Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Pictures You Sent (vi)

VI. An old Woman in Paradise Island 
     : Rambu, Bali-Lombok-Alor

      of the pictures you sent, an old woman
      handed me a basketful of her offerings
      for the gods who dwell the shrines.

      “Thank you, but I am not another new god planted
      by the commercials.” I could see her eyes learned
      my face. She gaped, disbelieving words from my soul.

      “An outcast I am.” I let her read my nakedness,
      touch the scars that screamed stories in a language
      she recognized. She listened to the splashing sound
      of waves in my youth, to the voyages in my past.
      Then she saw a burning plain, my childhood playground
      was scorched by the fright nobody care.

      The old woman rubbed my dried tears with her thumb,
      hers had long been gone. Then she left without a word,
      the offerings on her head, she continued to look for
      the gods who dwell the shrines. I saw her walk
      sliced the smoke on the ground, her traces revealed
      the bleeding earth of Paradise Island

      (Suddenly I heard rustling leaves singing grateful
      whispers no more. It just concealed lament: she carried
      her offerings for the gods who dwell the shrines,
      when the tales, the rivers, the beaches, and even gods
      had been sold. She carried her offerings for the god
      who already had to pay for their pedestal, and
      new gods marched in colorful displays. Nobody cared.)

Metro, 14/06/2010

© Era Fiyantiningrum
Sort of explanation: 
Last time I knew Bali was in The International Social Forum, where the delegates stayed in posh hotel charged for some hundreds USD a day: “Another World is Possible” inside the conference rooms, the native Balinese were striving harder outside.