19 comments

  1. Words float away indeed but not without either pinching or soothing.
    Words can cut like sword
    Use with  love and  tenderness
    They can heal like balm

    1. You are right, Indira,

      Words and tone can be put to good and bad use. Better to heal than hurt.

      Peace,
      Eric

      Match situations
      Not only with words, tone too
      Seek to heal, not hurt

      In secret, they referred to him as Mr Interesting. His repertoire was much wider of course, but “interesting” was his default response to most situations.

      He walked into a shouting match between two members of his staff. He stood at the doorway and, in silence, watched the exchange. When the quarrel did no abate, he raised his voice and said,

      ‘What an interesting show of talent!’

      After the business plan presentation by a manager, he clapped to show his appreciation. The staff waited for his verdict.

      ‘That’s very interesting,’ he said, with a wide smile.

      One late evening, he walked into the pantry and caught two staffers kissing.

      ‘Interesting,’ he said in a soft voice. Then, he went about making coffee for himself and left, leaving the two staffers red faced.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Ankur,

      Good of you to drop by with your comment.

      Cheers!
      Eric

      A jarring punchline
      Cautions one to heed one’s words
      Shock treatment does help

      ‘I don’t know why you find me unsuitable for the job,’ said the applicant. ‘I do have plenty of experience with chicken.’

      ‘That you do, sir, but unfortunately your experience is quite irrelevant and even dangerous for the job on offer,’ said the manager.

      ‘I know why you will not give me the job. It’s because I’m different,’ said the applicant. ‘I look different. I speak different. And why, even my diet is different.’

      ‘Yes, sir, it’s your dietary requirements that concern us,’ said the manager.

      ‘You’re a bigot. A bigot, a big-big-big bigot!’

      ‘And you, sir, are a fox; hardly the ideal applicant to be guarding our chicken coop.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  2. This sounds like me when I speak without thinking first – unfortunately a too often occurrence 🙂 Sometimes we have to pick our way over the flints to rebuild relationships.

    1. Hello Sarah,

      Well I suppose, some do grapple with a mouth that has a mind of its own. LOL.

      Cheers,
      Eric

      Shooting from the hip
      In movies: hits the bad guys
      In life: shoots own foot

      Janice looked forward to her holiday in Singapore. After collecting her luggage, she headed for the Green Channel and, as directed, placed her bags through x-ray.

      ‘Anything to declare, ma’am?’ asked the customs officer.

      ‘No,’ said Janice.

      ‘That’s good to know,’ said the officer. He had said more than usual.

      If Janice had left it at that, all would have been fine. But she had this insane need to have the last word in everything.

      ‘But I do have some pills, you know, for pain relief and all.’

      ‘Paracetamol?’

      She could have—should have—said yes, and stopped. But she had to say this and that, and some more.

      The officer decided to check her bag. He found the paracetamol—together with a bag of ecstasy pills.

      ‘Oh, it’s just for recreation and stuff, you know. I’m meeting my friends later and we plan to party and all.’

      She should have paid more attention to her disembarkation card. It was clearly stamped in bold red letters that in Singapore, in most cases, drug traffickers face a mandatory death penalty.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  3. Has always been the power of words that conquer but also unite. Perhaps that is why we are given a heart to discern and help to heal the wound, then we start anew with words of encouragement. We can brush the flints off or let it stay imprinted. I prefer to brush it off and step on fresh green fields, softer and makes me happier.

    1. Hello Windy dear,

      Another well thought comment. I like your viewpoints – always refreshing and positive. I tend to lean to the dark side and therefore welcome the balance you provide.

      Thank you,
      Eric

      Man’s mighty weapon
      Road to conquest paved by words
      As is road to peace

      After Caesar defeated the Belgae, he gathered their chieftains and offered them terms.

      ‘I will not winter my legions on your land; I will not place a Roman consul to overlord you; and, you will rule your own people by the laws of your customs,’ said Caesar. ‘And if the Celts or the Aquitani, who are your natural foes as they are, for now, mine, threaten your peace, I shall send you help. Military help to keep your lands safe from harassment.’

