These poems and stories were originally posted on the AsianVoices Website (1997-2004), a site I created that featured poetry and fiction by young Asian writers. This is an archival version of the site.
My Lovely Cat
Look! You are taking a stretch,
and turning a somersault.
You like to muse over memories at night,
and your sparkling eyes are ever so bright
Your sharp eyes stare at a strand,
suddenly, you bury your head in my hand.
You crouch behind the couch,
waiting for a chance to catch a cockroach.
Your body is plump
but you like to jump.
Do you know, I like to stroke you,
my lovely cat.
~ by Susanna Wong
I am a Cat
Every day, eat, sleep and paly.
I love to sit by the window
to watch outside.
I am a cat.
Everyday, eat, guard and sleep.
You love to sit by the door
to bark at anyone passing by.
You are a dog.
Every day, I watch you
through the window.
Why don’t you come?
Why don’t you look around?
Why aren’t you a cat?
Or why are you a dog?
~ by Kwan Wai-ngan
It’s time to get up. I’m used to sleeping during the day and working at night. Well, sometimes I will go out and sunbathe in the afternoon when I am in a good mood. Don’t think I’m lazy. This is inborn.
After washing my hands, I start patrolling in the dark. With shiny moonlight in the clear sky, it is a perfect night to work in!
It seems to be a peaceful night and I hope that nothing will happen. Well, I should not be relaxed because crimes may happen anytime and someone may need my help. I do not have many weapons. My powerful weapons are my sharp claws and teeth. I am very quick-witted. With my sharp eyes and quick-action, I seldom fail to arrest the evildoers. Whenever I appear on the crime scene, there is no evil that can escape my fingers. I can smell the spirit of evil with my sharp nose. Sometimes the criminals beg me not to punish them and let them go, but I won’t. I have to uphold the law impartially. That’s why I’m sometimes not welcome in the dark.
Fighting crime is my job and I’m proud of it. My mission is important. Without me, the community would not be as peaceful as it could be. I always act on my own. Sometimes I meet some of my colleagues, but we seldom chat when we are on duty. We only communicate during our leisure time.
People always find us “cool”. Yes, being cool is our innate character. We talk or respond whenever we like; one can’t force us. Occasionally I like the company of others, but most of the time I like to be alone. Well, playing with the fools is sometimes quite fun. When I play Ping-Pong, they join in. I make the ball bounce then they get happy – even though they have to run a long way to get the ball back for me!
Some people like me very much because they appreciate my special character and my good figure—they find the way that I walk very attractive. Others hate me a lot and think I am too “cool” and unfriendly, especially one type of creature—dogs. They always chase me, but I am not frightened because I can run very fast, and I can climb up trees where they cannot reach me. Well, it is interesting and I will start a fight with the stupid dogs whenever I am bored. We are such “good” enemies.
Do you know who I am? People call me “Mi-Mi”.
~ Who am I? was narrated by Mi-Mi and transcribed by Dorothy Lam Ka Yee
Dear Sai Sai
I have been living with you since I met you. Time passes by, and this is our third year together. My first impression of you remains in my mind.Your eyes are very big, like two round black pearls. Your nose is flat and your mouth is small. Your big ears are like two inverse triangles on either side of your face. You are not beautiful, but very cute. The first time you came to my house, you were only a few months old. You were small and thin. You were afraid of the new and strange place and you just hid in your cage. You slept, slept and slept all day long. You seemed to be having beautiful dreams. A few days later, you were familiar with your new family. You went here and there in the dining room. Your eyes were full of curiosity. You may not remember that your adventurous stories took place only in the dining room at that time. The world was too big for you and you didn’t go any further. However, soon you became familiar with your entire kingdom. From the dining room to the bedroom, from the sofa to my bed, everywhere was an ideal place for you to rest.
You always make me think that you are more than a dog. You have your own characteristics, as do human beings. You smile when you are happy; tears run out from your eyes when you feel sad. Each night when father comes home, you bark urging us to open the door for you. You swing your tail showing your happiness. You are the most fervent dog I’ve ever seen. You are clever too–you know what we are talking about. When we talk about you, you raise your ears and listen. Whenever I disturb you accidentally while you are sleeping, you will show me your scariest face to tell me that you are annoyed.
