I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

6 March 2010

Verse Portrait 86: The Man in Malang

(central Java)

He stepped
from a shop doorway,
stood.

Our eyes held.
Then I was past
in the taxi.

A fair woman,
considered beautiful
there.

And he
lean, dark,
piratical.

Not Indonesian.
Too tall, curly-haired ...
a mystery.

That was all
until, back home,
headline:

These men missing,
believed dead.
He, centre photo.

Portuguese engineers,
East Timor take-over
(1979).

Already escaped
that day?
Or

visiting
and went
back ... ?

3 comments:

  1. hm, tantalizing how close we get sometimes to more of the story.

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  2. We were both out of context. He drew my attention simply because of his incredible handsomeness. And I, as I say, was considered a great beauty there by dint of my colouring (though not at home lol) so I guess it would have been the same for him, that and a curiosity on both sides as to what this person was doing there. It wasn't a great tourist resort or anything.

    We didn't even realise East Timor had been invaded until we got home from our holiday; it happened while we were away, and we weren't listening to world news.

    There was another bit I must write about too: some friendly young soldiers at a friend's house in Surabaya, whom I later realised must have been on their way to do the invading.

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow, friendly young soldiers on their way to an invasion. funny how that can be.

    ReplyDelete