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')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

28 August 2014

Kuta Beach

(After Reading Lorca)

Death comes in
with the salt
at the tavern

in this country
both gentle and sinister

prancing white horses
wave-dancing men

their soft guitars at night
from across the bay

the noises
the bursts of light

mistaken for fireworks
at first

young men
with trembling hands

young men of the sea

an odour of salt
and blood

death enters into the salt
as the salt enters into the death
in that tavern.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2005

Published Diverse-City 2006 (Anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival, Texas)



La muerte
entra y sale
de la taberna. 

Pasan caballos negros
y gente siniestra
por los hondos caminos
de la guitarra. 

Y hay un olor a sal
y a sangre [de hembra]1,
en los nardos febriles
de la marina.

La muerte
entra y sale
y sale y entra
la muerte
de la taberna.

At dVerse we are invited to try homophonic translations (aka translitics). My current - weird! - attempts are in previous post. I'm posting this one to show what can be done with more time. *Smiles*.

(This example is not strictly a translitic, as I did understand some of the words — or thought I did — and used a mixture of translation, translitic and leaps of thought.)


  1. Yes. The sea is both death and life.

    1. It was written with the Kuta bombings fresh in mind.

  2. Loved your poem. Kuta is so sleazy now...a version of Nimbin by the sea:)
    Seminyak is the place . Smiles!!!

    1. Sad what our influence (we tourists) did to a beautiful place. I remember Bali in the seventies, and will not return to see the desecration.

  3. oh heck...it is sad when a paradise suddenly turns into a zone of destruction... makes my heart bleed...

  4. I see what you mean, Rosemary: with more time and thought, this has turned into a beautiful and nuanced poem that is equal to the original. Gorgeous! (Even though the subject is of paradise lost).

  5. The poets able to sing beautifully the happy song as well as sad one. ~ Love it.

  6. I love the prancing white horses and wave-dancing men!

  7. I admire the imagery of that last stanza ~ Well done ~