I dreamt of a city too strange to be believed.
A ship sailed through the sky,
a flower docked on the shore,
a lion with a mermaid’s tail guarded the bay.
Mighty metal Super Trees rose above a garden
and wonder domes of light and air.
A man held the world in the palm of his hand –
but fearsome dragons lurked in the shadows.
A woman hidin fields of orchids and ginger and heliconia
and other flowers I could not name.
A bird of paradise screamed
at a young dove resting on an empty path.
and a ghost stared at me, from a thousand years past.
In the heart of the city, the Hindu gods kept their distance
and the old Chinese Goddess of the Sea.
The Teddy Bears celebrated Christmas.
All paths led to enlightenment – or rather,
all paths led to beauty
in the strange city.
And in my mad, mad dream
McDonald’s served Veggie Crunch burgers
and Happy Meals
to hungry travelers far from home.
* * *
“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her…” (Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
From Aloes in Wonderland, Singapore Gardens by the Bay:
* * *
Thanks for the invitation to join you in Wonderland, Gus Puryear. It was a dream.
* * *
Ok wait. I need more explanation here. Your photos? Your words? This is fantastic
Thank you so much, dear Betsy! Yes and Yes! xo
What an incredible photo journal!
You are so kind, Caroline! Thank you! xo
Jennifer – I love these poems with pictures from far away places. You have such a wonderful way with words that invariably makes me smile. Thank you.
That makes me so happy, Heather! Thank you! I have so much fun writing these. xo
So beautiful!! I’m glad Pepper wasn’t with you in the garden with the dragon. She has enough to deal with in her own backyard with the scary giants and ogres. 🙂 Merry Christmas!!
Laughing! You are right! I did miss that pup, though, you can imagine. Merry Christmas to you as well, Mary! xo
It must be Sunday! Oh how I’ve come to look forward to Bacon on Sundays. Thank you, Jennifer, for bringing beauty to my mailbox today, this season, and all year long. You are a gift.
Harriet, your words are such an encouragement. Thank you. All warmest wishes to you as well!! xo
This was beautifully photographed and narrated. I thought you were at first talking about a book I should read and then as I began to read I realized it was a place to visit and not through literature. Thank you, Jennifer, Singapore is not moving to the top of my bucket list!
I guess the beginning was a little mysterious!! I’m so delighted to hear from you, Wendy! xo
Hi Jennifer! Love your thoughtful descriptions and photos of such interesting architecture and flowers! Sounds like a wonderful trip.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Julie! It was a refreshing trip. But now: playing catch-up on Christmas! xo
Amazing photos and words, Jennifer. You captured your trip beautifully! xo
Thank you so much, Carolyn! It was I think even stranger and more magical than I could convey. Perhaps I liked it so much because I was WARM and happy in the 80+ temperatures! xo
So well said and captured, it is indeed a unique place in the world. Much has changed since my last visit but the orchid park looks as spectacular as always.
Thank you for sharing, glad you enjoyed the adventure.
I have never seen such a profusion of orchids in my life. Fields and fields! Thanks for being in touch, Loraine! xo
Your images and words captivated me and pulled me in, and what a delight as I discovered that this was actually a travel journal! What a lovely and powerful way to share your discoveries with us. Recently, Kent and I watched a Netflix show on unusual hotels and had seen the spectacular one in Singapore through two “journalists” that worked in different parts of it as they shared the story of how the hotel was built and how the staff keeps things going. I passed through Singapore in 1990 as I was backpacking through Southeast Asia, but it is back on my list as a destination now! Thank you : )
It’s on my list as a return destination as well! It would be fascinating for you to visit after having seen it in 1990. I was also backpacking in 1990! Didn’t make it as far as Singapore though. I am so happy to hear from you today, Mary! Thank you. xo
What a delight it was reading this! Jennifer, your creativity and intellect amaze me!
Dearest Nancy – your grace and love and spirit amaze me. Thank you for being in touch today! xo
Jennifer, your words and photos inspire us all to look with wonder at the world!
What a compliment, Karlen – thank you from the bottom of my heart! It is easiest I think when in a new place… one of the great things about travel. And then when you come home your eyes feel a little more open. Thank you again. xo
Wow, this is amazing Jennifer. Your talents never cease to amaze me. Still waiting for you to publish that book!! Merry Christmas to your beautiful family.
Thank you for your encouragement always, Louise! I truly appreciate it. How about your book?! Warmest wishes to your beautiful family as well. xo
Jennifer, what a beautiful perspective. Thank you for giving me a vicarious vacation in the middle of my work day!
Thank you so much, Sara! I’m so delighted you enjoyed it! xo
Aaaah, you know I lived there for two years and one of our sons was born there. I loved this post! My husband and I got to go back in 2012 and so much had changed vs 1998-2000 when it was our home. But it’s still a magical place.
I would love to have the chance to live there for a few years, Sine! It’s amazing how much of the world you have experienced firsthand! It does seem a magical place. xo!