by Hun Tong

Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Into the seas
I dig my oars
Sweat pouring from my pores
I wake and sleep
Work and eat
Marvel at the tide
Upon this boat I ride

Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Africa here I go
Where lions roar and giraffes dance
I marvel at the sun

Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Shanghai here I go
I park the boat near the Bund
Join the revelry and fun

Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Hongkong here I go

Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Into the seas
I dig my oars
My bride waits ashore
Heave ho, heave ho
The wheelchair rolls
As I stare at my boats I love
Sitting on the shelf above
Days are numbers
Nights I don’t slumber
I think of my days at sea
Memories I fondly see

My strength is spent
My knees are bent
My vision’s blur
But memories at sea … my heart stirs

You show up in my dreams
Sometimes a fleeting scene
I hold you in my arms
But you are gone when morning comes

I saw you that morning
The smile on your face
But then your face suddenly contorted
And then forever you departed

When can I see you again?
How do I ease my pain?
Time stands so still
My heart waits to be filled
Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Into the distance,
I dig my oars
The lighthouse be my guide,
The journey abides

Hey Ho, Hey Ho
Into the distance,
I dig my oars
My dream, wait for me
Soon I will be with thee

Filmmaker Biography: Beeli is a filmmaker based in Singapore. She is passionate about telling personal and intimate stories. Her 15-min documentary, Sin Hup Yick (2002) got an honorable mention at the 11th International Etiuda Film Festival in Poland. Linger (2009), an autobiographical piece on the process of grieving was the official selection at the Damah Film Festival in Hiroshima (2010), Corto Tokyo CON-CAN Movie Festival (2010) and the 29th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

Poet Biography: Hun Tong says he is a hibernating poet who writes as a hobby when he is inspired and moved. He is a faculty member at a local university. 

Synopsis: A daughter’s fascination with his father long lost dreams of sailing told through a documentary poetry film.

Process Notes: “Since young, I have often wondered why my father likes to collect world maps, atlas, travel postcards and videodisc on topics of travelling. It was during adolescent that I realized my father used to work on a cargo ship in his twenties. He loves to share stories about his days at sea and the souvenirs that he collected from the various places that he visited. Despite being wheelchair bound and losing strength due to his Parkinson disease, his curiosity and dreams of travel are always with him. I wanted to explore the idea of how one can seek solace within themselves by reconciling with their deepest dreams. Hence I approach the poet, Hun Tong with the themes that I wanted to discuss, stories about my dad and he wrote the poem after that. I used the docupoetry format to present this film because I wanted a sparse and fleeting quality to it.”



One thought on “THE SAILOR

  1. Beautifully told

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