In the Middle pt.32

It was a small place, like a center of a town in some old cowboy movies. A town which is consisted of scattered houses, standing miles away from each other, empty, with one or two bodies around them, basking under the sun, wet with sweat, grinded under the chores of life, with every movement, striving to assert their existence. I was half hoping that it was not for naught. I was half joking. I sensed sarcasm within my own thoughts. At the town center however, old wooden houses and stores gathered. I wasn’t sure if it was the remnant of what it was, or whether it was how it had always been. I heard stories of decay from people along the way, from other parts of the region. I was expecting the same pattern, augmented.

The notoriety of the places that we would visit usually reached us with every question that we had asked. It would be a lie to say that our heads weren’t filled with assumptions. We came in from a corner, with the riders, stopped right in the middle of an opening surrounded by those wooden buildings. They might as well served us on a stake to be butchered by some of those red eyed men in the coffee shops. It was a hot midday; I wasn’t feeling particularly happy about everything. We had encountered some sharks at the station and at the market in the nearby town. People with the insatiable urge to eat others. Not that it surprised or dismayed me; it’s just that it was bluntly expressed.

After multitudes of rejections, we began to lose our temper. The merchants, the government officials, workers, people, they hate questions, questions that might tickle the life as they know it. And then there was the bargain with the thugs… I swore a lot, I could’ve hurt someone. A hot day, filled with unfriendly faces, we had a uselessly lengthy argument, in front of a store, with the riders regarding their payment. A woman chimed in with her own version of wisdom, saying in the local dialect, that we were extorting the riders, and that they should be able to get more, since we were apparently there on a project. From the perspective of an ordinary Indonesian, project means money. Money means leakage. Lots and lots of it. Her voice was loud and irritating.

The crowd gathered, old men, bulky men, children, nosy women, it was infuriating. We exchanged heated words, the pressure escalated. We decided to silence them by giving them the chance to gain more by doing additional tasks for us. It was difficult to be in the middle, it was difficult to be someone who understood both perspectives while both sides were accusing each other. It was difficult to see, that in the end, we were all rats. We left the crowd. I walked to find the rendezvous point, through the clearing towards a row of food sellers, with quickened phase. Around us eyes staring. I looked straight towards their direction, murmured through my gritted teeth: “come and eat us, muttheads! We’re here for the ripples on your sullied river of gold.”

again

nevertheless tis be morning

with every number of frequencies rushing to gain control over the airwaves

flat thin screens with synthetic light become the master of my sight

not a flicker of life inside of me

just some leftover impulses that forced me to move

 

pondering

as I sit by the side of the road watching shiny metals move along like a stream of fishes hopelessly dragged by the current

what lies will I sell today

to be one of them?

in this internally rotten city

where true writers, musicians and painters are condemned sinners living in perpetual shame

everyone seems to be looking for meanings

in all the wrong places

for all the wrong purposes

we’re all teenagers assuming the role of the masters of the known universe

assuming wisdom contained in a jar of candy

 

it rained last night

they said the gale was merciless

we built puny structures in high places

and complain about the weather

sending truckloads of darkness in to the air

destroying everything hampering the way of our ignorance

here by the side of the road

I am wishing of a simple lonely melody

a painter by the far corner looking sadly to the masses of fools

and the true writer splattered on the asphalt

dying

already,

I long for the sunset.

the way we are

Driven naturally by instinct

we huddle for comfort

until we stab each other out of fear that tickles right under our ribs

misunderstanding

some of us don’t even know the meaning of paradox

nor do we care

 

Again,

the crossroad where once my fathers were

flashes of images of the old memories

of a hot day, bright sun

black and white.

and the hands hopelessly tangled to the lingering notions of gold

the old lady smiles perpetually on the white background that signifies her passing

under the greenness bought and certified by contracts

words slipped through our lips,

came from emptiness…

came from ignorance…

 

Where are you my lady?

I have no place to declare my allegiance

as instinct takes over

wisdom turns to an utterly idiotic joke

when fear is ignorance

when ignorance is fear

I see animals running with bent backs

hatred in their eyes

blades in their hands…

alas, the dark sun rises

Lagak Puisi 3

EVENING

Darkness actualizes
I do not speak of the dawn of the age of fear,
or despair
I speak of the arrival,
the evening and the ensuing night
utterly austere you wouldn’t understand
“and the persistent bastard named this poem…” you said
The black unknown birds,
mere ugliness to your eyes
flying,
catching last traces of light.

I might choose to stand at the arching bridge measuring the unfit city from above,
from afar
but thought the better of it…
Too much fake enthusiasm wrenched my gut
Too many human
Flocking together
The unfit city
The breeding ground.

