Friday, November 29, 2013

Promised land

By Yohanes Manhitu

To Timor, my lovely island

Here, lies under the sky, the land of virginity.
It is the land of thousands of dancing figures,
It is the island of sandalwoods and free cows.
Here, you will taste the honey of friendly bees.
And listen to the echoes of melodious tongues.

I find myself in a room surrounded by white walls
And some thick bibles watching me with no words.
But my heart is with the wind, blowing on the land:
The dry piece of earth where I first saw the moon
and learned some verses from my mama’s song.

Kings and queens are best heirloom curators, I guess.
Behold, finest sandalwoods are swinging from hands!
Virgin forests are kept as symbols of nature’s peace.
Holy ancestral tongues are symbols of backwardness?
O promised land, magic site, there is always tomorrow.

My mind is on the land of Sonbay, a great king, and hero.
There, stand Mutis, Lakaan, and Tatamailau, true pyramids.
The Female and Male Seas, lay in harmony to guard the land.
Conical huts and white houses stand quietly near rice fields.
Dialects and clothing say where a man has been given a light.

Flood and fire, not beauty, have caught the eyes of the globe
to the land of true ancestral vows marked with cups of blood.
It is not the land that has resurrected evil and born blindness.
It is mortals who have learned from desire how to torture.
The promised land will remain my promised land. It will!

Yogyakarta, 7 November 2003

True vagabond

By Yohanes Manhitu

Your home is the universe,
the sky is its eternal roof,
the earth is its soft floor,
a flat rock is your only bed,
the night wind is your blanket,
an outer space palace is your dream,
a river bank is your priceless bathroom,
the moon is the only lover you possess,
a loaf of bread is what you must eat,
a drop of river water is your drink,
the hands of God are your guides,
the moonlight is your sole torch,
the stars in the sky are your fellows,
night frogs are your free musicians,
birds are your faithful gifted poets,
cocks are your free alarm clocks,
and a prison is never a dream.

Yogyakarta, 11 June 2003

Born to be different

The picture is from

By Yohanes Manhitu

I prefer not to have any copy of myself
because I love to be the only masterpiece.
All men should never be the same on earth
in order that this life will look colourful.

Looks can be similar, but not minds.
Absolute similarity is indeed a poison.
It’ll bear false sameness and kill beauty.
Feeble men will suffer long confusion.

Life has been so beautifully designed
by the Creator to be full of surprises.
Look, butterflies are beautiful indeed
because they are evidently different.

Everybody is totally unique of himself.
His uniqueness contributes a colour
coming to the gathering of all colours –
the ones working to beautify the world.

Should I be afraid of being different?
No, why should I? And, how can I?
There is no need to create a difference
because all men have been different.

Yogyakarta, 11 July 2003

“Likurai Untuk Sang Mempelai”: Ajakan untuk Menyambut Panggilan Ibu

Ini adalah judul tulisan yang dibuat pada tanggal 28-29 November 2013 dan dibawakan ketika menjadi pembicara pertama pada acara bedah novel "Likurai Untuk Sang Mempelai" karya Robertus Fahik, novelis NTT kelahiran Betun, Kabupaten Malaka, di STPMD "APMD" Yogyakarta, 29 November 2013. Silakan baca tulisan tersebut dengan mengeklik di sini (PDF).