An Old House

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Reflection is like a house,

It has many faces, spaces and dimensions;

It may have a hole for a mouse or a shed for cow.

But it an also shine like the king's mansions.


The house has a view from its top -- both front and behind;

A perspective of reality -- curving and arching and with time.

These fleeting years that the swarming locusts find,

Leaving an uncelebrated present that's tenuous and not sublime.


The house has windows, open like our mind and soul,

The shutters shook -- then in flew fiendish fate,

The chattels of hopes and dreams it boldly stole,

What is left are odd pieces of baggage in a sorry state.


The house has wooden doors with bolts to secure,

Some had come, though unwelcome, to stay,

Then the lights went out; the place grew grim,

The old house, weary and worn, is closed to wait for the day.


Andrew Yip is a rare breed. Psychologist, educationist, army major and housing developer, he writes in English and Chinese. Son of world famous photographer, Yip Cheong-Fun, he adds poetry to his father's masterpieces.

This poem was first published in asia!'s April 2006 print issue.