Kids’ Corner (Asian Voices)

These poems and stories on this page were written by and/or for younger readers and 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.

Song of the Elephant

elephant

Under the canopy of the forest
Elephant, I saw you
Lamenting

Huge elephant, crying for survival
Grieving for your family, I know
How we will benefit from
Your death

Ivory for our precious jewelry
Leather for our clothes

In the green of the jungle
Elephant, I heard you
Grieving

Deep foghorn notes,rumbling,
Quaking, At their end a tiny flash
Falling like a tear

The poem is by Akbar Ahmad, Class VKI Karachi Grammar School (Pakistan). The painting is by Mkura and is from the Tingatinga Cooperative Arts Society website (now offline). The image was used with permission and remains copyrighted by the artist.

Three Poems on the Colour Red

red2

These poems were written as part of the Cloth Puzzle Activity organised by university students on behalf of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

RED

Red is a colour, a colour that no one can resist, it’s charm, it’s attraction, it’s bewitchment.
Red is associated with many different thoughts. A bloody patient is taken care of by a beautiful nurse, a bouquet of roses is to be given to a beautiful girl.
It is warm. It is gratifying.

~by Lam Chun-Keung
The HKTA Ching Chung Secondary School

red4
Love is Red 

Love is red
It tastes like a strawberry
It smells like a rose
It looks like a heart
It sounds like a bird’s song
It feels like a sunny day
Love is winter’s fire

~by Bonnie, Christie, Heyman and Sookie
The HKTA Yuen Yuen Institute

Red

Since I was born, I always had a special relationship with
the color red.
My first baby clothing was red in red.
My favorite toy was a red robot,
And the cover of my first story book was red in color, too.
Then, when I became a secondary school student,
I was put into red house
red s also my lucky color;
When I wear a red jacket in a competition, I usually win.
Because of that red is my favorite color

~by Bonnie, Christie, Heyman and Sookie
The HKTA Yuen Yuen Institute

Dragons: A Lullaby

Red dragons, green dragons
Yellow dragons and blue
Mysteries shall i
Reveal to you
Strange tales to be told
By dragons of purple and gold
I shall teach you to be
Brave and bold

Blue dragons, pink dragons
Silver and green
I shall tell you of
Wondrous things unseen

Silver dragons, gold dragons
And ones rainbow coloured
While the stars twinkle by
In the night sky
These dragons in your dreams shall fly
While I sing you a lullaby

~by Amarylla St. John (Hong Kong)

The Heartfelt Feeling of Xiao Qiang:
Lament of a Cockroach

Actually, you and me come
from absolutely different worlds.
I would like to be your intimate friend,
but you hate me.
We’ve lived together for years,
but I can’t come out except after you go to bed.
It seems like I am a thief,
living in a dark world.

To taste delicious food with you is my dream,
but my stomach is filled with abandoned food.
Why do you hate me so much,
and how can you treat me so cruelly?
When I say ‘Hi!’,
You say ‘Bye!’,
and give me a ‘fight!~~’.

Whenever you see me,
just like meeting an enemy.
You won’t hug me,
you either salute me
by stepping on my body,
or toast me with a drink of pesticide.

Don’t cry
or shout, ladies,
when you come across me.
I’m not a ghost, baby,
but a very lovely little thing
living in your home.
I won’t let you alone.
Wherever you go,
I will be with you.
‘Hi! Hi!’ I am coming!

~by Ng Hui-Lui (Hong Kong)

Dreams

I dreamt strangely one night,
That a dragon and I were going to fight.
The way to compete nearly made me scream.
To eat as many hot-dogs with black sticky cream.

I dreamt strangely one night,
That I became a powerful knight.
knight

I commanded all the soldiers to do one thing-
To fly up in the sky with only one wing.

I dreamt strangely one night,
My body became incredibly light.
monster1

I bounded and bounded, just like a ball,
When suddenly I bounded into a school hall.

I dreamt strangely one night,
That my friends and I were talking at night.
We used to talk about perfumes and creams,
But that night we talked about our weird, strange dreams!

