Sun, 18 Jun 2000

Beauty of Death

Is Life more beautiful than Death?

Is the giraffe
more handsome than the tapir?
How callous life would look
to your long-necked in the tundra!

Is the mountain
the more comely to the valley?
I tell you:
Without ravines
you wouldn't even look out
for those hilly humps!

Is day
more pleasant than the darker night?
Not to the wanderer
lost in the desert
without water, without hope
to find again the shelter
of a coming cooler night!

Why are my children
so much more prettier than yours?
Their prettiness
and pride
are in the selfish mind
and in the untrained eyes
behind the blinkers
of this blind beholder!

Is Life
more beautiful than Death?
Death sweeps away
the stupid sins of obsoleted men-o'-war
and clears the berth of rotten vessels clean
for newer yachts and younger births!

Is woman
more beauteous
than man?
I tell you:
Without man
no one would tell her,
not even god or devil would ever know!

-- By Idris Kyrway

-- From The Book of Kyrway

A Black Butterfly

As the night fell the other day
a black butterfly
came to visit us at home.
Seeing the creature
my grand mother weakly whispered:
"It augurs that we'll receive a guest."

The black butterfly
moved to the corner
In another chamber
my grand mother lay, rigor mortis

(Suddenly, the butterfly
fell to the floor
breaking its wings
Perhaps cicak has preyed on her
just like the angel of death
who came to take away
my grandmother's soul)

-- By Manaf Maulana

-- Translated by TIS