Doll Tale 1: The painter and his muse

Doll tale 1 : The painter and his muse

18 and 19 September 2014


Henry watched with half-closed eyes as his girlfriend scurried along to bring us the chilli flakes that she had forgotten in the kitchen. He did not seem very pleased of this new shortcoming and turned towards us with an apologetic sigh saying “you know, she is not very bright. In fact like most of her people she is quite simple minded and does not have the sophistication required to set out a table properly. Strange, however, that she would not know that this has to be served with some extra chilli flakes. Not all people like to eat bland food and that stupid idiot should know better as I have told her so at least a hundred times.”

Our common friend seated next to me had started feeling the atmosphere become a tad uneasy and shifting uncomfortably told Henry that it was perfectly alright and he was fine with the food as it was.

Henry simply retorted “Fine for you then but I can’t take this food like that. I eat spicier food than her you know”. His expression softened while he said this as he was visibly self-indulging in some gratifying thoughts about himself being such a tough guy.

Somehow, I could feel the food not going down well too but not for the same reason. I felt like saying that he should maybe cook the food to his own liking so that it won’t be an issue anymore but I just sat there gazing down stonily at my food as this was the first time I was there and had been invited by our common friend.

Malee came back from the kitchen bearing the chilli flakes in a bowl that she promptly handed over to Henry who simply growled at her playfully. I was expecting her to be rather put off by his behaviour and what he said as she surely would have heard him on her way to the kitchen with the apartment being the size it was but was amazed to see her draw closer to him and sit on his lap, eyes shining brightly. He merely smacked her bottom lightly and told her “you’ve escaped this time but next time I will really smack your bottom hard if you shame me in front of guests again. I’ve told you enough times how to serve the food here in Europe. You’re not in Thailand anymore where you can just mix it all at once. This time it was only friends but next time it could be buyers so don’t make me angry again.”

My gaze lifted to meet hers, eyes shining not with love like I had imagined but with a curious mixture of defiance and sadness. She seemed to be thinking I was judging her poorly and apparently resented me for it. I attempted a smile and trying to ease the tension complimented her on her cooking to which she nodded smiling back. We then resumed eating and once finished Henry showed me around the small apartment not as much for the actual rooms as it was a small two-bedrooms although with beautifully high ceilings and an amazing old wooden floor as one could only find in the old buildings in Geneva. The tour was more meant to show me his paintings which were quite astonishingly powerful depictions of the persons immortalized in them.

Henry was a brutish heavily built tall man with a tiny forehead, very small close set eyes and long hair he left loose as befitted his artist status. His hands which were huge seemed incapable of holding a brush properly let alone using it with such maestria to produce such powerful representations of other human beings. My attention was caught by two particularly striking paintings one of which caused me some embarrassment as it represented Malee crouching naked with her private parts fully exposed. In both he had captured that particular mixture of defiance and sadness that I had seen in her face earlier and her baby face with those liquid eyes seemed to be springing out of the paintings. Both paintings were bathed in dark colours with a deep crimson being a dominant theme as in most of his paintings.

“Lovely face and body right?” he said right behind me and I turned around startled to see him so close behind me.

“Don’t worry” he said mockingly “I am not going to jump on you as you came with a friend and I anyway have my hands full with Malee. At least for now” he added provokingly.

I rewarded his stupid comment with a crisp smile thinking to myself that he must be dreaming if he thought I would in any way be interested in him considering his caveman style of handling women.

We went back to the dining cum living room which was also the main room where he received his buyers and I asked my friend whether we could leave as I was quite tired.

A week later, we were invited to one of Henry’s expositions at a local gallery and I accompanied our common friend Peter who meanwhile had become my boyfriend. The place was crowded with sophisticated and glamorous people side by side with ill-shaven and shabbily dressed artists together with a few journalists and some art critics. There seemed to be some true art lovers but most seemed to have come to be seen and enjoy the wine and delicacies being served. Everywhere there were paintings of Malee some of them very provocative and some where she dumbfounded me with the pure innocence that emanated from her face in the paintings. For the male audience, this seemed to have a very different effect than on me where I was merely considering the human aspect of things. All the men were gathered around her, eyes fixated on her body, trying to guess through the clothing the curves that were splashed all over the gallery in crimson, burgundy, green and other shades that exuded rawness and sensuality. Henry watched from a distance a smile on his lips and seemed to be enjoying the scene.  A few hours later while we were all laughing and dancing to the music, Henry came up to me asking where Malee was but I had no idea and told him so. Some thirty minutes later I saw them both come back into the gallery from a side door and waved at them. Everybody was enjoying themselves immensely and Henry seemed to have sold quite a few paintings that opening night itself.

