Sunday, November 8, 1998


Sunday Style, New Sunday Times, Malaysia

Doggerel by JOHAN
Picture by ROGER TAN


I have to keep my hand in,
By acting as a stand-in,
For a much-acclaimed and celebrated ape.
Although his fees are dearer,
I'm a substitute for Wira,
A menial role from which I can't escape.

What Wira does for real,
With heavy bars of steel,
I do with polystyrene, balsawood and cork.
In everything athletic,
My efforts are pathetic,
And I even tire quickly if asked to walk.

I'm not the Wira type,
In spite of all the hype,
For 'Wira' means a brave outstanding hero.
I chicken out of fights,
I'm terrified of heights,
And my rating as a warrior's nigh to zero.

I really just can't take it,
But when I'm told to fake it,
That's when you find I really go for gold.
For pixmen always wangle,
A convincing camera angle,
To make me look a winner - brave and bold.

I tried for many days,
To ape his winning ways,
But some things Wira has I just ain't got.
Although I'm not a fool,
Ol' Wira's really cool,
And those who really know me think I'm not.

At the starting block,
There's a special clock,
Which the cameraman always gets into frame.
He shoots me beginning,
And once again winning,
And the time on the clock is nearly the same.

But with a touch of make-up,
I'm quite prepared to take up,
Whatever pose the studio team dictates.
Whether finishing the mile,
With a big triumphant smile,
Or going gold by lifting heavy weights.

It seems like I'm fast,
But the time that's passed,
Is longer than ever the viewers would guess.
It's no more than a fiddle,
'Cos the bit in the middle,
Is just not recorded, I'm ashamed to confess.

But don't call me 'Wira',
My real name is Elvira,
His five-year-old sister, youthful and tender.
Though I'm truly his double,
It could cause real trouble,
Because I'm the wrong age - and wrong gender!

1 comment:

  1. Who is this Johan? He is really one great poet! Why nowadays we do not have this in NST?