I visited Singapore in 2008 and the gulf between the have and have-nots was very evident. It struck me that this was a country hanging on to its Imperial heritage and that a shift of power was needed to give the populace a voice. This poem talks about the conundrum that Singapore faces.

Nothing’s quite so grand as a city built on sand,
rising like a phoenix from the grains,
nothing’s quite so tall as a glass and concrete wall
built upon those ill begotten gains.

Raffles tickle-tattles on the nut encrusted floor,
air conditioned condominiums guarded at the door
mean the empire lives on virtually as it was before,
in the country that’s a city, looking every bit as pretty,
as it was before the war.

Singapore is built on sand imported from afar,
the bible tells us it will surely fail,
but it lives on satisfied, with a lot of x-pat pride
to be the city that we now call


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