24th century lullaby
moonlight starlight sunlight shooting
comet cleaner meaner brutal
bruises snoozing alarm hooting
newsy reports retort hymnal
singing ringing bringing comfort
lightspeed needed freedom breeding
symbols ciphers runic transport
moving learning secrets reading
tellings legends stories fairies
healings heavens fearless airtight
waking conscious future clearly
shooting moonlight starlight sunlight
Poet's Notes: I first heard of the empat perkataan from in an article by Shelly Bryant in Scifaikuest. Malaysian, the basic form is made of rhyming quatrains where each line contains four words and each word is two syllables. Part of the goal and movement in the poem is for the words to relate in image or sound. Sound associations and the repetitive rhythm of these poems create an exciting new form that I find similar to impressionism. As Bryant noted, this form seems well suited to speculative poetry, a means to new language and image.
Editor’s Note: Thank you John for introducing me to the empat perkataan form and for providing such a moving example of it. I am looking forward to experimenting with the form myself.