I want to thank my mother bringing you home. You taught me something that I had never thought about before. I used to think that dogs were only ‘pets’ to people. But you stay with us when we feel lonely; you listen to whatever we say; you are always there when we need you. Living with you for three years, I realize that dogs are not toys to people. You have your own thoughts and feelings. You also need others’ love and you feel lonely when we are apart. I learn that we must respect your wishes.
Oh Sai Sai, my Sai Sai. You are not only a dog but also one of my family. I promise that I will love you forever.
~ by Jat Lai
Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t have any time to prepare. Coco had had a normal appetite until recently, when he began to vomit a couple of times a day. Then he was not eating anything at all and he became withdrawn and sullen. I took him to the clinic that we usually went to. The veterinarian, Dr Chu, examined him carefully, listened to his heart and lungs and felt his stomach. And then she told us that she had found a tubular mass in his mid-abdomen.
“He has a tumour. Even if it is surgically removed, he probably wouldn’t survive more than a year, and he might need weekly chemotherapy to make it that long. It would be very difficult and ……”
I couldn’t hear what she was talking about, though I tried to listen carefully. WHY??? WHY HIM?
Suddenly, I felt so cold. I just stood still and I could think of nothing to do.
At that moment, images from the past flashed back to my mind. It was my ninth birthday when I first met him and he was given to me as a present by my parents. I had dreamt a thousand times to have a dog, but I’d never thought that this dream would come true. Coco was so tiny and lovely then, with a delicate skull and star-like eyes.
Since I don’t have any brothers and sisters and my parents have to go on business trips regularly, I was really lonely and scared when I was left behind with the maid. However, my life changed when Coco came into my family. He stayed with me every day and night, shared my happiness and listened to my sorrows. He was by my side whenever I needed him.
He brought so much happiness to my life that I considered him to be part of my family. I loved him so much and treated him so well that even my parents envied him. But they could never know how much he gave me.
He was with me when I was in darkness, he was my friend when no one liked to be, he listened carefully when I needed to talk, he made me become happy again when I was sad … He had done so many things for me but what I could do for him at that time.
“Katie, do you understand what I am talking about?” asked Dr Chu.
“What? Sorry, I don’t know.”
Dr Chu looked at me sadly, “Katie, I can do a biopsy of the mass, let him fade away at home, or give him an injection and put him to sleep. What do you prefer?”
“Can I take him home now and then bring him back tomorrow for the injection.” I couldn’t bear to see him suffering anymore and I wanted to spend his last night with him.
On the way home, I could not control the tears streaming down my face; the pain inside me was so severe that nothing I felt could be put into words. When I returned home, I locked Coco and myself inside my bedroom. At that difficult time, my parents were on a business trip. Once again, I had no one to share my fears with.
That night, I prayed the hardest I had ever prayed in my life, in the hope that God would know my pain and sympathise with me.
I couldn’t sleep the whole night. It seemed my worst nightmare could not compare with what I was facing. I looked at Coco, my beloved companion, so that his face would be in my mind forever. I could feel Coco’s pain too, he looked at me with sorrow, seeming to know that he was going to leave me alone. I thought how great life was with him and how unbearable it would be without him. I didn’t want the night to pass. I hoped that time could stop at that moment, so that I could stay with Coco forever.
But God didn’t hear my prayers and the sun rose as usual.
The next morning, I took out my camera and took Coco to a park. I wanted to take some photos of him before he left. The weather was great that morning. Coco’s hair became golden under the sunshine. Instead of running around the park, he stayed with me and just looked around the place where he liked to play the most.
I put Coco in my arms to walk to the clinic. I walked slowly, hoping I would never reach it. When I stepped into the clinic, I was shaking. I found Dr Chu and told her that I was ready. She asked if I wanted to stay with him. I put him on the table, held his head and reassured him while Dr Chu administered the injection. Coco placed his last look on me, then after just a few minutes, he drifted off to sleep, his head cradled in my hand.
