National Day Special

Singapore Celebrates…

After a pause of the pandemic years, this island with its otters, idyllic beaches, palm trees, angsanas, parakeets and golden orioles mixed with modern technology and tall skyscrapers gears up to celebrate its National Day — a day when it came to its own fifty seven years ago. Veteran writer and academic, Kirpal Singh, who was a young boy at that time (1965), shares with us his memories of what had been the past in the years Singapore was born as a country. On the other hand, Tan Kaiyi, a young writer, celebrates the feeling of holiday in the air with a dark story — a typical local favourite — focussing on the parade. We also share from our treasury some pieces by expat writer Ayesha Baqir and poetry by iconic names from Singapore like Desmond Kon Zhicheng–Mingdé and Marc Nair — all these giving us a glimpse of Singapore of a post-independence era.


The ‘New Kid on the Block’ Celebrates…Dr Kirpal Singh ruminates over what led to the making of an island state, Singapore. Click here to read.

No Rain on the ParadeTan Kaiyi goes on a hunt for the National Day Killer. Click here to read.

Singapore’s Secret Recipe by Aysha Baqir … Click here to read.


The Contingency of Saying and Eternal Motion by Desmond Kon… Click here to read.

Rasam & Sunil the Brahmin by Marc Nair. Click here to read.


The Contingency of Saying and Eternal Motion

By Desmond Kon Zhicheng–Mingdé

The Contingency of Saying

If I say I love you.
If I say this love we share will be our last.
If I say we should trust our every emotion.

That even at their darkest, they reify the same.

The same culling of past acts of love, of endearment.

That’s what the novel was, haven’t you known all along?

A book of letters, each epistle like a gift of the angels.

If I say you should stay.
If I say this staying will be forever.
If I say every decision arrives at the same decision.

That as you confessed: you are, as I am.

You are, as I am content in this mirror of things.
All things now made for this, to house our love.

Eternal Motion

~ After David Medalla’s Cloud Gates

There is no redundancy here.
There is no superfluity, even in life’s assessment.

No one’s looking.
No one, Oh Ephemerae of Dissolutions.
No one is there, in the room where it all happened.
So long ago, the memory has become a fiction.
The room seems like a fiction, but it is real.
You know it is real, its squarish angularity.
I know it is real, the way you hold my hand.

The repetitions are eternal inversions.

Of an extended metaphor extending itself,
series of infolding turns, so much as to disappear.
No lodged positions, no milky consistency.
The resulting invisibility, also a contingent condition.

It is there, it exists like this coloured sky.
No one’s looking, but there’s our seat, ensconced.

~ Penned specially for the event, In Stitches, this poem was read at the National Gallery Singapore on 28 January, 2018.

~ Penned specially for the event, In Stitches, this poem was read at the National Gallery Singapore on 28 January, 2018

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, a quasi-memoir, five hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than twenty books and co-produced three audiobooks. Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Poetry World Cup, Singapore Literature Prize, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards. He helms Squircle Line Press as its founding editor. He can be found at: