TWO POEMS by Max Lane on Bali and Palestine

WALL
 
Long.  Thick. Grey. Dark. Tall.
Ugly, dirty, casting cold shadows this wall.
Stealing land, stealing rights, stealing life
Not damming, but provoking strife
 
It zigs and zags and curls and snakes
Land and home and farm, it takes and takes
A moat for fortresses defending wealth
Perched on hilltops denizens of stealth
 
A people sliced and carved and chopped
Olive trees and leaders, both severed and lopped
Tears and screams are the traffic’s herald
Funeral marches, cars and trucks, remember the felled.
 
Black and scratched adorned with razor wire
They are the walls of a hearth where burns a blazing fire
Blank is the countenance along the fenced space
Deep are the furrows and scars cut into the mourner’s face.
 
The wall is cement, brick, wire and steel
Built by hand and machines who do not feel.
The wall is oppression, death and a dead mind’s greed
Tear it down with the strength that freedom’s spirit does breed.

BALI, INDONESIA
Green, deep green
Chlorophyll blinds the eyes keen
Black earth, brown aches
Sticky mud between toes cakes.

Tears irrigate the picture
painted under the labouring harvest’s stricture
Paddy, palms, coconuts, frangipanis
Creations of peasant hands canny.

Rice sold and eaten
Suffices to keep deep want beaten
But for the future there are no savings
School, culture, dignity unsatisfied cravings.

Green beauty massages the soul
A rested spirit is the tourist’s dole.
The holy dollar has bought the view
Aching fingers sculpt paradise for the few.

Melbourne, 2010

3 thoughts on “TWO POEMS by Max Lane on Bali and Palestine

Add yours

  1. Two beautiful and deeply touching poems.

    Reflecting the hard life of two peoples:
    Balinese –INDONESIANS — Palestinians.

    Who is goig to translate those two poems Max?

    Waiting for an Indonesian translation of your two ‘powerful poems’.

    Isa

  2. Max, interested to read the two poems you have written in English, for your website. Have you written poems in Indonesian also? Although I am no longer actively writing poetry in Indonesian there was a period, especially 2002-2005, when I did experiment with this form of poetry-writing, with some publications in ‘Kompas’ and ‘Pikiran Rakyat’.

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