Are you there man?
I see nothing under the dark terrace of your wooden house,
and the pitch black room behind a hollow square that I mistook as door
sits a black soul and so many ghosts
or have my perception fooled me?
seeing hellish dreams instead of reverie

Beside the wasteland
Under the sky of blood
Upon miles and miles of brand new asphalt
and the eyes of earthworkers,
stabbing me with suspicion,
ignorance,
hatred,

I spit smoke!

WHATEVER

drowned within the liquid crystal
deeper
further from that glow that separates me from the rest of the existence
the self created, self sustained comfort
and i’m lying here at the very bottom
forgotten.

within silence
drifted away
drifted away

peculiar darkness calls you
subtle and sweet mellody that tells the story of rain
above the ancient forest
among fellow creatures that give you honey and blood

“what’s the nature of it all? vile or benevolent?” you asked
“by whose measurement?” she asked

and see her standing there
t’was her song
t’was her voice
the lady of the grove with the glint in her eyes
the dryad to command your utmost loyalty
lost forever in wild bliss

vile or benevolent?

don’t mind the stars
they are having banquet as we’re dancing under the canopy of magic
the utmost beauty
the wonder that provides life

within silence
by the riverside
not far from the dark cool water
you’ll see traces of me
and the corrupt shade
blackened green

drifted away
within silence
forgotten

Morning in December

The morning’s shiny face raw on the floor. The old morning that comes back today with that middle age lines on his face. I despised him many times before, mock on his presence, spit on the filth that I thought was his.

Now that I see his reflection on the floor, should I pull the blanket over me?

I despise him for all the reasons that have been instilled in to my ever gullible mind, that behind him, series of unfortunate events would ensue. When some of them told me that morning is beautiful, they were lying!

Morning is bold, handsome, proud, vibrant. He takes no prisoner, none, never. Well yes, he might let you slip back, tucked in to your slumber, but beware of his retribution, mind his revenge. He is a silent man with the heart of a scorned woman!

He ain’t beautiful… those awe inspiring light you see are nothing but the glimps of fury dispersed by the veil of tranquility.

Too many times I saw him poke the night on the eye. They are not too convenient with eachother those two, no they don’t.

And suddenly this… this human before me smiles and said “hi! nice morning eh?”
I’d prefer heavy rain, any moment now…

Pseudo Poetry: Lagak Puisi 2

PUISI PINGGIR JALAN 2

ibu memeluk anak erat di dadanya
mata menatap kemana?
saat anak menangis
mata menatap kemana?

apa ada yang tidak kau mengerti?
setiap tanggal menemani matahari
apa ada yang tidak kau mengerti
saat anak menangis di dada?

kalaulah tuhan datang kepadamu
dan membeli buah-buah tak berharga di hadapanmu
berapa akan kau jual kepadanya?
berapa harganya?

juallah langsatmu 1 milliar dollar sebuah
juallah rambutanmu 1 milliar dollar sebuah
jika dia bertanya
katakan padanya kalau ini semua adalah sampah

jika dia marah
katakan padanya kau sudah biasa dengan sumpah serapah
katakan padanya kau sudah muak pada tabah
katakan padanya angin diperutmu membuatmu muntah

apa yang tidak ku ketahui?
saat mata menatap kemana
dan anak menangis di pelukan
apa yang kau nanti?

kebohongan hari?
kedatangan tambatan hati
dengan peluh hitam dan nafas nanar setengah mati
membawa janji janji nanti nanti

TYPICAL

Can any impurities be refined?
Do you know the meaning of lies?
You should never answer me,
where your heart does not ache,
from the very thought of the words.
And for the sake of anything humane,
the bravery,
the splendor of success,
every man build his own throne and despises thoughts.
Then they deviced makeshift wisdom,
and sell it in books, tapes, and bundled gadgets.
Wealth from lies.
Before you know it,
you have become perfectly similar,
mind and character,
to the person next to you.
You have new missions.
Wealth from lies.

IGNORANCE

Sing the song of the dew
the pure ones that does not know the scent of human
shall I be a lizard instead,
and crawl beneath the fragrant green
never have a care of what the sky look like
i’d long be gone before the time’s ending
all the symbols deem meaningless
as i lay myself
in the soil’s embrace

sing me the song of the dew
the genuine tears of morning
none of sad
never a blind happiness
i stand here forever envy
in whatever form i may be
mortal flesh
immortal ache

SIN OF THE STARGAZER 2

it started as a premonition
this wonderous whimsy
of you and the golden arch
of the evening sky

tis be on the surface of the asphalt
softly and gently covered by the trace of rain
you broke my dream as your wheels
grinding the rude solidity above my shadow

beyond the spaceships
and the many celestial cows
floating above the edge of concrete abominations
tis despicable trace of blue

i can see you
the ancient eye that mocks us
the peasants of self assuming grandeur
the insult to the perfection of the everbeing

it be this heart
imprinted marks on my face
questioning promises
of my own making

now standing there
coat and all
madness in his head blade in his hand
slitting mine dreams til days end

Cerita Pendek: A Boy and A Wolf

One day a child was walking alone in the wood. He had no one to play with, for the other kids considered him to be too young to play with. He had no skill in marble, he had no skill in stick throwing, and he was easily bullied in castle game. So they sent him away and tell him to go back should he be old enough and brave enough to play with them.

