Day 8

30 Days Of Art With NAC: Silent Revolution by Deborah Emmanuel

To inspire and uplift readers as the country emerges from the Covid-19 circuit breaker, The Straits Times, supported by the National Arts Council as part of the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign, has commissioned 30 works by local writers and artists on the pandemic and what it will be like when all this is over


In the spaces between these words,

first light blooms upon a mountain of shadow.

All that is hidden floats to the surface,

dying fish rising out of the ocean.

All that was unsaid dangles in the air,

a delicate mobile dancing into form.

In solitude, resilience springs forth,

a fountain which did not know itself.

In the chasms between each sound

whole civilisations are found

birthing themselves from the rubble,

peeling away bandages from forgotten fruit,

striking matches for a new fire.

A fragile world

crumbles to become


perfect circle.

A star shines bright in a traffic-void sky. From the silence,

a single breath

is drawn


the belly

of the universe,

releasing winds of revolution upon an unsuspecting earth.

• Deborah Emmanuel, 31, is a singer, performance artist and the author of three books, including memoir Rebel Rites (2016) and poetry collection Genesis (2019). During the circuit breaker, she got a puppy called Loki/Low Key.

• To read the other works in this series online, go here. To listen to them in a podcast, go here.

• For more local digital arts offerings, visit to appreciate #SGCultureAnywhere

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2020, with the headline 30 Days Of Art With NAC: Silent Revolution by Deborah Emmanuel. Subscribe