~by Karen Yiu (Hong Kong)

God Bless You

sneeze

Itchy
An urge to explode
From the inside my nose

Hold it
Timing is not right

Oh God
It’s coming

Oops
It’s out
Smoothly
Like the opening of
A bottle of champagne
Everybody cheers

~~by Joanna Sio (Hong Kong)

Mid-Autumn Festival

autumn

Mid-Autumn is in the eighth moon’s middle,
In the sky the moon is a circle,
People admire the bright full moon,
Thinking of the Moon Lady so alone.
Family comes together,
Having dinner, warm at home.

People play with wax candles,
Water goes down and fire roars up,
Some forget the danger of the jumping flames,
Sent to hospital and crying with sorrow.
I was clever to stay at home,
Playing with a puzzle with peace and joy.

The poem is by Samuel Poon Wing-keung from S.K.H.Good Shepherd Primary School (Hong Kong).The painting of Mid-Autumn festival delicacies is by Sheng Pu and was posted on the the Chinese Folk Art website (now offline: http://www.chinesefolkart.com). The image was used with permission and remains copyrighted by the artist.

The Lonely Flower: A Story by Laura Lam

At night, the little flower was very lonely. She couldn’t see Uncle Sun, nor her brother dew. She put her head down slowly, and quietly, and to her surprise, she saw another little flower staring at her in a steady flowing stream.”Little flower, good morning. Are u as lonely as me?”

The flower in the stream didn’t answer. The silence seemed to laugh at the silly flower.”Little flower little flower, can’t you hear? Can u be friends with me?”

Her whisper woke up a little bee. “Yung-yung-yung—hey, my dear little flower, I’m your friend. Anything happens, just tell me.”

Continue reading The Lonely Flower by Laura Lam

The Cloud: A Short Story by Laura Lam

“Hey, be careful! Don’t eat me.” The caterpillar on the leaf shouted. Though her voice was soft, the kangaroo could still hear something.

It was a warm spring day. Both the kangaroo and the caterpillar had waited all winter to taste such fresh green leaves again. The only difference between them was that while one ate branch after branch, the other ate leaf after leaf.

After the kangaroo heard her shout, he slowed down his chewing and raised his ears to listen again.

Continue reading The Cloud by Laura Lam

Free as a Bird, Free as a Kite: A Story by Clara Cheuk

There was once a bird called Birdie. Everyday, she sat in her nest. Everyday, her head drooped. And everyday in the morning, we could hear this conversation in Birdie’s nest.

“Mom, can I go out and play?”

“No, you can’t, games are stupid.”

“But…“

“No buts,” Mama bird roared. “My words are commands!”

With a frown, Birdie sat down. Birdie was already two years old and was old enough to go out to play. She was even old enough to have a family of her own. “Why can’t I go out to play?” she murmured.

“Because you are too old for silly birdie games! ” Mama bird replied coldly.

“But you never let me out to play, even when I was young!”

“There are kids who will throw stones at you. There are eagles who will eat you.”

‘Same old words…,’ thought Birdie.

Continue reading Free as a Bird, Free as  Kite by Clara Cheuk

The Rumour Chain by Ming Chai, Berry Ho, Carol Ng, Kitty Chong and Michelle Lin

In a farm in a small village, there was a chicken called Ming. One day after dinner she went for a walk. She walked by the farmer’s house.

Ming heard a voice from the window. The farmer’s daughter said, ” Daddy, I want to eat some chicken soup.”

The farmer answered, “sure, no problem.”

As she was the fattest chicken on the farm, Ming suspected that the farmer would use her to make the soup.

Ming became very frightened. He ran back home and cried, “God, why did you choose me? Why must I die?”

Continue reading The Rumour Chain

The Pumpkin Contest by Vivian Wong

Many years ago, there was no such thing as jack o’lanterns. Naturally, it was the witches who brought these funny-faced carvings into human ceremonies. However, unnaturally, it wasn’t a splendid, or even an ugly witch who accomplished this remarkable feat. It was, in fact, a very ordinary witch.