The party finished past midnight and as there were no trams anymore, we decided to walk until Carouge and have something to eat before we accompanied the couple back to their home nearby the hospital where we would be sleeping too for the night as we were too tired to walk all the way back to our apartment. We fell asleep fully clothed as we were exhausted before we were awoken by screams and the sound of furniture being moved around and some plates being broken. Peter and I rushed into the next room just in time to see Henry haul Malee over the window sill and then proceed to hold her by the hands yelling at her while she dangled out of the window screaming. He looked insane with his beady eyes alit with anger and his fleshy mouth twisted with rage and Malee, face chalk white, was screaming and pleading for him to pull her back into the room. Peter lunged out of the window while I held on to him fearing he would fall over and attempted to bring her back inside the room while Henry was yelling at him not to interfere as he “need[ed] to teach the tart a good lesson”. At the end, Peter was able to grab enough of Malee to haul her back into the room and we all fell on the ground panting with me going into shock.

Later, after Peter had coaxed me into having a small glass of strong alcohol as I did not normally drink, we split into two parties and I stayed with Malee in the room where Peter and I had slept while Henry and Peter stayed in the other bedroom. I could hear Henry ranting and raving and many times when he had worked himself back into a fit of anger he would attempt to come back into the room where we were sitting and abuse Malee verbally. On one of the occasions he actually entered the room, caught her by the hair and was attempting to drag her by the hair across the floor and back into his bedroom before Peter stopped him by holding him in a vice-like grip at the neck. Henry was too strong for him, however, and had soon loosened Peter’s grip and sent him reeling against the wall. Having done that, he seemed a bit appeased though and did not seem in a mood to hurt Malee again but just went back to his room where he locked himself in.

Peter came back to where we were sitting huddled and tried to calm me as I was shaking. I had never seen someone switch from such a normal behaviour to a stark raving lunatic so quickly before and definitely not within my direct acquaintances. Malee sat there crying and asking us to help her go back to Thailand. She wept and said that she had come here to earn some money as she had a family to feed back in Thailand but could not take it anymore. Henry started yelling from the other room that what she was doing here she could well do in Thailand and save herself the trouble of having to pay taxes and living in a foreign country as prostitution pays everywhere. To which she retorted with a string of sentences in her language that was pronounced colourfully enough to make us understand that it was abuse she was flinging at him. As soon as she heard the door unlocking at the other end, however, she sat quiet and still again and soon the oncoming footsteps’ noise receded and we heard the door lock again. We removed the sheet from the small bed and put it on the ground so that we could sleep all three of us together as the bed was barely enough for two people to sleep in.

Upon waking in the morning we showered and had breakfast while Malee sat there prostrate, wide-eyed, neither talking nor crying. I tried to coax her into having a shower and something to eat but she simply stared through me and at the door of Henry’s bedroom. Suddenly, the door was unlocked and Henry fully nude appeared in the doorway and I watched with disbelief as Malee sprung out of her chair and flung herself into his arms. He looked at her triumphantly and said “that’s my girl. Don’t ever make me angry again” while she beamed back at him nodding in assent. The door locked behind them and we soon could hear that they seemed to be making up very noisily. I stared at Peter torn between relief, uneasiness and fear that something could go horribly wrong again. He merely shrugged back at me and said “artists” and held his hand out to me. We walked out of the apartment and pulled the door shut softly behind us so as not to make the neighbours complain more than they probably were going to do during the day. The neighbor facing Henry’s doorstep was out and was looking at us suspiciously with inquisitive eyes. “So he did not kill her this time” she said in a grating voice. Peter smiled sweetly at  her but I could see from his eyes that he did not mean it at all. “No he did not yet, you can wait for the spectacle next time, I am sure you will eventually be satisfied” he retorted coldly. She gave us both a disdainful look and went back haughtily into her apartment.

A few weeks later we heard during a chance encounter with Henry at a café that Malee had left him. I thought she had returned to Thailand but it turned out that she had eloped with one of the buyers who incidentally had been the cause of that night’s scene as Henry had caught them on the opening night of his exhibition not only kissing but also planning to spend some time together. Henry seemed heartbroken and was telling us that he could not understand why she would want to be with such a man who had no personality and was a stuck up rich man’s son and was only interested in Malee as he would be interested in any new gadget.

I looked at Henry, head in his hands, elbows resting on the table, so brutish and I had thought so insensitive but he seemed truly heart-broken so I kept my thoughts to myself and merely patted him on the back. How could he not see that she could not continue living in the conditions that he had made her live through with him. It simply escaped me that their relationship could have lasted so long as it seemed they had been together for over 3 years. How could a woman take so much abuse and still continue living with the same person. I was barely 22 then and could simply not understand it.

Henry straightened himself up, looked me in the eye and sighed saying “I lost my muse and I don’t know if I ever will be able to paint again”. He paused then added “She was so easy to live with, never complained, always did things immediately the way I wanted her to do them.  I can’t be with a Swiss girl you know, they are so full of themselves so I will have to find another Thai girl or someone asian again”.  I bit my lip as I felt some nasty words swarming up my throat and begging to be let out of my lips. Instead I just gave him a thin smile, waited for Peter to pay our coffees and then gave him a cold peck on his cheek before saying goodbye.

The next time I saw Henry again, he was in what I found out to be his manic mood again and he was in couple with a beautiful though tiny Japanese girl. Heartbreak long forgotten he was bustling with energy and his apartment was crammed with paintings of his new muse but that is another story…

Doll tales

Doll Tales

11 August 2010 and 17 September 2014


Girls play with dolls and then move on with their lives. Boys play ball and then play doll with their wives.


It occurred to me when I was taking the highway and a few words flung at me harshly several years before by an angry boyfriend came back to mind “Of course, for you women it is either my way or the highway”.

There had actually been no argument, no reason for the word flinging other than me trying to explain to him that it was not the appropriate time for me to travel anywhere as I was passing my exams. The lad had then made it a point to travel with a couple of friends including a female friend with whom he took many pictures and he made it a point on his return to show anyone passing by the photographs all the while trying to make me jealous.  Upon finding he was unsuccessful, things then became pretty mean and tasteless and ultimately we had to break up because too much meanness had spoilt the initial good feelings.

The recollection of that incident and the insistence of the men who were trying to date me – some of whom I actually dated – on trying to bend my will to meet their requirements or mold me to a satisfactory image as per their standards made me smile. There were also other recollections of a more somber nature. I remembered not without a dark foreboding the number of women who had come to me for moral or financial support, many of whom had been verbally, psychologically and sometimes physically abused by their husbands. Countless tales of husbands finding the food too tasteless, too salty or not having the food warm, or having issues with the wife spending too much money, looking too insistently – as per their often wrong impression – at any man happening to pass by during that day. Any and every reason seemed a good enough reason for an argument, a showering of abuse or sometimes a beating. I remembered the number of couples I had sat down with for dinner and how the husbands had boasted about their wife being “trained” or “refined” by them thereby acquiring poise, a sense of style, an understanding of being demure. One even boasted about his wife being a good girl in public and capable of putting to shame a prostitute when in bed.

Beyond the tasteless aspects of those claims, I was bemused at the common denominator, the silver thread that ran across all those recounts and which clearly indicated that these men seemed to be doing what girls did once upon a time to their dolls “sit Sally. Drink your tea properly. Now, now, be a good girl; that’s not the right way to drink tea”, “what shall we wear today: the green jacket or the brown pullover? I am sure you will like the green one better”, “No you don’t know what is best for you, let me dress you up or you’ll get cold [while it was burning hot outside]”

It struck me then that somehow, maybe this was the reason such things happened. Deprived of the possibility of playing dolls during their childhood and of having that sense of getting to be an all powerful being who could determine the life of another – the closest concept to being God – men wanted to be able to satisfy that sensation with the only other being within their reach who would accept such a game.  Who better of course than “the weaker sex” omitting the mother who would be unfit for such a role and the sisters, often quickly removed from their sphere, leaving only the girlfriends and subsequently the wives?

