TWO POEMS – Joshua Teo


Image: Mattia Serrani on Unsplash

Joshua Teo is an undergraduate student of Modern History at the University of St Andrews. He writes for fun and hopes to write something beautiful one day. 


The fish does not dream of water.

It dreams of legs to walk the earth

Or feathered wings to ride the skies;

It dreams of a mind to for purpose search

And of daydreams to roam until it dies

But the fish does not dream of water.


It sings when its scales dappled with light

Trail smoke in the wake of its flight

Amidst its dreams of breath and songs,

But it dreams not of where it belongs

For it swims as if it is dreaming;

But the fish does not dream of water.



Bushido is realized in the presence of death.

| Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure |

He could have been sleeping

Upon the table, etherized

Mouth open, breathless

Dreams swirling about his eyes,

Condensed like tears, weeping,

At peace with the world.


In his fingers rigour curled

She lay softly; her blade still coldly

Shining in the mortuary light;

Engraved with the name of the ryū

And along the blood groove surface

Her service untarnished lay.


Die each day, as if you were sleeping

Return each day, as if the dreams bleeding

From your weeping eyes and veins

Were reversed, returned;

Beneath the tree he lies among blossoms

And she beneath the leaves.

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