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2019 Singapore
Winning Poems
Winning Poets
1. Siti Yuliatun
2. Yulia Endang
3. Shy Lhen Esposo 
Winning Poems
Siti Yuliatun | For Your Sake

For the sake of a spoon of rice

For a sip of water

For the sake of the earth that I lived in

My body was touched

Poor sweat flow

My bones feel broken

But my feet didn't waver


I ask

At thatch on the edge of the road

Where is the angel?

Which is said to protect me

But thatch remained silent

I shouted at the waves

"I am tired, God...."

The waves rolled up my voice

Throwing it into the middle of the ocean

Then burnt to the reef


Ancestors' scales

Drop off me in my daydream

He said

"Women are born to love"

But I was far wasted

For the sake of scavenging dreams

I prostituted myself

Not to be laid

But squeezed in energy and heart


A slice of bread for the day

A sip of throat wetting coffee

According to the direction of the index finger

Screeches become songs

Curse complementary rhythm

"Then what should i do?"

I asked the passing lizard

"Just obey what they want"

Answer the fly that perched on the ear

The clock on the wall crept slowly

Just like me who is waiting for time

When will I return to Motherland?

Yulia Endang |  Burden of the Language

All the letters, the words, the sentences 

Jostling in distress 

Fear written all over her face

Demanding by the test 

She felt tension in her chest 

About dreams that she chases 


With all hopes swirling in her 

She sat in a corner 

Feeling heavy burden on her shoulder 

Tried to figure-out the future 

That seems to be a little bit cruel


Her past has brought her here in an unknown country 

Thought she could dodge from calamity and insanity 

Little did she know, that she will be welcomed by catastrophe 

While she has no idea what is gonna be


All the letters, the words, the sentences 

Did you know the difficulty 

To embrace new vocabulary 

In our memory which is troubled by unclarity 

And yes, I found smile on some faces in different places 

Broadly welcoming new guests 

Left me with questions in my head as I didn’t hear any syllable being stressed 


But why, why you’re late to compare 

And end up with being unfair 

And you keep on delay until all the letters, the words and sentences perish 

Then the rule you demolish 

But you forgot to unleash 

The burden of the language 

Shy Lhen Esposo |  The Noid Girls

That part of the road 

and sidewalk untended

where weeds and the windblown 

trash end up

and where the young go astray

the night invites them out


And they become like the tar on the road

melting as summer sweeps 

its long tail once more

separating from the road

and licks at the bluish worn stones


People peer through the glass

looking down toward 

the rugged ragged brick

to where the paranoid girls scurry

The junk they transport scattered 

against their wall


So chipped and bleached and cracked

embedded into the unplastered wall

addicted to the toxic

graffiti that tags it up

slowly becoming a piece 

of the dead street.

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