Now don’t get me wrong and go calling me a feminist, a male-hater and all those silly things that one would be attempted to bring forth as a claim to invalidate the reality of such matters. Those who know me really know I am a far cry from being a male-hater although I could come across as more of a feminist as I do have a sense of my own independence.

I recognize that many men do not suffer from this syndrome and are fine with giving liberty to their partners to be themselves rather than a molded version of their mothers or their ideal archetype. I also have no problem with being in a couple myself and have no issues with couples where both are in a balanced relationship and the wife/lady does not mind having her husband/partner decide on most matters for her. What I have a problem with is men systematically demeaning their significant other and abusing them, thereby causing them physical or emotional trauma.

Pondering on all the incidents I had observed over the past twenty or so years and on all the misfortunes I had seen play before my eyes or heard from friends and sometimes people who were close to strangers, I thought that there was so much in common between so many of them that it might be helpful for some to read and know about them. This way, women (or men) could compare their own situation to what they had read and determine whether the “small mistreatment” they were undergoing was worth it, whether that “small smack” on the face was an isolated incident, whether it made sense to continue in the circumstances they were living to believe that everything would be alright as long as they listened and obeyed, whether it was really them the problem or whether it was something else.

I decided to write about all those stories and in a twist of wry humour chose to call this series “Doll tales”. From this week onward, I will attempt to write one” Doll tale” although some might take me more time when they actually have more ramifications. Feel free to share with me your “Doll tale” either through comments or you can ask for an email if you wish to share your experience more privately.

Coming up next: The painter and his muse (doll tale 1)



16 September 2014



You look to me for a common standpoint

A vague throbbing ghost of what I should feel

A hushed stance you’ll like lest I disappoint

With my own views so fierce and yet so real


I am none certain yet clear in my mind

For unworthy I’ll stand no reference

I will walk neither in front nor behind

From this mine stillness make no inference


I am clear water in the muddy reef

I am its coral and its beating heart

I turn in many lives a renewed leaf

Forever is your end and is my start


I am WOMAN and hold this gift up high

Seek not this power for me to forsake

Free will a will so free may not deny

So will your will my will thus stand to break?

Mother, still my soul

Mother, still my soul

1 August 2014


Mother, answer me

Where are your sons?

Your dried bosom

Will not bring the pink back

Into our lives they darken

As blood bathes my footsteps



Hair loose I will walk

On crimson cast earth

And the raven will crow

For the loss of innocence

As the scent of jasmine withers

While darkness still lurks



Mother, they drank

From your weak chest

And plundered your loins

While you gave freely

Your every treasure

In peace as all mothers do


Eyes shut I will wail

For every broken dream

Fading in their memories

As blood fills their eyes

Where tears flow no more

For wells dry in summer’s heat


Mother, take me back

Let your heavenly scent

Bathe my senses in clay

Knead into me your strength

Give my voice your thunder

Strike lightning into my heart


Soul heaving I will wander

Over hills and through meadows

Mind shut and heart throbbing

Pulsating with a thousand cries

Of familiar faces I will know not

For I bear kinship to all but none 



20 janvier 2012

Les matins chagrins s’écoulent sans pleurs

Dans un silence morne où l’ennui se danse

L’œil sec s’habitue au décompte des heures

Lourd est l’esprit émergeant d’une transe

Dans un silence morne où l’ennui se danse

Le son d’un tambour ne cesse de vibrer

Lourd est l’esprit émergeant d’une transe

Le cœur battant cherche à s’équilibrer

Le son d’un tambour ne cesse de vibrer

Diapason en gorge lui crée étendue

Le cœur battant cherche à s’équilibrer

Dans mon âme il bat mille nuits trop ardues

Diapason en gorge lui crée étendue

Un lac stérile gît en mon cœur glacé

Dans mon âme il bat mille nuits trop ardues

D’un souvenir d’antan d’esprit déplacé

Un lac stérile gît en mon cœur glacé

De douleur méprisée j’ai âme en peine

D’un souvenir d’antan d’esprit déplacé

D’une vie dont l’essor le destin freine

De douleur méprisée j’ai âme en peine

Toi et moi comme nous rêvions amoureux !

