Babas and Nonyas

A Study of Sino-Malay Ethnoculture



bare barb

stinging touch

thorn among roses

blooming in all seasons

hearts always open to the world

enduring, happy and sad, everlasting

ever inviting, enticing, romancing

your patience long lasting

through rain and sun

yet blossoming

then wilting




one by one

from off the hip

petals stir in the breeze

colorful flames float upon the water

perfumed clouds drift between heaven and earth

blowing with the leaves across mountains and valleys

lost within the lengthening shadows of the twilight

beneath the evening moon and morning stars

ephemeral moments so enchanting

brief spell finally broken

simple serenity

and beauty

all gone


tell me

if you can

where are they now

my daughters of the soil?


For my two little Nonyas

Hugh M. Lewis