Sunset on the Upper Deck

Clunk, clunk … Clunk, clunk …
The leaden behemoth, worn and frail,
Limped across town like a shabby war junk,
Groaning with its loss of masts and sails
I laughed as it staggered on like a drunk,
Rattling along the winding rails

Abreast a coolie’s ancient tricycle,
While bustling traffic passed nonchalantly by,
Into the sunset we ponderously rode
As the street lamps lit up and neons glowed,
My yellowed memories grew whimsical
In a long, weary sigh,
Old Hong Kong receded beneath the dusky sky

Ding, ding … Ding, ding …
Among faceless towers of concrete and glass
Resounded the behemoth’s mournful ring,
To bricks and mortar in centuries past –
Once young and thriving, now razed to nothing,
Forgotten since their coups de grâce

With strange resemblance to sweet old Granny,
To whom I wished I had said goodbye,
Was a grey-haired matron across the aisle
I watched as she soothed her lad to sleep awhile
With a voice most loving and words most kindly
Before my watery eyes,
Their silhouettes, too, faded into the dusky sky


Colin Lee


Note: A poem written before joining the blogging community. Linking it up to d’Verse on 10th Mar, 2017. In loving memory of Granny.

15 thoughts on “Sunset on the Upper Deck

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  1. Those were some ancient trolley cars/buses limping along. You describe your memories so well and the scene is a perfect backdrop for your musings on your granny. Very sweet last stanza, Colin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gayle! They are trams. 🙂

      It’s been over a decade since Granny left us — on a day when I was not in town to see her for one last time. But I’m sure she is in good hands up there.


      1. I was trying to figure out what the proper term was for that transportation…trams of course! 🙂 Sorry that you lost your beloved Granny, Colin, but I too believe she is doing well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the comparison to the brick and mortar buildings that have been torn down to the old woman who reminded you of your grandmother seated next to you on the trolley. Watching the street lights turn on must have been memorable. I remember taking one of the old streetcars in San Francisco pulled by something underground years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sanaa! It was one of my earlier poems, a bit raw on techniques but luckily raw enough on the sentiment. On that day, I took the day off and sent my son to school for the first time (instead of having my wife to do it). And later that day, I chanced upon this old lady who spoke in the exact manner as my Granny. There was quite a mixture of emotions in that moment — you know, when I wished my Granny were here to enjoy my little family, or thoughts like that.


    1. Thank you, Bjorn! You are never short on nice things to say! 🙂 The tram ride always makes folks like us feel nostalgic. After all it is not easy to let go … be it people or historic architectures. Quite a shame the old town has faded away much too quickly.


    1. Thank you, Scott! It was one of my first poems — beginner’s luck? I guess also it was a very emotional moment on the tram, which did breathe some life into the words and expressions. 🙂


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