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(1986-1996)

We Hurried Away

we hurried away
from our shadows,
tended fields
as wide as our dreams.
we hurried away
before the whistle blew.
until the dawn – border
of a strange world,
filled with silence.
before the whistle blew
confirming our departure.
shutting the doors
of day.1987

Child’s World

                                                     
my children never ask why
the earth always accepts the moonlight. although
the hermit’s cave receives nothing
but the darkness. the whole world
is covered with light: words flourish, and
the naked ground scatters signs
and namesmy children refuse to believe
that light makes us more aware, and that love
grows in the dark. that birth
is the result of sin, as their grandparents tell them.
that meaning comes from nothing1991

The Train Left

the rails are straight and long. the carriages
squeal like coffins. carrying silent
bodies  and souls. station after station:
we  do not know
what we are waiting for.loud voices: people waiting patiently,
people waiting patiently. can you hear them?
they want to know
            where they are being sent.the rails are long and straight.
we form rows
from here to the border.1994

Paradise: I Am Waiting

i am waiting:
but i don’t know
who i’m waiting for.the acacia and gladioli
do not greet me.
the benches in the park
tell no stories.
i am waiting. my life
spreads
in the distance.then remains, nature
is silent: insects
buzz. leaves
and bushes
sing. everything
is forever.everything is forever.the flower pots:
filled with wounds.
unknown dreams.i am waiting:
my life spreads
in the distance,
but i cannot read it.1987

River of Tears

the moon flows with the harbour
of tears. into some unknown sea. we
follow on a paper-boat. nowhere.“come on!”you sleep on your oars.
before they break and bleed.the moon flows to some island
we will never reach. i build my snail-shell
between the land and the freezing sand.1993

A Story for Old Age

between the leaves and the drought, you offer
your old face. a butterfly emerges
from its cocoon.this is yet another year in your life. the season
you have waited for has almost come.but you have come in the name of emptiness.
death is eternal. the seasons always fail.
why should we grieve?1994

Killing Time

how dare you kill time?you sleep. in bed. everything crawls,
licking your feet and the mattress
where new life should grow.this is how it will end: no one
will ever spur the horse forward.
your foolish hand will hang
empty and unable to speak.1996

Bed Room

sleep! you can hear the ripples in the river
outside. centuries flowing in the hours
frozen on bedroom walls. sleep, my darling!i have prepared the bed, and perfumes
as well as whispers. i will bury
the sound of the piano and beethoven
in the corners of the room.like the dry leaves on the branches
falling. like the dust swirling
and returning to the earth. like the light and fire
of the sun shivering and returning to the earth.sleep, my love. sleep makes shadows live
forever.1993

Lullaby

sleep! you can still hear the river outside.
centuries flow into your closed eyes,
as they hold the dark room inside them.
we never know what vanishes
when we sleep. because the quivering wounds
are covered with dust.i prepare the bed, the perfume,
and the words we whisper. like branches
becoming brittle outside the window.
my soul is ancient
and can purify your nightmare.
so sleep … sleep, my darling,
keep the shadows forever.Yogya, 1988

Adam Died

adam died in lonely heaven.
the weeds did not grow, but
we could pick delicious fruits –
beware the snake, it will bite –
any time we want. you planted
adam’s rib, and skyscrapers grew.
bright lands, endless adultery.adam’s shadow followed you.
into the furthermost corners
of the temple. there was
no proper time to free oneself
from his foul sharp breath –
he is history, and myth,
and lost in scattered letters …yogya, 1988

Adam Was Lost

no one wants to rebuild paradise.
it has vanished, with the grass,
the old weeds, the benches, and
the book covered with dust. who
can count time’s beads?the man called himself adam
he looked after the garden
for many centuries.no one wants to rebuild paradise,
the serpent, adam’s rib.
let him be the first in a genealogy
that bears no history.yogya, 1989

The Lost Bird  

a small and shabby bird was lost
in my heart. the branches prepared no place
for its nest. the falling leaves became a nest
for worms. the branches and trees
became harsh commands.the songs had no melody
they were like poems written in a nightmare.
beating in my soul. the sky
carried no seasons. there was nothing
to wait for. and no need to go.children shoot at my heart
            with their catapults.
the bird shivers
            in fright.1990 

My Homeland

i envy the chrysalis. in its long asceticism
century after century boring through the barren earth
covered like a garden with flowering corpses. I envy
the leaves which the caterpillars devour. the butterflies
will never soar because they have no wings.
i envy the chrysalis.my homeland is made of mud and rocks. broad
fields. the sky and weeds. no one builds houses
for caterpillars and butterflies. but my heart
is still eager. my blood still pounds.my homeland is mud and rocks. my homeland
is moss, and my own heart. i ask you
to meditate there.yogya, 1992

The Land of Disasters

the song of the rain is cruel.
the seasons quickly cross
broken lands and barren plains.
i enjoy warm desire as it scatters
in the wet mist.the disasters are beyond my
comprehension. bowls of porridge
mixed with dust. the bodies of birds
no longer able to wait.bodies tremble in a way
i cannot comprehend. bones
scatter and the sand bleeds.listen to the wind:
            it no longer carries dust;
instead it stinks with the flesh
            of your brothers.1996

I Finally Return Home

after a long time full of  distance
and dreams, i finally return
to the home i built on my back:
the burden of many years.i return to my home, the building
which is part of my body.
but creates a distance, filled
with silence. line after line
of pain, after a long time.i return. to live in the yard,
and count the buds in the garden:
fearful beauty. in the footprints
which overturn hearts
and silent hatred.the bedroom has gone. my dreams
live in drops of water and broken tiles.
the ceiling is covered with mushrooms,
no sound escapes, the poetry and rhetoric
remain forever: words which make the flowers
fragrant. my house rises in a neighbourhood
where no one believes in words.i return: to the suffering
which is always untrue.

1996

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