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It was a rainy night. Raindrops pelted the pavement and the air was electric with the hustle and bustle of warm bodies on their way to their next destination. I was visiting this area for the first time in a very long while, and, even in the midst of rushing to the studio for the poetry and music night, I stopped to breathe in the damp air and feel the intoxicating atmosphere of the streets at night.

Soon enough, I arrived at the studio. It was a cozy space; walls were draped with beautiful bursts of colourful paintings; the lights were dim and comforting. I was late, so the poetry and music night had already started. Daryl was on stage reading aloud his poetry to the soft strumming of guitar notes.

In that moment, as I took in the musical notes and Daryl’s steady, firm voice reading aloud his poetry, I was struck by how the music and poetry commingled to form a new creation, a new piece of art. Bursts of language danced through the air, waltzing along with the musical notes floating through the night, punctuated by brief pauses of meditative silence.

The audience sat transfixed, silently taking in the harmony of words and music drifting through the studio. After each segment, there would be a moment of silence, before the audience burst into appreciative applause. I too followed suit, though my mind was still mulling over the poetry and the images it conjured.

The way he used language to express kaleidoscopic visions of a future humanity was mesmerising, even enchanting. He ended the night with his single long-form poem, titled ‘I Believe’, a poem that consisted of a set of profound declarations, both witty and charming, and sombre and thought-provoking. It was a fitting end to the session; a fleeting glimpse of the poet and human that was Daryl Lim; an ending that, to me at least, was a prelude for more magic to be created, more enchantments to be spun.

As the session ended, the audience rose to their feet. A general buzz was circulating throughout the studio, as many did not feel willing to leave. Instead, old friends and new chatted and connected, sharing their thoughts on the night, or simply revelling in the lingering magic still present.

It was a rainy night. As I left the studio, I stopped to breathe in the damp air yet again. My mind was alit, buzzing with the infinite possibilities, dreamscapes, and thoughts, sparked by this singular night.

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