Sun, 11 Jun 2000


The smoke which you have puffed into my face
will become mist
which will later thicken into fog
blanketing towns and cities
The sky will be darkened
and the sun blackened

The smoke which you have puffed into the air
will slowly turn into dark clouds
There will be incessant downpour
making rivers overflow their banks
flooding large areas
and killing children

My husband, please
rid yourself of the cigarette
and clean your mouth.
We need to talk about the air
which should be kept healthy,
for us and the generations to come

-- By Ngatini Rasdi

-- Translated by TIS


For ages man has survived on stone.
He makes epitaphs of stone.
And those great temples
can tell us stories
not only about the past
, but also about man and stone.

For ages man has preserved
his power with the help of stone.
Look at the fortresses
which have invincibly
protected the king's palaces.
They were all made of stone.

For ages man has tried to talk
to his Creator by carving stone
to create statues.

For ages man has been crazy
about precious stones.
The craze generated weapons trade
ensuing wars in many regions.

-- By Ngatini Rasdi

-- Translated by TIS

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