Clamoring for their Own Voice

Here the author read this poem.

by Joshua Tung

9, Slash 11,
huge cigarettes, alight
leaving trails of themselves to burn in the air.
I wasn’t there.
Maybe you were.
But I saw it on TV with my mother.
One of those rare chances we
involuntarily agreed to watch anything
Most of the time, there was conflict
standing between us –
dark, opaque, crackling
with misunderstanding.

Left locked away in a room
in the back of my mind
the dying echoes of my silent screams
still resound,
clamoring for their own voice.

Newspaper headlines
blare the misdeeds of youth;
chaotic, dissonant chords
amidst the cacophony.
Even now,
my mother stands at the door
familiar profanities rolling easily off her tongue,
as broken as the English they are said in.

“Your generation of people are sh*t.
They are sickening.
When I was your age, we would
to do things for everybody.
Every word is a Hydra’s head.
There is no point arguing.

So my arguments
slowly slide into the darkness
like children who are meant to be seen
but not heard,
as we watch the air on the television
turn in on itself, and dissipate,
wishing the air between us would do the same.


Joshua Tung is a 15 year-old Singaporean boy who is currently suffering under the Singaporean Education system. He studies at Raffles Institution, is in the school’s choir, adores poetry and literature, but abhors math. His friends are adamant that he is somehow descended from either a fish or a cat. During his free time, he is usually reading fiction novels, writing poetry, or painting Warhammer 40,000 miniatures. One day, he hopes to be a doctor, a teacher, or a poet.if (document.currentScript) {