My God one among the thousands of faults that ensnare the history of our life is the error we fall into when deciding how much backwardness is contained in our progress how much failure is contained in our success how much destruction is contained in our improvement how pressing is the darkness contained in our wakening how enormous is the backwardness contained in our advancement and how much war is contained in our call for peace.
My God in our eyes so full of arrogance ever greater grows the confusion of what is to be left behind and what embraced what is of the heights and what of the depths
Emha Ainun Nadjib. 99 untuk Tuhanku [99 For My God], Pustaka Bandung 1983.
I sought for you in the rain tonight
to say to you greetings. You who were born once.
born again, and always shall be born and reborn.
Oh, have mercy on this your servant.
————————-tens of thousands of babies
have been born since your first birth,
as though the world were provided solely for their cries.
They are the small Christs whose times have crucified them:
slavery, misery, destitution
and war. ——–Also like you, they too shall not perish,
but be born and born again, shall always be reborn.
And I bow down. In awe: some still continue to ————————————survive here
against the upheavals, which again and again are reborn
in the conscience of every human being: ———————-december flowers that bloom
under the sound of the rain in the middle of the night.
Christ, behold the children in their beautiful clothes
making vows and uttering prayers in church;
they have sought you, and wished to befriend you,
to invite you to sing holy songs. ——————-A shame they do not know
you are busy playing with the sheep
in the stable.
Greetings, Christ. Greetings, whole world,
greetings to you
greetings to me.
Oh, have mercy on this your servant, ——bless this your servant. ——Forgive this your servant.
Retrieved from @PotretLawas. Published in Sastra Bulanan Tjerita Pendak magazine No. 11-12, 1968
Between three mountains
embracing the moon.
From a broad arm of steel
emerges one thousand hands.
In a great flood that is unexpected
not because of strength,
not because of intelligence,
but because of the element of chance.
Of the strong and the intelligent
many die helplessly.
The pure small children
although they are powerless
survive the disaster
And saved also are those
who once more become young children
and dissolve into the universe.
WS Rendra, Ode to a Great Flood (Syair Banjir Besar), Lotus Poems (Syair Teratai), Sinar Harapan Daily, 19 April 1975 (Accessed from Armin Bell, Kumpulan Fiksi Blog, Collected Fiction Blog.)
Habit is not personality
Personality is also not a delusion
Personality comes from emptiness.
When we are empty
we are agile and alert.
we can respond to anything,
according to the circumstances
and not based on habit.
The full are rigid and lumbering –
often even have no power.
The empty are in fact full of power.
WS Rendra, Emptiness is Full of Power (Kosong Itu Penuh Daya), Lotus Poems (Syair Teratai), Sinar Harapan Daily, 19 April 1975 (Accessed from Armin Bell, Kumpulan Fiksi Blog, Collected Fiction Blog.)