So he walked alone in the wood, and it made him feel that he was actually brave. None of those older kids would dare to walk the wood all alone, they always pushed younger kids in to the wood, but he never saw any of them actually going alone into the wood. He decided that they might be just bullies afterall.

But suddenly he heard cracking sounds right next to him. As he turned his head he saw a wolf standing, staring at him. Instantly he remembered every story that every adults had ever told him; that a wolf is the worst, meanest, cunning animal anyone could ever found. Oh dear, what would he do? It is dangerous enough to run from a wild dog, and this was no mere wild dog, it was a wolf!

His grandfather once said that should he ever encounters a wild dog, he should dodge down, pretend to pick a stone, stand high, put his hand high in the air as if he means business about the stone. Should this fail to put the dog away, he should really find a stone, and really hit the dog hard.

So he crouched, and pretended to grab a stone, because actually there were no stone anywhere near him, just tender soil. But the wolf did not stirred, it kept on staring toward the boy. The boy was so frightened that he nearly cried.

Suddenly the wolf came toward him, and to the boy’s amazement, the wolf spoke to him: “why do you bend, boy?”

The boy, frightened and confused, did not know how to answer this question, so the wolf asked again: “did you just trying to scare me by pretending to grab a stone?”

“y… yes, but I was just pretending, honest!” said the boy quickly.

“but if you really had a vicious stone in your hand you wouldn’t hesitate to throw it at me wouldn’t you?” asked the wolf again.

“I suppose” said the boy, doubtfully.

“And may I ask the reason to that?” asked the wolf.

“Because you are a mean animal.” said the boy.

“How can you say that I am a mean animal? Asked the wolf again.

“Because the stories told me so, because the adults said so.” answered the boy.

“what stories have they told you?” asked the wolf.

The boy took the time to remember and then told the wolf every story that had been told to him by the adults and other story tellers. About the wolf that tricked the red riding hood, about the wolf that had blown away the house of the three pigs, about the wolf that constantly chasing the poor rabbit, about the wolf that would stroll around the village at night and prey on human.

The wolf listened to the story told by the boy patiently. After the boy had finished, the wolf asked the boy: “do you see that I am actually standing on two legs?”

“no” answered the boy “you walk on four, but I saw some dogs that can walk on two legs”

“Those are circus dogs, I am a wolf, I need all my legs to work together, I have no use of walking on two legs” said the wolf.

“true” said the boy.

“if I wear a beautiful flowery hood, could you ever mistaken me as your grandmother?” asked the wolf.

“of course not, even a baby could see that you are a wolf” said the boy, quite forgetting his fear now.

“do you really think that I have the room inside my chest that could contain so much air that I could use to blow even a small house?” asked the wolf again.

“no of course not” said the boy “the elephants are bigger than you, but they can’t put down houses on breath alone”

“have you ever eaten a chicken?” asked the wolf.

“yes, I have” answered the boy.

“Have you ever eaten a fish?” asked the wolf again.

“yes I have” answered the boy.

“why do you eat them?” asked the wolf.

“because I need food to live” answered the boy.

“don’t you think that I might also need food to live?” asked the wolf.

“of course you do, creatures need food to live” said the boy.

“so is there any problem with me hunting rabbits so I can eat them to keep myself alive?” asked the wolf.

The boy was thinking for a moment before answering “no, certainly not!”

“why, then, if I can find all the food in here, if I could safely catch a rabbit, and live my life quite happily, should I prey on men?” asked the wolf.

The boy thought of the answer for a moment, but he was too slow for the wolf. So the wolf said again: “men would come to our territory bringing traps, rifles and axes, men could easily kill us and flatten our home don’t you think?”

“I guess so, but I am not here to hurt you or destroy your home” answered the boy.

“I can see that you are no threat, and you should see now that I am no threat, for I much prefer a rabbit than a human, and I have had my rabbit.” said the wolf. The wolf then left the boy and ran deeper in to the wood.

Since then the boy would usually be found walking alone in to the wood. Some older kids saw him playing with a wolf, and feared him for that. They began to let him play with them so that he would let them play with the wolf, for they were afraid of the wood as much as they were afraid of the wolf. The older kids thought that by playing with a frightening creature, they can be feared by others.

