Monday, March 27, 2017

Tall Oldgrowth Coastal Forest of Marsiling

My Rotherham Gate

In the 70’s,
Rotherham Gate can still be seen
as a charming pair of mossy concrete posts
with wrought iron gates and spiky fences.
I knew it well
as I lived only a stone throw away.
And as often as I took the road - a young man -
down the gate and jogged along the picturesque coastal road,
I encrypted a world of a past-present tense
pressed in by nuances of green
romancing every step in me as always
a lone runner today.

In year 2000,
I drew a sketch like a swiftlet would make her nest.
Au naturel yet home of my reality,
A gate of mine now – grit, spit, blood and tears.
And Bumber dear o' so very near
Her rest on sunset meadow endears. 
No one knew better than me like the oldgrowth forest
lording over the gate - my touchstone of time.

In 2017,
I stood by now a solitary invisible gatepost.
I met a young man jogging pass.
He did not see me but I did with my 58-year-old eyes.
I knew where he was going and more. He did not.
And how could he have known the heart of this oldgrowth forest?
Not Endospermum diadenum or Lindera lucida,
Not Macaranga conifera or Bauhinia biflora,
Not Ilex, Palaquium, Archidendron ellipticum…
No, not a single tree that holds up the sheltering sky.
But now he knows.
He knows I loved him and always will.

- Joseph Lai

Me and Bumber
My sketch of Rotherham Gate and plants in year 2000.

Tidal creek Sungei China nearby. 

Trees of oldgrowth forest averaging 30m.

The oldgrowth forest lording at the Causeway over surrounding farmlands in a archival photo dating the 1950s.

Rubus moluccanus 2017

Coastal road of Marsiling. 

Large banyan engulfing the remaining gatepost below the oldgrowth forest 2017.

The canopy of the oldgrowth forest 2017.

Lindera lucida 2017

Endospermum diadenum 2017

No comments: