Sunday, May 17th, 2009
This post will be a work in progress. Work is piled high and I’ve intentions to write this ascent of my second G7 in the mold of Chronicles of Tahan—in verse. Ideas are in the head, but finding the time to sit and write is not an easy task. And so it is I will write in bits and pieces till all is complete. For now, what appears will be, in Eliot’s words, “a heap of broken images,” and it will fit quite nicely into what I’ve started for “Chronicle of The Gunung Yong Belar”.
Self-Portrait on the peak of Gunung Yong Belar
This tale tells the story of the fateful meeting with the dragon of Mount Yong Belar. The tale begins with an impending war drawing ever nearer. Evil forces are forging ties with neighbouring forces to raise a formidable army against the King. To save the land, the King embarks on a journey that takes him to the Blue Valley, the barren stretch of Botak Hill, the desolate camp of Tudung Periuk, and Kem Kasut before he can humble himself before the throne of the unicorn of Gunung Yong Belar to seek an alliance against the approaching army. But surprises await him as he discovers his plot and his lot.
And so here are lines lines lines of the walk in the jungle:
20090501 • Day #1, Morning
The path branched off in many places;
Each time off’ring a way seemingly more pleasing.
Soon, I found myself in a disorientating maze
I would have tender’d reasoning senses for madness
Had it not for the many the seemingly ominous
Serpents of at least a few thousand feet long;
There on the ground they lay silently—
Their presence forebode an unlikely doom
Should they—or ev’n one—be provoked to rouse
And be denied their dreams of a thousand eggs.
Wake them not!
Wake them not from their slumber-state!
Once observed, the bodies of the huddled serpents
Seem’d to lead the way to my single horned beast;
T’was now easier to unravel this present maze than
Theseus did in the Labyrinth.
When he overcame
His two-horned adversary, Theseus had with him
A ball of thread tightly rolled by his love
To lead him out.
I had none. I needed none.
Carefully side steps the leathery-like hide
Some wrapped in blackest black
Some with crimson stripes,
Some with blue and others of green. Some with hissing
Their bodies seem’d to stretch on and on;
Their heads were not seen, and unknown it was
From whence they came. Their bodies were all.
The creatures shed all shyness and sought prominence
in every little nook and corner.
Soon they were everywhere.
20090501 • Day #1, Evening
The glorious sun has near ran its course
And still I was not at rest at a river’s bank.
Five hours of a constant march it should have been;
But seven hours have I walked along the trail
To the peak of Mount Yong Belar, and
That spot that would be my home was not in sight.
It has taken me so much longer than planned;
For I had walked I back and forth along the same trail
With eyes glued to the ground, carefully scanning
For an inapposite whiteness of square paper trails
Scattered amonst the natural colours of the wild.
Seeing none, I looked up at branches, searching
For the distinctive marks of our absent guide.
But none I saw…
In the night, with cold wind biting into my bones,
I called out repeatedly,
”Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold”
And behind my back a firm resounding echo was heard:
”Panas. Panas. Panas. Panas.”
‘Twas like a spell chanted to counter the bewitching cold.
“It’s all in the mind,” said Botak Chin.
And I gently nodded my head and in silence whispered,
“Yes, Master,” like a wide-eyed green Padawan would.
20090502 • Day #1, Late Night to Early Next Morning
Hypnos came to shower his gifts upon the King,
But slight t’was the little gift of sleep awarded.
For while the King slept he fought; the gravity
Of Nature most p’werful yanked at him—
Not once nor twice, but countless times—
‘Till it was a norm to see him sliding and gliding
Down the uneven slopes that was his bed.
Throughout the night, ‘it was towards the dangers
Of a rushing river of cold waters he would go.
Like Sisyphus condemned to rise and fall with
His rolling rock upon a hill for all eternity,
So, too, the King was made to stamp his foot
Upon the ground and to push himself up anon.
When the crickets and cicadas silenced themselves;
When shy feather’d creatures began their little songs;
When dew drops came together and fell gently upon the ground;
When the inky cloak of day is substituted with a lighter hue;
The King rose.
Though slight was the gift of sleep,
Tired sluggishness of the ev’ning before did flutter and flit
It’s wings and to whence it came, departed.
A current in the jungle
Picked his bones in whispers. As the King rose and fell
Over the hills that numbered from one to seven,
He seemed to pass the stages of his age and youth—
And entered the vortex chamber of the unicorn of Gunung Yong Belar.
Pretty Big Budding Fern
20090501 • Day #2, Noon
Having left all but one behind, the walk was a lonely one.
Still, Meng Chwen marched on and on, singing
”Just up to the top of the hill,
Upping and upping until
I am right on the top of the hill.”
Upon the hour, Meng Chwen came face to face
With Botak Chin, who was surprised by such a sight.
Thought he that Meng Chwen had sped off
He wished he had not made the wish the day before;
T’was all there—Oh! Look thee up in the sky. See you not?
There it is. The white-out. His white-out.
Many times has Meng Chwen encountered the plight
Of such pure blindness of sight.
Oh, how many times has it happened?
With a heavy forced suspiration of forc’d breath
And a slow pendulumic rocking of his head,
The silence in the air was broken;
“So many, so many. So so many—
T’was so at Tambuyukon. So, too, at Besar Hantu,
Nuang, Tahan, Hulu Semangkok and Suku.”
There’s nothing to see, so when
You’ve got to the top, what then?
“Just down to the bottom again,”
Said Meng Chwen
Then the unicorn of Yong Belar appeared.
Botak Chin & His Lunch at the Summit of Gunung Yong Belar
20090501 • Day #2, Night
share in the meal
the King partook in the cooking
it is best to be super extreme
the saltier the better
the sweeter the better
20090501 • Day #3 Morning
The King learns of his lot.
For the third time in as many days,
The King did what only a Meng Chwen could do.
He missed the junction that had opened its gates
To the path that leads towards the lands where
His humble people and Queen do greet one another
With a “Hello” or a “Kierro” when people meet and
Exchanged “Tooloo” for Godspeed and fare you wells.
Anon, he walked on unknowingly
Ever in ascending crescendo for moments long
Along the path to the unicorn of Gunung Yong Belar.
20090501 • Day #23 Evening
The King in stately steps strolled the
Sweet scented sections of the forest
‘Till he came before the steps
numbering two hundred and eighty eight.
More will come soon…
Nepenthes on Gunung Yong Belar