top of page

Council flats


I didn’t like the walk.

Down three steps past yellow bricked walls.

Graffiti always,

funny, sometimes,

around the corner

and some more

a barking dog

or a skinhead having a fag.

“F@*$% off you chink”

so I did

with a hop and a skip and a jump.

Made my orange juice spill though and my sandwiches lose their cheese.

A little faster

come on

past blackberry bushes, stepping on nettles, bleeding knees staining my shoes

I’m late. Bell’s rung already.

They should do something with this place.

Build another tower,

more concrete walls with flat tops,

more cells for pensioners and foreigners who can’t speak English,

dark corners for a quick one

bottom steps to crash out on

cold slabs to nurse a kick in the groin.


that or a football field.

If Only


She opened the door and expected hope

To greet

With welcoming hands and a cup of camomile tea.

Only silence pushed against a brick wall.

So she played a ukulele with no strings

And watched knots unravel

To become tassels held by the wind

And clouds circling in twisted cords

As her hands grabbed teaspoons of time.


If only

To stroke red cloth on my knee

And sway my head from side to side.

Like Tai Chi


The master of air

Took a ball and made it smaller

In an open field

Darkened by the mountains

An eagle or two overhead

Fanning their wings in approval

At the way he curves his lips

Lowers his eyelids

And makes light the wind.

Garang Guni


He calls me with his horn

And I wait,

With piles of newspapers

Torn and coffee stained.


Smudged lines of tragedy

Once read with sympathy


Buried in vaults without doors.


My hand waves and then retreats.


And he does.

His mouth curves greeting his ears

But his black marble eyes

Hold a different conversation.

He brings out his scale, rusting under the weight of yesterday

As pink raffia scratches to wrap my load

“One dollar thirty sister”

“In ten cents, can?”


A closing zip

And the shuffle of slippers

He is gone.

As the gate locks

Again I hear

The distant sound

Of his tooting horn.


The Housewife


A well to be filled

Of crystal cut glasses and stainless steel knives

A washing machine turning

A cooker hob burning

Ceramic pots of boiling soup

Mud-stained rugby shorts in the soak

Painting school shoes white

Stroke by stroke


Waiting in the car

For another lesson to be over

Thick toffee stirring a wooden spoon

One more song to play

It’s the same everyday


And dreams?

Buried in hardened earth

In letters wrapped in pandan leaves.


In a parched field

I stretch open my arms

But here


Fingers given

Hands gone


A torso on bow legs

Resting on broad feet.BW

Born in London and based in Singapore for the last twenty-one years, Suet Tan, a chartered accountant, began writing plays after a playwriting workshop in 2001.


Since then she has written nine plays including Sperm, performed by Magdalena (Singapore) at the OCBC Singapore Theatre Festival, and Shopping with Ang performed by Yellow Earth Theatre (YET) in London. She hopes to stage her newest play A Second Life in both London and Singapore in 2014.


A rehearsed reading of A Second Life will be staged in the UK on Sat 14 Dec 2013. It is also a networking event for creative people. 


Book now as will be a popular event!

Click HERE for more articles

bottom of page