Looking back rabbit

My painting of a mikaeri usagi (looking back rabbit), asking me to follow her down the soul’s path to where the dandelions sing.

Have you
listened to dandelions releasing to the wind
or the pit-pat song of tiny steps
showing you the way home?

Have you
felt a quivering of silver wings,
the silent, gentle creatures
living with all their might?

Have you
bowed to the beloved breath,
sharing a journey from forest to soul
gathering acorns and light?

One only needs to practise
an open heart.

©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

Lucky mikaeri usagi tokens at the Ujigami Shrine, believed to be the oldest standing shrine in Japan.

In Kyoto, I met the mikaeri usagi or “looking back rabbit”, a guardian spirit said to show us the way. The legend goes that a prince had gotten lost in the mountains but a rabbit appeared and showed him the way home. The rabbit would hop along the path, then turn back to look at the prince as if to say “Follow me”. That’s how the legend of the “looking back rabbit” came to be and the belief that the gentle creature will show you the right path through life.

I love this story of the looking back rabbit. For me it represents the wisdom of small, seemingly ordinary things with whom we share our journeys. The Native Indians too have their animal totems that they believe are Spirit Guides who protect and guide them.

I’ve often taken these steadfast companions for granted – the dragonflies and geckos – but I believe they could reveal messages of inspiration, hope, love, courage. If we pay attention, if we listen, if we live with open hearts.

The Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Shared journeys



Our own kind of magical

RGSZ6987Our own kind of magical / ©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

 She came as soft as snow one day
and gently sat by me.
She asked for very little
this guest, and only wanted to play.

She told me many tales
as one with nine lives would,
but the one we loved the most
was where we both set sail.

She left as quiet as snow one day
while I was distracted by life,
in my blind haste to grow up
twenty years had passed away.

©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

Some guests change our lives forever. This painting and poem are dedicated to my beloved and dearly missed cats who are no longer here, but whose love, magic and presence I carry with me always. I’m ever grateful for the privilege of having these amazing companions in my life, and for my darling new kitten who’s leaving happy paw prints all over my heart.

Daily prompt – Guest

Dancing in infinite Cerulean Blue

IMG_2771Dancing in infinite Cerulean Blue / ©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

I’m learning to listen to my own heartbeat
the early morning silence and Spring parade.

I am the dreamer and the dream,
the yellowed leaf and silver star.

I am both the trapped and the free
a memory and promise.

I sit within the scorching walls of a small mind. Look up!
I would have seen myself dancing in infinite cerulean blue.

©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

 Art and poetry inspired by Alena Henessy‘s A Year of Panting and this week’s Photo Challenge Look Up (although this isn’t a photo :p)

Walking among shophouses

Shophouses at Joo Chiat Road and Koon Seng Road, Singapore

I’m not of this generation.
You use material too fast.
Burn things up, yourself included,
for nothing more than someone else’s gaze.

I’m used to stone, ceramic, colour,
spending months on end to detail the perfect floral pattern
underneath the roof, for no one’s enjoyment but the birds and the clouds.

I ponder the colour of the window, how it’d look against a pink wall
and your beautiful, messy, slow, unpredictable life.
I see you sitting at this green or blue-glassed window,
enjoying the trudge of nation building or dreaming.

Do I have a place in your time,
among the tall and sharp-edged? I can’t call them home for
we don’t share the same soul.

But I hope you’ll always sit at windows
and walk among shophouses
like you did today.

©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

Look at that floral pattern under the roof!
Beautiful colour and detail

I love the colourful, discordant shophouses that puncture the gleaming, sky scrapping landscape of Singapore, the super city of all things modern, financial, clean and efficient. This week’s Discover Challenge sent me on a lovely walk in the Joo Chiat area where time seems to have slowed to a palpable taste and colour. While we, as a society, run after bigger-better-newer, I hope we conserve our heritage to keep us grounded but always ready to dream.

In response to the For Posterity Weekly Discover Challenge

Your play or mine?

An image of Cecilia Edefalk’s SELF-PORTRAIT

It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Once desire seeps through the skin
to stain the sinewy stage within
I couldn’t walk away with only a hint.

I kept coming back to that wretched scene
feeling compelled to play out my dream
as real as poisoned apples and magic beans.

How long did it take for me to realize
your quiet eye was taking aim at the skies?
My heart was never your prize.

The cost of embracing fire isn’t being burned
– cold ash sleeping dreamlessly in your gilded urn –
but the haunting persuasion that yearns.



 Yes, it was the first time, but we both knew it wouldn’t be the last.

©Lipstickandmiracles 2016

In response to the Opening Line Discover Challenge