Spring 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 1


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

Arthur Leung


Nga Wu: A Trilogy

I. Haunting

Worse than the Tiu Tin ghost
Nga Wu appeared, suspended
above my bed, ceiling bound.
I hid my face behind papa's arm
for an elder dressed in black.

Narrow corridor, fourteenth floor
I saw a black figure behind
and ran, was able to run swiftly
as I wished, Nga Wu could not catch me.
I knew that was but a dream
and jumped out a window
high up the wall, woke with scream
awaking adults in the helpless house.

No more story to hear,
I cannot get rid of Nga Wu's ghost.
Journey to the bin, twelfth floor
garbage outside, my instinct
tells me everything is real.
I see a black mouth wide open.

II. Nga Wu

Same vision in my sleep.
I slipped out fourteenth floor,
walked downstairs, turned my head
and saw someone in black, I ran
breathless, gliding to a window,
an instant I jumped, screamed and woke.

Same warning of Nga Wu.
The dirty creature out there,
hair untidy, face wrinkled,
grin of a wolf, eyes of an owl,
stared at a small child alone.
She would seize and eat him alive.

Grandfather died long ago.
Inevitable, I finished dinner,
took the garbage out my dwelling,
collection bin at staircase,
dimness of corridor on twelfth floor,
inexplicable fright all familiar.
I saw Nga Wu creep on the wall
and beat sly steps, the window
open wide to swallow me –
beholder, you were not asleep.

III. The Revisit

Beyond that crayon scribble, the haunting of unknown neighbours.
Beyond that dull wall, mahjong clamoured.
Beyond that dimly lit corridor hid Nga Wu and two eyes of Tiu Tin devil.
Around that brown door lingered a boy punished by his grandfather, the ceiling
distant as stars.
Twelfth floor, the same door owned by new people.
Twelfth floor, children at play in wall scribbles so familiar with their laughter
and mine as one on
Twelfth floor, I spring and touch stars in a pulse
For I belong to here.
For this row of square tiles holds his wish to build houses – one for Ah Dee,
one for Ah Nok, one for Little Bird.


© Arthur Leung



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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