Coco, did you know that I wanted to give you the world, but I could only hold your head?
I felt detached from my body, as if the pain of this reality was too much for me to bear. I wanted to be with him to make sure that he was okay. I had read that death is something that happens to all living things. We could do nothing about this. No arguing, no denial, no hysteria, just acceptance of the inevitable.
At that moment, I knew how much it was costing me. To go with him, I gave up a part of myself. I could feel that I was losing it and I knew that even if I could smile again, I wouldn’t be as happy as I had been in the past. It would be different. Maybe the difference is so slight that no one will notice. But I will know what I am missing.
I looked at him. He looked like he was sleeping peacefully. I gave him a kiss and nuzzled my face against his. I was willing to do anything to bring him back, but the only thing I could do was to let him go.
My twelve years with him was really a short time, but we filled them with a happiness that can never be lost, even now. Although Coco has gone, I can feel his soul. He is still here with me, now. I know he is looking at me to see how I get on my life. He hasn’t left me alone. He is just using another way to be with me.
~ by Michelle Wong
I was shocked when I gave a hug to my dog, Bor Bor. A horrible sight came to my eyes—there was a big, bloody hole in one of her paws! I don’t know what had happened to her paw; I just felt that my heart was bleeding, too (I love her so much).
My mum and I took her to see the veterinarian the next morning. The clinic is located in Tsuen Wan, so we had to take a taxi. After a long journey, we eventually arrived. Pushing the door gently, we saw a smiling nurse; she registered our personal information and led us to the vet’s room. Entering the room, we saw a friendly man who seemed to be around forty. He wanted to check the horrible bloody wound for Bor Bor, but Bor Bor struggled. It seemed as though she wanted to escape from the clinic. Her vigorous reaction was due to the extreme pain, so the vet injected her with a sedative. After a few minutes, she felt sleepy and lay down.
The vet said that the wound may have been just a little cut, but it had not been treated and so became infected. The vet suddenly took out an operating-knife and pointed to the wound, my heart beat faster and faster. He used the knife to scrape off the infected part. Mum and I were really sickened by this action. It was as though the knife were scraping us! This horrible scene ended a few minutes later when the vet wrapped her wound with a bandage.
Bor Bor was told not to run for a period of time; otherwise, the wound wouldn’t recover. I do think that this was bad news for her as she loves running very much!
She seems very bored these days, I hope she’ll get well as soon as possible, then she can run and run and run!
~ by Peggy Chan King-yan
Seven years ago, I was born in a very big but dirty place. Actually I don’t know where it was, maybe a farm. I just remember that many puppies were sleeping around me, they all looked like pigs—o ugly. I was sure that I was the smartest one, so I didn’t like playing with them.
After I had learned how to walk and run, I loved running in the grassland near the farm. One day, after I had run for about 15 minutes, I was caught by a monster (actually he was the master of the farm!). I struggled but he didn’t let me go. “You’re only a stupid dog, don’t be so arrogant! You don’t have the right to walk here and walk there. You have to stay here and wait for someone to buy you, understand?” that stupid monster yelled at me. He made me very angry. At that moment, I promised to myself that I had to leave this devilish place as soon as possible.
Three weeks later, when I was sleeping with other puppies, I was woken up by some horrible laughter. “Ha ha ha, how about this dog? It is a smart and loyal dog. You only have to give it food every day, then it will absolutely obey to you,” that monster was persuading a man, who looked kind and friendly, to buy me. The kind man looked at me carefully and patted me on my head gently. He gave me a warm feeling that he would treat me very well.
This kind man picked me up in his arms. He said to that monster “I want this lovely puppy, how much is it?” After he had paid some money, he took me home in his car. “Wow, it’s cool!” I was extremely excited as this was the first time for me to travel by car. But the most exciting thing was that I could finally leave that horrible place, ha.
After a 30-minute journey, I arrived at the kind man’s home. He lives in a very tall building with a lot of parks and playgrounds nearby. We went into a big metal box. There are some stone-like things on the wall. He then pressed the one at the top. Suddenly, that heavy metal box shook. I knew it was moving. I was afraid because I didn’t know what it was going on. I was shivering. He then patted on my head and said “baby, don’t be afraid, we’ll be home very soon.” The lift door opened suddenly.
