Worker Writes

Worker Writes!2014-results/ckg1

I chose this blog activity as often, when heading back from school, I would encounter large groups of foreign workers and wondered how they felt about working in Singapore. As poetry is a means of expressing yourself, this is the perfect activity for me to find out how they feel.

Pocket 2
Still in the same world, we belong to different spheres

You on that side and me on this:

we can do nothing but remember each other

The memories of you and me hang like posters

on the wall of the Ekushe bookfair

at the doil chatta, under the shade of the bakul tree at Charukala

at Hakim square, in the hoodless rickshaw

at the florists of Shahbag, at the open field of TSC

on the water of Ramana lake

in a night of shades and lights

on our bed of love


I remember when I returned this time

my heart dissolved in your tears

The pocket of my shirt was wet

Reaching the end of my memories

I wear that shirt every night

and write love poems to you

Do I really write poems

Or do my poems cry with me?


Second in a set if three poems with ‘pocket’ as the main conceit. The first one is about the poet’s son, the second about his wife and the third about his father.

Written by: Zakir Hussain Khokhon


I never knew that some of our migrant workers were published writers with degrees!  However, I was proven wrong when this poem written by Mr. Zakir Hussain Khokhon won the 2014 migrant worker poetry competition.  This poem was dedicated to his wife back home in Bangladesh.  it expresses how dearly he misses his wife and he can’t do anything about it other than reminiscing about the memories they shared in the past.  Many of the migrant workers in Singapore wrote about longing for their homeland and reunion with their families. This poem made me realise that we often don’t think much of the migrant workers in Singapore, but each and every one of them has a unique story behind them that touches our hearts.


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