Existence (a poem for a tattoo)

Hi friends,

I got my first tattoo in January 2018 and it was designed by the amazing & talented Zeze who is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

It is based off a Chinese fable called 猴子捞月 (the monkeys saving the moon) – if anyone is interested in what the story is about, I’m happy to provide a translated version.

I’ve been trying to write a poem inspired by the fable, but it just wasn’t working, I think it was a tad too restrictive. Instead,  I wrote a little something very loosely inspired by Zeze’s artwork alone.

I think that’s one of the best things about art, how it can be re-discovered, re-imagined and re-mixed to produce unexpected results and then interpreted every which way too.

Either way, a life update & a poem, I hope you like it.

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 3.10.35 pm.png
Image courtesy of: Zeze

deep in the forest,
a little monkey, drunk
on moonshine, falls in love
with lady luna, vowing to
one day be by her side.

he tangles his body into vines
bathes in the blessings of her light
before dipping his paw into
her sacred tears, coating his
palm in the pale, soft night.

he feels the ephemeral moment
stretch into eternity before
snapping back into sharp
reality, fur marred by all the
shadowed lies, lingering desires
screamed into the skies, the wind
howls back as he hangs on for dear life,
voice hoarse, heart heavy and tired.

her kindness laps at his silhouette
at the water’s edge, pushing back
the intangible darkness, a proof of being,
in the present, an undeniable existence
of self.


6 thoughts on “Existence (a poem for a tattoo)

  1. Nice Tattoo and poem as well. I am a tad bit curious in the Fable of the monkeys saving the moon, how the heck they managed that? The poem was nice, enjoyed the read.


    1. Thank you! Spoiler alert: they didn’t

      Rough translation: One day a little monkey catches the reflection of the moon on the ripples of the nearby lake and gasps in shock, “the moon has fallen in! we must save it!”

      He speeds off to tells the monkey chief about the situation, and the chief immediately decides the tribe should do everything they can to save the moon.

      After thinking for a long time, they come up with an idea. They will hang off the branch of a tall tree in order to reach the moon.

      So that’s what they do, the first monkey hangs off the branch with his tail, grabs the feet of the next monkey, so on so forth until the little monkey hangs over the edge of the water, ready to grab the moon.

      (There’s two versions of the story, sort of like Grimm’s fairy tales vs their Disney counterparts)

      Ver 1: The little monkey keeps trying and trying to grab the moon but keeps ‘breaking’ and ‘dropping’ it back into the water. He gets very frustrated, until he looks up and suddenly realises it’s still in the sky. He sheepishly tells the rest of the tribe and all of the monkeys laugh and realise how silly they were.

      Ver 2: They keep trying to grab the moon but they take too long and are too heavy for the branch. It bends and breaks under their weight and alas, and they all fall into the water and drown.

      Liked by 1 person

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