I love participating in writing competitions. Connecting with other writers and kidlit enthusiasts, stepping out of your comfort zone, and writing under tight guidelines of limited word counts and image prompts is a great way to stretch yourself and your craft.
This year’s challenge was to find a gif and write a spring-inspired story for kids aged 12 and under in less than 150 words.
Having lived in Asia for 17 years, I miss the changing seasons dearly. Spring was my favourite season of all growing up in the UK. Lambs in the fields, blossom on the trees and the sense of life warming up around you, preparing for Summer. But dreaming only of home means not looking up and around you where you are right now. Spring is here too!
Sure, its hot all year and humid all year but with the monsoons comes defined changes in the natural environment. Following the heavy winter rains, the days brighten, birds build nests and trees even blossom!
My favourite tree in Singapore (apart from the fragrant Frangiapanis, the tall Tembusas and the iconic rain trees – can you tell I like trees :)) is the Trumpet Tree or Pink Poui. It is often seen flowering in April, induced by the warming, drier weather. Scientifically named Tabebuia rosea, it is a perennial tree that grows to about 18 to 35 m tall. The word “rosea” refers to the rose-coloured petals of the flower (although the flower is not a rose but in fact, a Begonia). The flowers are trumpet-shaped and grow to about 5 to 8 cm. After several days of blooming they wilt and fall to the floor carpeting Singapore in a blanket of pink.
Spring is Singapore’s very own cherry blossom season!
My story was written in honour of Singapore’s forgotten spring. I hope you enjoy my entry!
A SINGAPORE SPRING (140 words)
It’s hot here.
So hot the sweat trickles,
Carving a creek down my neck.
All the way to my feet.
It’s wet too.
So wet you never feel dry.
I thought I knew rain until I came here.
Fierce and thunderous.
Day after day,
Roaring in my ears.
But today –
Today all I can hear is an orchestra,
Of whining cicadas
Stirring the soupy air.
Warming up for what’s to come.
My toes squelch,
Squashing a still, stagnant pool
that’s not really grass.
pretending to be grass.
Pretending they belong –
I wished we’d never come here.
Where the air is still and sticky
Where monsoons and sunshafts meet
Until I look up and see.
A flourish of trumpets blaring.
Blooming pink and perfect
Calling to me
Spring is here