D’une vie dont l’essor le destin freine

L’instant n’est propice aux élans fougueux

Toi et moi comme nous rêvions amoureux !

A une vie nourrie de moments d’extase

L’instant n’est propice aux élans fougueux

Nos cœurs désunis revivent métastases

A une vie nourrie de moments d’extase

Levons nos verres dans une soif d’absolu

Nos cœurs désunis revivent métastases

Entre nos corps s’étire l’irrésolue

Levons nos verres dans une soif d’absolu

Demain encore nous feindrons la liesse

Entre nos corps s’étire l’irrésolue

Sibylline elle chuchote que rien ne presse

Demain encore nous feindrons la liesse

Pour celle qui se pare d’un voile de douceur

Sibylline elle chuchote que rien ne presse

Les matins chagrins s’écoulent sans pleurs

Le passage

Cuifen pressa le pas. Il commençait à faire nuit et sa mère, Chow, lui avait tant parlé des dangers de la rue la nuit pour une jeune fille que désormais son pas se fit presque désespéré. Elle se demanda comment elle avait pu perdre autant de temps entre le vieux scrogneugneu de Ming-Hoa à la poste et ses rêveries devant la vitrine de la pâtissière Eu-meh. Ming-Hoa parlait désormais un mandarin révolu que personne ne parlait plus et il fallait vraiment se concentrer pour comprendre ses phrases si alambiquées. En plus cet homme était un mégalomane absurde qui vivait encore dans sa tête – plus tout à fait normale de l’avis de Cuifen – au temps de sa jeunesse et entendait que les jeunes eussent le respect dû à son rang de notable d’autrefois. Il racontait comment il avait joué au golf avec l’ambassadeur britannique et que l’ambassadeur le complimentait sur sa technique remarquable, combien de poètes se pressaient sur le pas de sa porte pour pouvoir réciter à ses banquets des odes et poèmes composés à sa gloire. Il semblait oublier que depuis la révolution, plus rien n’était pareil depuis des décennies et que les babebines dédiées autrefois à sa gloire n’avaient plus lieu d’être aujourd’hui. D’ailleurs on n’écrivait plus du tout de poésies à l’honneur des notables ni même à l’honneur des jeunes filles au teint de porcelaine dont les louanges étaient chantées autrefois en mille vers. Ces jours les titres d’autrefois ne voulaient plus rien dire et elle ne comprenait pas pourquoi sa mère l’obligeait toujours à s’agenouiller pour parler à Ming-Hoa et à ne jamais lui tourner le dos pour sortir plutôt à reculons de la pièce. Il n’était plus notable et exerçait une fonction de clerc mal payé dans un petit bureau du quartier. Cela dit, sans son aide, il est vrai que rien de volumineux ne pouvait être envoyé puisqu’il devait parapher tout envoi volumineux lui-même. Ainsi, si sa mère et elle-même voulaient vendre leurs broderies aux riches clientes de la ville, il fallait pouvoir envoyer les colis à leur tante qui se chargeait ensuite de la vente individuelle. La plupart du temps Cuifen et sa mère travaillaient et allaient effectuer le dépôt du colis ensemble mais aujourd’hui sa mère avait beaucoup à faire et l’avait chargée de l’envoi. Cuifen détestait aller toute seule dans le petit bureau de poste exigu car Ming-Hoa avait malgré son grand âge des yeux chercheurs dont la lueur ne lui plaisait pas du tout. Elle avait déjà vu cette avidité dans le regard des jeunes garçons qui essayaient d’attirer son attention quand elle se déplaçait sans sa mère mais chez ce vieil homme, la lueur prenait une intensité qui la rendait particulièrement mal à l’aise. D’autant que ce vieux scrogneugneu n’arrêtait pas de scruter son visage même quand elle surprenait son regard au lieu de détourner son regard comme le faisaient les jeunes quand elle les surprenait. Aller chez Ming-Hoa était un tel supplice – avec ce thé vert horrible d’autrefois qu’il les obligeait à boire avec sa mère – qu’il lui fallait toujours après une petite consolation et quoi de mieux que les pâtisseries de Eu-meh en effet. D’habitude elle buvait d’une traite l’horrible breuvage vert en lançant un regard noir au vieil homme avant de lui rendre sa tasse avec un regard assassin afin qu’il ne soit pas tenté de lui en offrir encore. Après, il y avait toujours en prime la consolation d’une petite douceur chez Eu-meh. Mais aujourd’hui elle avait perdu trop de temps à choisir une gourmandise – un petit gâteau sec de farine de riz avec du sucre en poudre et des petits grains de sésame sur le dessus –  et elle se retrouvait donc à rentrer à cette heure tardive. La plupart de la route était illuminée mais il y avait un passage sombre qu’elle devait traverser pour rentrer chez elle. Il n’était pas très loin de la maison et s’étendait seulement sur une distance de 800 mètres mais elle n’avait jamais osé le prendre la nuit parce qu’il avait un aspect sinistre quand toutes les boutiques y étaient fermées avec seuls quelques volets qui claquaient au vent. Elle avala sa salive, redressa la tête et s’engouffra dans le passage en priant Bouddha pour que rien ne lui arrive.