Anyone could have defined her as ordinary. Her nose was ordinarily large, her black dresses were all fashioned in the ordinary style, she possessed the standard ordinary spell-books and had an ordinary cauldron swung over the ordinary pile of firewood in the ordinary corner of her ordinary house. She also had an ordinary familiar, a cat, to whom she gave the most ordinary name, Miao. Even the witch’s own name was ordinary – Witcha.

In fact, Witcha was so ordinary that she had few friends. Other witches disliked her for her lack of talents and imagination. Failing to obtain any appreciative honors in the College of Spells made Witcha’s career difficult to maintain. Consequently, Witcha led an enclosed life with Miao, in the suburbs of Witch-town, in their ordinary little wooden house, equipped with a typical garden of pumpkins.

Continue reading The Pumpkin Contest by Vivian Wong

My Window: A Story by Helen Lee

I love the scene outside my window: in the morning, birds are flying gaily in the sky and jumping between the tree branches; a beam of sunlight and a gentle breeze makes your whole day fresh. In the afternoon, girls play basketball happily at the far end of the playground. Their screams always make my heart jump. Night is the calmest time. All you can hear is the lullaby sung by the grasshoppers. A few bright stars blink their eyes and watch you sleep.

However, I could only enjoy these lovely scenes and share the happiness of the birds and the girls from behind the window in my room.

There was a knock at my door. Clare’s face appeared through the gap between the door and the wall.

“Hi! How do you feel today?” said Clare.

I gave her a big smile. “I’m very good. What story you want me to tell you tonight?”

Continue reading My Window: A Story by Helen Lee

Li Chi and The Serpent, as told by Collete Chooey

Knights of the Round Table, evil witches, magic spells, damsels with long blond hair: All of these things filled my television set when I was younger. There was always a dragon holding a castle, a village, or a damsel hostage. There was always a young knight in training or a young sorcerer in training who killed the dragon with wit and a magical sword. Always. Now I’ve found a story where there is a dragon but it wasn’t a young knight nor a young sorcerer who finished off the beast…

In the eastern most part of China, there was a valley so deep you had to walk fifteen days before reaching the town in the middle of the gorge. Guarding this town was a horrible serpent. He was eighty feet long, scales as thick as steel, and claws that could up root trees in seconds. His eyes pierced the bravest man’s courage and his roar deafened the townspeople. For years he would eat the oxen from carts pulling food into town. The only thing that satisfied his hunger for one year was a meal consisting of a young girl. Each year, for nine years, the townspeople took a daughter from a poor family and fed her to the serpent. And it was time to feed the serpent once again.

Continue reading Li Chi and The Serpent

The Girl in the Corner: A Story by Tina Tsang

One warm autumn morning, Angela was rocking peacefully in her armchair going through her photo album which she had rediscovered after moving into her family’s new home in Hong Kong.

At the age of seventy, Angela was still healthy and cheerful. She usually spent her time outdoors meeting her friends, but that morning she decided to rock in her chair and go through every single picture she had of her childhood. Most of the pictures were of herself and her family members, but one particular photo drew her attention. The photo was of Angela and her brother but what really caught her attention was the little black girl in the corner–that pair of unforgettable, large eyes. Old memories rushed all at once into Angela’s mind. She held the photo up to have a closer look, then was deep in thought.

Luwi , Angela’s adorable grand-daughter came running towards her crying. “I don’t want to play with Lora again. How dare she. She disobeyed me. She chose my best doll. I wasn’t thinking straight at first. Then I changed my mind, but she….”

Continue reading The Girl in the Corner: A story by by Tina Tsang

AsianVoices Contents

  1. Bloodlines (family)
  2. Passions (love & heartbreak)
  3. Edible Words (food)
  4. Requiem (death & remembrance)
  5. Life’s Journey (innocence & experience)
  6. Reflections (self-discovery & spirituality)
  7. In Class: (school life & education)
  8. In Transit: (travel & transportation)
  9. Destinations (places)
  10. Nature
  11. Muses: (creativity, inspiration & the creative process)
  12. Conflict: (war and its effects)
  13. Scenes: (miscellaneous works)
  14. Kids’ Corner (for younger readers)
  15. Pets
  16. Friendship
  17. Emotions
  18. Haiku
  19. Brushstrokes (Chinese poems)
Return to AsianVoices

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