But the boy knew better, to understand is to respect, and sometimes fear is necessary to keep every creature alive, that’s why the wolf was willing to play with him. The older kids did not understand this, they did not know how to respect, they thought bravery and conscience were two different things altogether. They hurt the wood; they hurt the wolf, and the wolf chased them out of the forest, with its vicious fang and its vicious growl!

Love

There was once a charming princess who lived in a very beautiful city. Most curious was the city, for it lies above the cloud, flying, suspended amidst the air. Should one wish to visit the city, one should take a journey ride above a flying vessel, not a plane or an aircraft mind you, they would be too fast that you would miss the city along the way.

One day a very mean young warlock cast a very powerful spell unto the city. What’s more mean of it is that he did it merely based on his own whim, for he hated everything that is beautiful and joyous. The spell that he cast, brought the city down. Down, down over the mountain. Down, down over the forest. Down, down over the beach. Down, down unto the sea. Down, down in to the ocean.

Indeed, the mean young warlock made every single people who lived in the city drowned. You see, since they have been living above the cloud, they have never learned to swim. But the princess, who was taught well, and learned well, knew a thing or two about swimming, she even devised a very large bucket to practice swimming, and she made it quite well for someone who lived above the cloud.

So she swam and swam, until she reached the shore and passed out because she was utterly exhausted. The young warlock was very surprised to see that there was a survivor from the drowned flying city. He decided to capture her, put her on the back of a very filthy, giant bulldog. When they reached the young warlock’s castle, a very horrible, neglected castle I dare say, he put the princess in to a room which had only one iron door and one window that was so high that not even a the tallest man in the world could reach.

The young warlock kept the princess for one and two days without food and water. On the third day as the young warlock passed in front of the door, the princess spoke to him with a feeble voice. “Oh mean warlock, pray tell, why have you brought my city down from the sky, drowned my fellow people, and keep me here with scarcely any food or water?”

The young warlock paused for a moment, searching his thought, but could find no explanation in his dark mind other than this: “because I wanted it!”

“you can’t hurt people just because you want it.” said the princess.

“why not?” asked the warlock.

“because if you can hurt people just because you want it, then anybody else can hurt you just because they want to, and certainly, you don’t want to be hurt don’t you?” said the princess.

“but nobody could hurt me, I have power so great that I can pull down a city from the sky” said the warlock.

“but there will come the time when someone more powerful than you would come and defeat you” said the princess.

“but I will never loose, for I will practice harder and harder, so I can be more powerful than those who shall come and challenge me” said the warlock

“but how would you know that you are more powerful if you have never met, or seen, or heard of those who will challenge you?” asked the princess.

Again, the warlock paused for a moment. You see, he was so powerful that he could brought down a city from the sky, but he was quite dim-witted, for he had never thought of this kind of question before.

“I don’t know, I guess I’ll just see when the time should come” said the warlock.

“And by that time you will loose” said the princess “you see, there are things more powerful than swords and spells.”

“there are nothing more powerful than swords and spells” said the warlock sternly.

“Oh, but there are. I’ll show one if you’ll let the door open for me” said the princess sincerely.

“Just tell me of this thing, and I’ll decide whether you should go or stay” said the warlock.

“But this thing that I mean can’t just be said, it is also must be shown” said the princess “you will fail to understand it in any other way”

“How powerful is this thing?” asked the warlock.

“Didn’t I tell you that it is more powerful than swords and spell?” asked the princess “because of this power that I am telling you, swords have been made and broken, spells have been made and broken, heroes have been made and broken, evil too has been made and broken.”

The warlock was so fascinated by what the princess had told him that he opened the door instantly, grabbed the princess shoulder and hastily asked “where, what is this power that you speak of? Tell me now!”

Instead of answering the warlock’s question, she kissed the warlock’s forehead and said to him in the sweetest sincere voice: “thank you.”

The warlock, surprised by the princess’ action loosened his grip on her shoulder. The princess then ran, ran away through the alleyway, through the forsaken garden, through the giant gate, leaving the warlock confounded and alone in the horrible castle.

Years later people found that the castle had become nothing more than piles of debris on the ground, and the warlock was nowhere to be found. Some said that a mighty spell had been cast upon him, and that it affected him miserably. He went away to the corners of the world to search for remedy. Had he ever found the remedy he seek? No one can tell.

But there were also others who said that the warlock missed the runaway princess so much that he took the longest journey he had ever taken, found the princess in a far away land, confessed his love, abandoned his mean ways, and live happily ever after.

However, since most people knew him as a powerful warlock, they decided that, indeed, there are things more powerful than swords and spells.

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