Sunday, June 27, 2010

Green, Green Bintulu.

I am back to the beautiful jungle surrounding of our chalets in Bintulu, something we miss very much in Kuching. We arrived here on the 22nd June around 8.00 pm after a 11 hours journey by road from Kuching city.
The following day I had a walkabout at the farm and was greeted by the fruits of the 'Nangka' ( Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus) ) that were ripening. It has been about fours years since we planted this tree next to our verandah. It provided shade besides a haven for tree shrews, squrrels as well as birds. The fruits bore marks of being eaten by squirrels. Well, we've been away in Kuching for the last two months and our absence here must have made the squirrels happy with big feasts of the Nangka . We cut open one fruit and the flesh was very sweet, aromatic and crispy. (see inset)
Looking south from our verandah the view was just lovely and very natural. In the picture above the middle ground is filled with scarlet red flowers of the Pagoda flower ( Clerondendron paniclatum) with its typical broad glossy leaves. This is the view when I sit for my afternoon tea by the verandah.
Looking west the jungle remains intact and the island of large trees which were well preserved rose 20-30 meters above our rooftops. Closer to our chalet's back door the long and big fronds of the Bird's Nest Ferns have grown large.
The Bird's Nest fern just outside the back door leading to the garden outside. Below I found the Red Ti ( Cordyline Terminalis) growing luxuriously at the open garden in between our chalets.
I guess I need to cover more grounds at the farm after today and catch up what I miss most of Bintulu - jungle green and fresh fishes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Images of Bintulu Today

Fishing boats parked near Kidurong township

Fresh fishes on sale by roadside near Kidurong township

Bintulu town fountain adorned by flowering ixora 'sunkist'

Monday, June 14, 2010

42 Years Ago - a poem

Forty two years ago, when I was at the fragile age of 17 I was studying English literature at the Tanjong Lobang School in Miri. As part of the English syllabus we were taught Shakespearean plays ( Macbeth) and our teachers enrolled us in many of the school dramas that were staged at the school and the local community's hall on a yearly basis. Thus I took to participate in at least three full-length English plays namely "The Government Inspector", " The Pillars of the Community" and "Charley's Aunt". I too wrote a number of poems in English and got them published at our school's magazine called the " Kenyalang School Magazine". Today I would like to recall one poem that I wrote in the magazine called " Intanawara's Look". In the poem I tried to explain something that is spiritually difficult for me to understand then ( in highlighted letters below). The poem was set in a place called Intanawara with two lovers in a location best described now as 'environmental -friendly'. Here's what a fragile, little me wrote:-

Intanawara's Look

Silver line was the road to wind
A shine of gold too by the sun
So merged the trees to green screen
As the brightest engagement was to begin
Before it a sufferer must have all he had
For the mist had it all barred
Since moment crept untold and not say
Streaks of day fought to appear
Then the mist to sparkling gems
And the leaves to a merry hymn
For the day was a heaven's ray
A diamond that to a crystalline plate lay

This place was not a whole paradise
More multitudinous the true paradise a glimpse
Filled with underlying forget- me- not
The fragrance to smell was all the lot
There to meet Sitinati and Saheed
Accustomed with the part of life they played
They knew not still of their futures more
As words cans't be now that of tomorrow
Saheed stood on Intanawara's grassy moor
Whilst Sitinati knelt among flowers glow
Facing each other their stares froze
A wink, they knew the feel and a sigh

The darkened day came nearer to night
From the diamond that to a crystalline plate lay
To yellowish and reddish ochre
For some slept and some awoke and stayed
As time now they departed to pave
It was whether he could do her a save
Or whether he could get her hand
For people are of certain and depend
So the night came weary by
And the answer, the truth was here to lie.


A little bit of promo here. The above poem is included in my poetry book published in 1981 in Kuching called "Pameran Lukisan dan Puisi Mood". Copy of the book is kept at the Library of Congress in America and the National Library of Australia.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blooming Kuching

Blooming bougainvilleas of the dwarf, free-flowering " Singapore Beauty " variety ( Bougainvillea glabra) at the Satok Flyover

I have indeed overstayed my trip to Kuching this time around. However I will not leave this city without putting its blooming record in writing and in pictures in this blog. The months of May and June brought in equal amounts of rain and sun and were ideal for many plants around the city. My favourite was the blooming bougainvilleas above. Next were the golden showers of the Cassia fistula. I managed to collect a few dozen of its pods to be brought to Bintulu later for propagation purposes. The purple to mauve colours of the " Pride of India" or what we call here locally as " Bungor"( Lagerstoemia indica) brightened the greenery around the Kuching Waterfront.
Finally, at my garden in Kuching I was thrilled by the naughty habits of the Drunken Sailor ( Quisqualis indica) who managed to climb over the fence and onto the front porch. Well, I've decided to make him a permanent feature to the front garden. Say Yo !! to the sailor from the Pirates of the Mediterranean ship! The beautiful mixed colours of the Lantana camara finally greet me daily at the back garden. The secret of making it flower is to give it full sun, generous manure and watering. The rest is magic.
Lantana camara - comes in various forms of white, yellow, red or pink colours. In the garden now showing a combination of all!

The golden showers of the Cassia fistula

From pink to dark red colours of the " Drunken Sailor" ( Quisqualis indica). This woody and vigorous creeper produce root suckers that are used for propagation. This climber is sometimes referred to as the " Rangoon Creeper".

Purple to mauve colours of the Lagerstroemia flos-reginae ( Pride of India)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Drunken Sailor Climbs Over

The Drunken Sailor ( Quisqualis indica )

The Drunken Sailor (Quisqualis indica) has been quite naughty recently. He has struggled to climb over the tall Carpentaria palm and clung to the front porch of our garden in Kuching. OK, I like the imagery of the early morning drinking bouts that have coloured his face a chubby pink. As the day progresses and heat takes on him his face transforms into a well-cooked lobster red skin. Has the drunken master retired from the " Pirates of the Mediterranean" ship? I wonder.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Images of Kuching Today

Tourists at Kuching Waterfront

Arch at China town section of Kuching City.

The Square Tower - a colonial heritage building at Kuching Waterfront

View of Kuching City from inside Fort Magherita