Ming-Hoa, assis dans un creux derrière un des piliers du passage, observait la silhouette frêle de la jeune fille qui s’approchait se détachant contre la lueur des réverbères. Elle avait beaucoup grandi et était devenue une véritable beauté désormais. Il se souvint de combien il avait été frappé par son teint de porcelaine et ses grands yeux à la lueur verte pailletée avec des petits éclats sombres qui le faisaient penser à une malachite brute. Sa beauté n’avait besoin d’aucun artifice et même s’il se disait que son teint serait encore plus relevé par cette poudre de riz que savaient si bien appliquer les geishas autrefois, il lui semblait que c’était déjà un tel délice à observer. Il lui semblait que les sentiments qu’il gardait en lui depuis si longtemps avaient trouvé quelque résonance dans le cœur de la jeune fille car dernièrement elle soutenait avec insistance son regard comme pour l’encourager à aller plus loin. D’ailleurs, il avait observé comme elle buvait le thé qu’il lui servait. Normalement, une jeune fille timide y trempe à peine les lèvres mais Cuifen, elle, buvait avec délectation et sensualité toute la tasse et quand elle la lui rendait ses yeux lui lançaient comme un défi de lui offrir autre chose. Assez tergiversé, se dit-il. Aujourd’hui, il allait lui déclarer sa flamme à la faveur de l’obscurité de ce passage dont la complicité servirait à combler le gouffre des années qui le séparaient de la jeune fille. Cette pensée lui donna de l’espoir et il bondit d’un pas félin hors de son observatoire.

Cuifen, les lèvres pressées dans une prière silencieuse, accélérait le pas pour finir de gravir la distance qui la séparait de la sortie du passage quand une silhouette bondit devant elle de derrière un des piliers. Elle émit un cri étouffé et eut un moment de panique avant de se tranquilliser en reconnaissant – à l’odeur plus qu’aux traits qu’elle distinguait à peine dans le noir – le vieux Ming-Hoa. Elle fit quelques pas rapides vers lui pour lui proposer de l’accompagner jusque chez elle mais quelque chose la fit ralentir. Elle nota une différence avec le vieux derrière son bureau. Son pas en sortant de derrière le pilier avait quelque chose de plutôt rapide et mal adapté avec son visage de vieillard. On aurait dit plutôt un félin traquant sa proie. Elle s’arrêta net. Les dents de Ming-Hoa, éclairées par quelques lueurs orphelines des réverbères bordant l’entrée du passage luisaient dans l’obscurité d’un éclat irréel.

