Wednesday, 5 March 2008

tribute to grandmothers

Masa auntie dok kemas barang kat office auntie semalam, auntie terjumpa a poem auntie wrote a few days after our tok, Tok Bibah, passed away. I think auntie e-mailed this poem to mommy and mushu but just in case they have lost it, here it goes again (auntie dah hilang soft copy, so auntie has laboriously re-written it):

Limericks for my grandmother

She was a budding eleven
When she was banned from her playing haven
Her mother said you should no longer climb those trees in the garden
Stay at home and from your sisters get the domestic lessons
For come the month of seven
You'll be married to your cousin

Five children and miles of journet later
She was barely two and twenty if she was a day older
When the news came that her husband and anchor
Slain by enemies in the forest yonder

She remembered their vows together
Education is the most precious gift we could offer
To our children, equally sons and daughters
These promises she would never break asunder

Unlearned in the lettered world herself, she went on
No jobs were too difficult, never easily put upon
I must at least see through my eldest's schooling, she determined
No matter that she was a girl, and people around were jeering
That she'd be slaving in the kitchen in the end

Her widowed state was never a hindrance
To enjoying life as given by God abundance
She, on the other hand, never refused Almighty's bounty
Who gave her two more husbands and children aplenty

She was ever the maternal harbour
Pulling sons, daughters, their descendants together
In subtle harmony and candour
In sadness and in laughter

One of her last words keep haunting me
With my granddaughter I would like to be
But she lives in yonder state
In a tower with height so great
She'll have difficulty if I'll be ill
I don't want to do this to her, even if consent she will

In her eternal sleep pearling dews sprinkled her forehead
Her ending was husnul khatimah we sincerely prayed
At eighty she has gone to meet her Creator
But her spirit lives with us forever
And forget her we will never
Tok Bibah in our minds, constantly, ever.

Al Fatihah

26th May 2003, noon.

In the spirit of celebrating grandmothers, here's another poem I wrote in memory of my honorary grandma, Tok Lebaq:

An Ode to Tok Lebaq

(who passes peacefully on the 8th of May 2005, May Allah Bless Her)

(fashioned after Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese”)

How do I remember thee? Let me count the ways:

I remember when your name was fist mentioned,

Spoken with underlying affection,

I wondered at the person,

Who could invoke such deep devotion,

From a granddaughter who otherwise seems utterly “no-nonsense”

I remember that day I met you,

Such a wonder I should tell you,

That a big, bulky name has been given,

To such a tiny graceful woman

The most profound thing I remember though,

Is how warm you welcomed us all,

So gracious a host I couldn’t ask for,

You embraced us into the family with sincere candour

I remember your eyes and seasoned face

They mirrored well-numbered journeys through time and space

Of life full of wisdom and sage

That never waned in spite of your age

We will always remember our honorary grandmother

With fondness in hearts but regrets never

You have touched our lives and somehow make them richer

We shall treasure that always and forever

May Allah bless you with His most worthy Rahmah

Tok Lebaq, we solemnly bid you goodbye with His words, al-Fatihah

May 10, 2005

12 noon

Where is that poem you read for Mak on her birthday a couple of years ago? I hope you have not lost the scraps of paper we wrote it (in all of five minutes) on.

1 comment:

shilla66 said...

cung ....
wish i got flair for writing tooo uwaaaaaaaaaa