We passed through a long corridor and stopped in front of another door. He pressed a button and a girl with big brown eyes opened the door. She seemed very happy and excited to meet me. Then she took me to see her mother who was cooking in the kitchen. Her mother did not like me, however.
“Don’t bring it into my kitchen, just get it out!”
I was a little bit sad, but I believed that she would like me someday.
A couple of weeks passed, and my life in this family was quite satisfactory. Ah, I forgot to introduce my masters to you. The man that brought me home is called Mr. Chan, but I call him Dummy; the girl is called Peggy; and her Mummy is also my Mummy. Mummy still didn’t like me, she said she hated dogs.
Several weeks passed, and I was still trying to please Mummy. Every time I saw her, I waved my tail vigorously in order to draw her attention. But she ignored me. She refused to like me, didn’t even try to accept me! I was really frustrated. Luckily, Peggy treated me very well and she kept persuading Mummy to accept me.
One afternoon, Dummy went out for work and Peggy went to school, I was staying at home with Mummy. Mummy was preparing for dinner. When the phone rang. She came out from the kitchen to answer it.
“Hello,” said Mummy, “yes, speaking……. oh, nice to receive your call, we haven’t talked for a long time….” Mummy seemed to be very excited to get this phone call. I guessed that one of her old friends was calling her.
Thirty minutes passed and Mummy was still chatting. I was sleeping in my comfortable bed and having a warm and nice sun-bath. I enjoy this kind of life.
While Mummy was still talking on the phone, I smelled a choking odor coming from somewhere, I woke up then walked around my home. That choking smell became stronger when I walked toward the kitchen. “Oh, that’s not good!” I barked and barked in order to draw Mummy’s attention, but I just heard her shout “shut up” from her bedroom. She must have thought that I was a silly and crazy dog who just barked all the time, so I rushed into her bedroom, picked up one of her slippers and ran out of the room with it. Mummy then put down the phone and chased me.
I ran to the kitchen and stopped. Mummy had already noticed that choking smell.
“Oh, my god!” she shouted. Mummy was very nervous and switched off the stove immediately.
Mummy turned to me suddenly, I was afraid that she wanted to scold me again, so I also turned around and started to escape from the kitchen. At that moment, I felt a pair of warm arms hugging me, I looked back and found that Mummy was looking at me with a kind and smiling face, “Good girl, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have treat you so badly. Thank you for saving my home!” Mummy then held me in her arms and patted my head gently. She was going to accept me! I thought I was the luckiest dog in the world at that moment. I slept in her arms.
“Ding dong…” the door bell rang. Mummy went to open the door with me in her arms. That was Peggy back from school. She was extremely excited when she saw this harmonious scene. She couldn’t have imagined it before.
Now, Dummy, Mummy and Peggy treat me very well. They regard me as a member of their family. I’m seven years old, I quite worry that I will be apart from them one day. Although this day must come to me, I do think I’m the luckiest dog as I have Dummy, Mummy and Peggy. I treasure every day that I’m with them.
~by Bor-Bor, transcribed by Peggy Chan King-yan
AsianVoices Archives: These poems and stories were originally posted on the now-defunct AsianVoices website (1997-2004), which featured poetry and fiction by young Asian writers. Copyright belongs to the original authors. If you are the writer and would like to remove, add or edit this work, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will promptly carry out your request.
- Bloodlines: Family
- Passions: Love & heartbreak
- Edible Words: Food
- Life’s Journey: Innocence & experience
- Scenes: Everyday life
- Requiem: Death & remembrance
- Reflections: Self-discovery & spirituality
- In Class: School life & education
- In Transit: Travel & transportation
- Destinations: Places
- Nature: Animals & the environment
- Muses: The creative process
- Conflict: War and its effects
- Kids’ Corner: For younger readers
- Pets: About, for and by pets
- Friendship: Cherished bonds
- Emotions: Emotional states
- Haiku: Concise poems
- Brushstrokes: Chinese-language works