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Drops that gather one by one finally become a sea.
"Zarreh zarreh jam garadad vangahi darya shavad".
A Persian Proverb

E'tokmit e'k, rangimarie, hedd, pace, tutquin, shanti, vrede, paquilisli, MNP, Onai rahu, amani, kev sib haum xeeb, salam, shaantiM, hedd, gutpela taim, lalyi, pesca, damai, raha, fred, eirni, pax, mir, peace, heiwa, amn, nabad, rauha,paz, frid, paco, shAnti, paqe, danh tu, ittimokla, rahu, paix, beke, shalom, mnonestotse, kapayapaan
Celebrating the Poetry of Peace

The Wild Shadows

I heard the voice
of an observer being frightened by
the shadows dancing wildly
parading during a midnight
and he asked me,
Are those wild shadows
the phantoms of the remainder
of those who
came a long way from Alabama
in the time of the assassination
of Kennedy in Texas in the last century?
Since I didn't understand, then I said,
I don't know

The observer whispered to me,
Come on in to my memory
and see them for yourself
I entered as he wished

And, in a corner of the observer's memory
I found the wild shadows
of the segregationist politics supporters
dancing wildly parading
and filling the long road in Alabama

Then, to the observer, I said,
No wonder you're frightened, Sir

I heard again the voice of the observer
asking me,
Now, couldn't you see
that those wild shadows were the phantoms
of the remainder
of those who
came a long way from Alabama
in the time of the assassination
of Kennedy in Texas in the last century?
This time I had the answer,
No, Sir!

They were the shadows of the phantoms
of the remainder
of those who
came from the inside of the human violent beast
inhibiting inside every one of us for centuries
a long way back
to when we were not even human yet
and they're still intact
inside us

The observer asked me if he could enter my memory
I said,
Please, by all means
And he did so.

Finally he said to me,
No wonder!
Because, you have a different map
your address is not in the US
you're living on the other side of the globe

But I understand why you're frightened, Sir
- I said
And he said,
Yes, Sir! I, too, understand why we're different

Bloomington, July 2003


Ikranagara has lived in the US since the year 2000. He has written new poems and two short plays in English, performed his plays in the US and Canada. He has had a 30-year career in his native country, Indonesia, as a poet, dramatist (playwright, actor, director) and painter. His poetry and plays always had their world premières in The Jakarta Arts Center, then some of them he took to other cities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and the US. He has two books of poetry, two books of plays and several poems and essays in anthologies in the Indonesian language published in his country. Some of his English translated poems, plays and essays were also published in anthologies and the journal of South-east Asian literature "Tenggara." After teaching (playwriting, Indonesian theatre history, creative process) for eight years (1979-1986) in the Academy of Arts in Jakarta, he decided to stop being a professor in order to pursue his career as professional in theatre, TV, cinema, poetry reading; and as a short term instructor for a workshop "From Ritual to Theatre - a creative process" and a lecturer on the Indonesian contemporary theatre. He was awarded several grants: Fulbright (1979 and 1989-1990); Ford Foundation (1991); UN Development Program (1985); World Wildlife Foundation (1978); Netherlands's cultural grant (1977); The British Council (1977) and The Jakarta Arts Council's subsidy (1975-1999).


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We must allow ourselves the joy of loving through life more than we fear our living.
T.B. Stone


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