is the founder of Poetry Slam in Singapore and Programme Director of a literary arts company teaching poetry and performance in schools. Of Australian Irish descent, he adopted Sikhism in 1989.
He has also published four poetry collections, co-edited a poetry anthology—The Penguin Book of Christmas Poems—and has three spoken word CDs, the latest being Living in the Land of the Durian Eaters. Mooney-Singh also has poems published online at Mindfire, Cezanne’s Carrot, Stylus, Ghazalpage and Quarterly Review of Literature, Singapore (QRLS).
He was a guest at the Austin International Poetry Festival, 2003 and the Hong Kong Writer’s Festival, 2004.
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Mei Hua and the Old Trade Winds
On Sundays, Mei Hua plays mahjong
with Mother, Myrtle and Mrs. Wong.
They gossip like the old trade winds.
She makes a four with family friends.
How far away is Guangdong now—
the wind, the fields, the fat white sow?
Mei Hua has studied for the Bar
and drives about in a red sports car.
In three generations, Singapore
raised its kampong to the 30th floor.
Along with the Month of Hungry Ghosts:
convent English and champagne toasts.
Her Frenchman phones: “Coming to dine?
Cherie, I have the chilled white wine.
Leave your aunts, their era’s Ming.”
Where he resides, the cell phones ring.
Meanwhile, Bamboos, Dragons, Plums
and Orchids, Circles, Chrysanthemums
are clicked and bid through gold-capped teeth.
What Chinese luck can they bequeath?
Maybe not luck but remembered time?
Though the ivory tiles are past their prime,
their slip and warmth are reassuring.
Not much else in her world’s enduring.
Her mahjong aunts are still true friends
and constant as the blown trade winds.
Of East and West, which trend will win?
Mei-Hua’s still flower in Mandarin.