contributor, Kim Whysall-Hammond.

Kim says the poem was inspired by Malaysian folktales told to her by a friend. Enjoy!

Graveyard shift

In old Malay, draped in forest

lies heat swamped George Town

along tree lined avenues

abandoned colonial mansions

forsaken, cracked, diminished

irrelevant to today

they rot in new technological haze

yet from shattered empty windows

evening jazz drifts across warm night air

inside, lights flicker

shadows dance over damp walls

slim couples flirt and smoke

your exploratory visit

brings silence

reveals vacant rooms

missing floors instead of lively dancers

they were the old tenants

hantu partying on the graveyard shift

~

Old hotel, four square and white

now with modern pool and spa

and the original private beach

golden, secluded, sunlit

it’s a long walk

but a short drive

a bus plies the mountain road

past green country and

decaying tombs behind

collapsing walls

the last ride of the day

is often full

today extra guests board

quiet individuals

some tall and lanky

a woman in a green qipao

halfway back, the bus empties

although the feverish driver

can’t remember stopping

his new passengers have

truly started their graveyard shift

~~~

Kim-2
Kim Whysall-Hammond  is  an expert in obsolete telecommunications arcana
and believes, against all evidence, that she is a good dancer.  She has
been published by Ink, Sweat and Tears, Three Drops from a Cauldron,
Amaryllis, London Grip New Poetry and Crannóg. She also shares poems at
https://thecheesesellerswife.wordpress.com/

~~~

If you’re inspired by series and want to give Asian speculative poetry a go, check out our submission details here.

We also have an open anthology submission call for 100-word (drabbles) Japanese Fantasy stories. Submissions close November 30th.

We’d love to read your work!

Have a great week,

~Kelly~

~~~

  • Featured image from depositphotos.com (Fatt Tze Mansion in Georgetown, Penang)

BOTW: ‘Phoenix Song’ by Tutu Dutta

Recently I met (online) Malaysian-based author, Tutu Dutta, and discovered her wonderful fairytale-like stories.

Her latest book is featured below, but please check out her YA and middle-grade readers as well.

Phoenix Song by Tutu Dutta

Phoenix-Song-Cover-Image-300x300Blurb:

Arohan is desperate for a guitar. What eight year old boy isn’t? So when Arohan’s grandmother gives him a plain old bamboo flute for his birthday, he is understandably a little upset. But the xiao is no ordinary flute. An instrument steeped in the myths and legends of China, the xiao has its own special magic, as Arohan is soon to discover. When his brothers go missing on the slopes of the hill behind their home in Malaysia, Arohan must ensure they return safe and sound. But does he have what it takes to placate the guardian of the bamboo grove and summon the mythical phoenix? A touching and courageous story of a young boy’s love for his family and the magical things that can happen when you listen to your heart.

Available from Lantana Publishing

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About the Author:

Tutu Dutta was born in India, but grew up in Malaysia. She has travelled and lived in Japan and France as a student and later in Singapore, Nigeria and New York as the wife of a diplomat. Her educational background is in environmental science and she has a BSc from Universiti Putra Malaysia. She also devoted a few years researching this subject for a Master s degree in the University of Malaya before embarking on a career in public relations. Her lifelong interest in culture, folklore and children s literature inspired her to research and retell the stories in Timeless Tales Of Malaysia, which are based on folktales and legends from the Malay archipelago. She has a teenage daughter, Shona a self-professed harajuku-emo child who was born in Singapore. At present, she is living in Kuala Lumpur.

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Other books by Tutu Dutta:

Timeless Tales of Malaysia

Miyah and the Forest Demon (The Jugra Chronicles)

Eight Fortunes of the Qilin

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