ON BALI: four pieces (2 poems, 2 essays).

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 […]

Poem: BALI, Indonesia

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 […]

Tribute to Rendra at Ubud – reflections

The first event at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival that I was scheduled to speak at was the Tribute to Rendra, being held in the evening of the first day, immediately after the opening ceremony. Rendra, one of Indonesia’s most interesting, active, prolific and political playwrites and poets, had died a few weeks earlier […]

Bali, 1969, 1972

26 October, 2007 I have heard them referred to as “Hindu eyes” presumably a reference to some distant Indian originating Aryan genes. His eyelids were bigger than most peoples, kind of half shutting down over the eyeball. But they didn’t droop at all, it was just how they were. Steady half shut but big and […]

Joesoef Isak passed away, August 15, 2007

The Thinker: Joesoef Was Right Monday was Independence Day, the anniversary of the proclamation of independence by Sukarno and Hatta and the beginning of a four-year struggle by millions of Indonesians to prevent a colonial army from seizing back the land they had plundered for 350 years. “ Merdeka atau mati! ” (freedom or death!) […]

On Joesoef Isak

by Max Lane 14 September, 2006 On April 20 2004 in a gala ceremony in New York the American PEN Center honoured Indonesian publisher, Joesoef Isak, with the 2004 Jeri Laber Freedom to Publish Award. The award was given to Joesoef Isak in recognition of his long record of courageous publishing during the years of […]