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')

Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
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6 March 2010

Verse Portrait 86: The Man in Malang

(central Java)

He stepped
from a shop doorway,

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

A fair woman,
considered beautiful

And he
lean, dark,

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

That was all
until, back home,

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

Portuguese engineers,
East Timor take-over

Already escaped
that day?

and went
back ... ?


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

  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.

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