      And all the gathered chieftains, they who had fought Caesar’s legions with unrelenting valour, nodded and showed their approval.

      ‘But I shall hold you to two conditions, and you will suffer the pain of death if these conditions are not met,’ said Caesar, and he held the eyes of each chieftain one by one as he spoke.

      ‘You will send me horse and foot when I set forth to press my claims on Germania. And you will send me grain, maize, for my campaign there.’

      The Belgae agreed and Caesar secured peace with the fiercest of his foes.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    2. Hello Windy,

      You are right – true statesmen win with words and Julius Caesar was the best of his time. He was more than a war winning general. He was a consummate strategist both in war and statesmanship – and an author too.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

    1. Hello Ina,
      True, long after the spoken words, the hurt festers.
      Have a good day,
      Eric

      Echoes in the mind
      Looping, reminding, wrenching
      Speaker remains blithe

      Marina was a loyal and hardworking live-in housemaid for the Tans. She had come from a remote village in Indonesia to eke out a living in Singapore. Her day started early in the morning when she would go down to the parking lot and wash her employers’ car.

      The Tans did not show appreciation for Marina’s work but were quick to point out her errors and oversights. Marina took their criticism in her stride. She needed the job to support her family back home. Moreover, as long as they scolded her in private, she could tolerate it.

      One day, Mr Tan saw a deep scratch on the bonnet of his car and flew into a rage. He assumed that Marina was the culprit. He brought Marina to the parking lot and raised his voice. Soon, a small crowd gathered to watch. Marina felt humiliated.

      Later in the day, one of the maids informed Marina that her employer told Mr Tan that the culprit was actually a teenager, a stranger to the neighbourhood.

      Marina was relieved and expected Mr Tan to apologise to her. But he never did.

      The Chinese, unlike the Indonesians, gave too much weight to “losing face”. Marina could not shake off the public humiliation.

      When time came to renew her employment contract, she declined. She went back to the agency and found a job with another employer.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  4. I suppose in a sense they float away in the air. Some words can bring a sweet fragrance with them and some affect many must as the wind plants seeds indiscriminately. But some don’t float, they stick and hurt as we walk through them. You’ve cleverly crafted this one Eric. 🙂

    1. Hello Ian,
      You’ve covered both the positive and negative aspects of words. And very true, too, what you say.
      Thank you for your kind words,
      Eric

      Wounds from words don’t heal
      Indiscriminate seeds sown
      No good grows from these

      The staff loved their division manager, Leong.

      In all the years they had known him, Leong never spoke a harsh word. But he was no wimp. He drove his team hard and extracted exemplary results. Every year, the division would achieve all the KPIs; and he rewarded his staff well.

      This did not mean that he lacked anger. Many times, he wanted to explode but would always defuse the situation.

      Whenever he felt himself start to lose his calm, he would simply get up and walk away. Sometimes, he would even walk out of meetings, only to return minutes later with a cheerful face.

      The staff knew—and that was enough admonishment.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Jane,
      Thank you, and enjoy the discoveries that follow.
      Cheers!
      Eric

      Less words trigger thoughts
      Help others see their genius
      Authors take back seat

      No one dared squeak a word, as Cathy bustled into her office with a litany of complaints.

      As usual everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for her: the tap in the kitchen sink was leaking and the plumber has again cancelled the appointment; the baby-sitter called in sick and she was unable to join her friends for their girls’ night out; and, the delivery man had left a parcel on the porch and the rain had soaked it.

      ‘It’ll be the seventh time when I call those dick heads at the delivery service,’ she said, to no one in particular as she threw her bag on a box in the corner, and dropped into her chair.

      She looked up and saw Ken standing at the door.

      ‘Bad evening?’ he asked.

      ‘What do you want?’

      ‘Old Man wants to see you,’ said Ken. ‘Another complaint, and this time from a supplier.’

      ‘Great!’

      Ken turned, stopped, and turned back. He said,

      ‘Try being nice to people for a change. It might just work.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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