Chow regarda avec un œil morne le catafalque où reposait le cercueil de sa fille. Cuifen était si belle qu’il lui semblait impossible qu’elle gisait là morte. Elle se souvint du moment fatidique où la voisine accompagnée de Eu-meh étaient venues lui annoncer la nouvelle. Cuifen avait été retrouvée morte dans le passage à côté de la maison. Chow, une femme forte aux épaules abaissées par des années de travail manuel, ne ressemblait en rien à sa fille. Elle avait un teint buriné par le soleil et ses yeux noirs étaient aussi inexpressifs que ceux de sa fille avaient été animés. Elle regarda sa fille étendue et pour la première fois ressentit comme un pincement au cœur de ne lui avoir jamais dit combien elle comptait pour elle. D’un coup, toute sa rudesse légendaire disparut et ses voisins furent surpris de voir de grosses larmes couler sur ses joues. Visiblement elle n’était pas la seule qui souffrait car à ses côtés Ming-Hoa aussi semblait pris d’une détresse qui faisait peine à voir. Il bredouillait quelque chose sous son souffle comme une litanie et ses yeux fiévreux étaient remplis de larmes. Chow posa la main sur la vieille main fripée du vieillard pour essayer de le calmer. Il avait été si généreux de vouloir ainsi faire enterrer Cuifen en grande pompe avec un catafalque en forme de dragon et un sépulcre fait de marbre, comme si elle avait été la fille d’un notable. Chow regretta les moments où elle avait pesté intérieurement contre le vieillard quand il commençait à divaguer sur les fastes d’autrefois et se dit qu’on jugeait parfois vraiment mal les gens. Elle ne s’était jamais rendu compte de combien son cœur était grand et combien lui aussi aimait Cuifen comme si elle était sa propre fille. Pour récompenser son geste généreux, elle voulait qu’il soit le seul à parler de Cuifen pour l’oraison aux morts normalement réservée aux parents de la défunte. Elle avait été initialement surprise qu’il refuse mais attribua ceci à son grand cœur qui ne voulait aucune récompense pour sa générosité donc elle insista et Ming-Hoa accepta en ayant le bon goût de sembler le faire avec contrition.

Le moment de l’oraison était venu. Ming-Hoa la regarda d’un air étrange comme s’il voulait lui dire quelque chose mais se ravisa et alla devant l’assemblée pour délivrer son oraison. Il se redressa et s’éclaircit la voix.

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Lire ici la deuxième partie: “Le discours de Ming-Hoa”

Pensées pour 2011

1er janvier 2011 

Je positive

Il faut bien que bonheur enfin on vive

Et pourtant au fond je frisonne

De toutes ces lâchetés auxquelles on s’adonne

Je positive

Mais ma chair a été passée à la chaux vive

Comme tant d’autres personnes dénigrées

Pour avoir un temps le mot libre osé

Je positive

Oui mes amis je récidive

Je ne peux dire que tout est fini

Que demain sera comme aujourd’hui

Je positive

Les tripes en bouillie la main lascive

Je crée encore un rêve éphémère

Pour croire qu’il n’y aura plus de guerre

Je positive

Je m’insurge ne peux rester passive

J’ai le regard las

Je ne compte plus mes tracas

Je positive

J’ai troqué contre sucre le goût d’endives

J’ai l’âme en peine

J’ai couru jusqu’à en perdre haleine

De peur que vienne

2011 sans que je m’en souvienne

Je positive

Je reste à propos de l’homme pensive

Comme tant d’autres de cette même espèce

Sur comment la chair fraternelle il dépèce

Je positive

Je relègue mon travail me refais « oisive »

Je pense pouvoir un peu le monde changer

Si je pouvais appliquer d’augustes pensées

Je positive

Je me dis qu’à changer il faut qu’on s’active

Je m’occupe dès lors de Microfinance

Et tous de crier quelle drôle de stance

Je positive

Je me dis que malheurs il faut qu’on écrive

Je conte ma vie en mille quatrains

On m’en reproche tous les refrains

Je positive

Je me dis qu’à créer, vivre il faut qu’on arrive

Qu’un jour la poésie ne sera plus maudite

Et qu’en l’écrivant on ne prendra la fuite

Je positive

Je sens mon âme s’en aller à la dérive

Je grince les dents en recherche d’espoir

Tandis que lumière et espoir combattent le noir