Ho Kin Yunn
Ho Kin Yunn’s work has appeared in Cha, Twenty-Four Flavours, Anima Methodi, SingPoWriMo (2017), and Food Republic: A Singapore Literary Banquet, among others. Feel free to reach him for anything writing related at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the fainting couch
I write this for no one in particular. Blindsided in its gesticulation is my assurance in the existence of a mind passingly my own, that grey matter sheathed in a prideful mane of black, apt in its voidness impending. Some assurance that with time, abysses can be manoeuvred, linkages coalesced. Someone once said of the distance between the brain and the mouth: so un-walkable! I ask myself: would I not have braved the distance to tell you in my own voice, what I now can only put down in such an expanded time? Such that all the corresponding events have undergone dustification, like the BMW outside my sister’s house, parked and undriven in years, every revision retyped till my elbows grow stiff. Grown folds in skin, which (obviously) denotes time folding in on itself. How much is left? One pontificates in this way, repeating messages that build rest but accumulate ammo for resentment. It’s anathema to me. Coffee enemas are the enemy. In between clogged drips I look up in bewilderment and thanksgiving, not knowing where nor how but always who. It was you, my love. Then this is for you as much as it is for me, for them, for her, for him, for Him? Who stood above through it all? Reclined to fall under the weight of something beyond my strength. Impossible. Wasn’t it written? My recollection dissipates. It does what it does. It serves who it serves, and therein I must exist. In between each act of servitude. What pathetic crisis is this? The one you sleep on but hope to wake from. Some kind of dream precursing putridity. Something must be. A Holocene of wobbly knees. Why write this, then. Who is it for, really. Maybe it just just just saves maybe. Maybe sub-vocalisations are to speech entirely lesser beings. Unnoticed so forgiven, but that’s not what I want. That’s the first thing I prayed would return, after all. Will it ever? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Like hell it doesn’t. When do the blind lose the desire to see? God is crazy. But He isn’t, isn’t He. James 2 or James 3? I’m speculating… Rats! Postulating returns on my grace. Postures of grace notwithstanding. Faith ever striding. I sold these for a time; assured; uninsurable; gift packs included; but which was the product? And was the other truly free? They both should be, though I receive them lying down, so who knows despite me. My daily bread through tube and timed dose. Time an emptied syringe right and it’s a loaded magazine. That’s what I learnt while reading myself, outside of myself, eyeing inwards. Saying with my eyes, saying: make me listen to me. Before I fade, will me to pray tell you tell me that it’s okay. It’s all well. Well it depends. It’s okay. It’s always allowed. Isn’t it? It is. And not everyone endures it. Not everyone comprehends.
What a painful bliss! What could it demean to me? Such a thing as this!
Linda L. Kruschke
Linda L. Kruschke writes candid memoir and fearless poetry, and delves into hard issues others tend to avoid. She aspires to show women that God’s redemption is one story away. She blogs at AnotherFearlessYear.net and AnchoredVoices.com, and has been published in Fathom Magazine, The Christian Journal, Bible Advocate, iBelieve.com, WeToo.org, The Mighty, and several anthologies. She is the editor of Swallow’s Nest, the annual poetry journal of Oregon Christian Writers.
Secrets and Lies
I didn’t tell a soul; I was afraid, ashamed.
I buried my secret like an iris bulb entombed so deep in the dark
muddied earth it could never find the light of day.
It rotted and festered molded by bitterness and odium.
It’s who I became.
One who believed the lie he told
—I liked it.
Because he loved me, so I must, right?
I knew I didn’t, as did he.
I wonder now why he didn’t feel shame.
Why was it me who carried the weight?
Of something so hideous I couldn’t let it leave my lips.
Silent years decayed in my darkness.
Eight orbits of the sun before I told.
My bulb safely interred, confined within
Sounds so noble, doesn’t it?
A highfalutin’ seven-syllable word for keeping truth hidden.
I wondered why the God I’d known stood aloof from my pain.
Why didn’t his light reign in that dark abode?
Was it he who had whispered the urgent warning to get out while I could?
In retrospect I see that he didn’t leave me even then.
Grace began to cleanse the shame as
he led me to see I wasn’t alone, but in fellowship with other girls
who had their innocence ripped away in a violent fray
Within a God who once felt far presented the choice of
digging a deeper grave
or giving in to the urge to grow.
So I released the anger and forgave.
I began to give my secret voice and it sprouted into a garden of stunning purple
iris, multiplying into healing blooms for others who had buried
their own secrets and believed the lie they were unworthy of love.
I shared my story and someone said Thank you for telling.
That was very brave of you.
Brave of me?
Those words meant to encourage assaulted me.
Anger flared again deep in my bosom at that thought, at the very idea,
that saying the words I was raped should require bravery.
I felt the world trying to bury me in shame all over again because if
I had nothing to apologize for, nothing to hide, then why was courage required to
utter this simple truth?
Don’t ever call me brave.
Instead hear my story, find your own bravery to believe my testimony.
Sweet Scent of Rain
The wafting scent of petrichor
Will remind me forevermore
Of streets with eucalyptus lined
Where friends and I both played and climbed
Those were the days of fun and cheer
Memories that I hold so dear
Before, before the terror came
And life was no longer a game
Oh take me back sweet summer rain
To when scraped knees were my worst pain
Bicycle rides on dusty roads
Catching pollywogs, snakes, and toads
Our little dog would bark and scratch
While we hid in the garden patch
Mom had told us Go pull some weeds
Why are they here—we planted seeds
Weeds often grow among the tares
Some people say God never cares
There was a time that I agreed
I believed He forgot my need
He allowed pain to enter in
My memories tainted by sin
Engulfed me in endless torment
And yet He also left this scent
A reminder of hope and peace
Assurance pain one day will cease
Flooding my mind with memories
Of joyful times I’ve been at ease
Life’s a balance of rain and sun
An inkling that when each day’s done
I’m one day closer to the truth
Pain tried to pilfer in my youth
The truth that I am beloved
My future’s not something to dread
My memories aren’t who I am
I belong to God’s perfect Lamb