Adrift | Ju-Lyn Tan

for Pulau Sudong, a tiny island off the southern coast of Singapore

inspired by Forrest Gander’s “Anniversary”


casting out still reeling from heady hash

whiff of scaley waft wet lumber

grates against tender fingers


sweet acrid fumes swirl riot

turn reel let out line

taut pressure on watch


splayed horizon splits sight

blurry dizzy motion churns

repast into buttered wave


emptied bowels bleed along

cracked grain of smooth board

flesh torn but tempers hold

(because I do not want to be known always by my wounds)

on the precipice

where choices are made

one more breath

one more step

clawing –  ineffective against glass

seeking – purchase against innocence

because I do not want your words to define me

Ju-Lyn Tan lives in Singapore. She aspires to share joy and beauty through her writing. She is a regular contributor to Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art & Words, and has poems in “Contour: A Lyric Cartography of Singapore” and “Seven Hundred Lines: a Crown of Found/Fount Sonnets”.


Selected by the editor as a featured submission, March 2021.

3 thoughts on “Adrift | Ju-Lyn Tan

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