Here we come across a selection of poems that Mallika has written over time in Singapore and Tasmania.



First Kiss


I drew a breath

from your mouth

as your lips settled

on mine

and stayed

as long as the sax

on the radio did

as long as the rolling waves

that crash

only to pick up


and again I drew

a breath

as my lips rested

on yours

a sigh escapes

but not that kiss

oh no, coz

it’s the kiss of us


My hand


My hand reaches out

within crumpled sheets

hoping to find yours there

just there, that spot

beneath the duvet

shielded from the draughts so cold


Tasmanian wintry spells waved off

by that hand under the table

beneath the pitch of stringed sounds

and the mayhem of a bar

holding mine, warm

and so, so still


A surprise touch

that struck me through

like the tumbling toots of a sax

then stayed

like a single unflinching

lament of a trombone


My hand is greedy for yours

Stop it, I tell her

OK she sulks

but no, there she goes again

straying over to your lap

seeking out your hand


My hand in your hand

is all I can think of



This cold dread

will pass,


These deadened senses

will enliven



But for now

all my empty hand seeks

is yours



My Love The Forest


I come to you

With heaviness

To find a sense of

Place, to find a sense of



mango in one hand

moss in the other


Even as I lie

At your mossy feet

Inhale your fecund breath

My pulse is drawn into your



mango in one hand

moss in the other


Fruit of your labour

At no cost to me

My fingers curl

Around your oval curves, and



mango in one hand

moss in the other


Your leaves rustle

Branches shake

Twigs tremble

But your mouth opens to say



mango in one hand

moss in the other


I weigh you on my tongue

Yellow on pink

Moist on wet

Sweet yet tart, and it is just



mango in one hand

moss in the other



Eyes shut, my mind

Twines with sleepy truths

Shoots new growths

Of possibilities and



mango in one hand

moss in the other



As I forage deeper

Your mossy clumped arms

Spread out wide

Lost yet I walk right into



mango in one hand

moss in the other



But I turned away

As chainsaws came

Blading your heart

Bleeding my brains



mango in one hand

moss in the other


Oh my love

What have they done to


Oh my love, what’ve I done to



mango in one hand

moss in the other


Performed at Molly Malone’s, Singapore on 21 March 2018 for the occasion of International Day of Forests.

Those Eyes


The lark of his voice flaps, ready for

A takeoff into the winds of change

A rare clarity takes flight, soars towards

The heights of truth, plunges to

Depths of passion

The slicing of conscience, the dicing of dimension

Sweeping through time

And reason


Those eyes.

The thirsty draws sweet water from

The blue pools of giving

A lamb caught in thistled bushes begrudges not

Of deception

Brings redemption to those who seek

The wells of purity within

And love


The lines that run deep, cracks and creases

Imprints of life’s embittered journey

Yet his face lights the very paths

Of those who err and fall

They tell of crevices and depths that can

Only exist off a mountain

That stands craggy but tall

And majestic


The gait of a man who’s known

Many a storm, even smells one from afar

And fears not when caught in torrential

Cries and disillusionment

The call of an army, the march of will

The topography of a sinewy back that maps

plains of strategy, strength

And endurance


Crystal gazing, fortune telling

None shall be had. For wisdom flows

From the tea leaves of his mind

Stains hurt, seeps cure

Lifts spirits, fires hearts

A single discourse folds earth’s corners to

Precise napkins of fact

And fiction

An echo of a clear ray resonates off

the dew of his being, crystallised by

all forces, condensing in his heart.

The beauty, the fragility

As fresh as day, as sure as rock

Charm wets into a teardrop

Hangs from the frond of life

And existence


Those eyes, they hold me.