Three Poems by Teow Lim Goh




In the snow the land is pensive, but
its silence conceals a danger.

Avalanches happen
when snow breaks under pressure,
the weight of a human or animal.

I walk on, knowing
this hill is unlikely to slide. Yet I listen

for the cracks
of breaking snow, signs
that the ground can no longer hold.





You want to reach the top
of the world, where you look up
and see only sky, touch

a blue beyond
your dreams of escape. No longer
can you see

the shadows at your feet.

I’ll be here at the lake, watching
clouds split on the peaks and the sky
shred into sleet.





What creatures live
in the blue of the sea?

Our eyes reach for the sky
but what lies at our feet?

The sea is a dream
scape, harbor

of desires we cannot
describe, a place

we cannot live, only
imagine – in the water

there is a world beyond
what we can know.




Teow Lim Goh is the author of Islanders (Conundrum Press, 2016), a volume of poems on the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station.

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