Oct/Nov 1998 Poetry

Five Poems

by Ian Irvine


The Dragon Sleeps

Thunder in the vast heavens
out at sea a light
       shuffles into tomorrow
waves break on Turtle Island,
young lovers decorate the
       darkness between two
In the gardens of hotels
exclusive Westerners sit
       hypnotised by
the blueness of sex videos


The Ghost of Sanur Beach

Sad-eyed girls
sell post-cards for 1,000 rp
just down the beach
       just along the evolutionary
just across the water, in the
       Philippines or Thailand
sad-eyed girls
sell their bodies for U.S. dollars
       for vegetables and rice
for their infant children
just off the coast
       just South of here
In Australia,
In St. Kilda,
sad-eyed girls
sell their souls
       for heroin , for
for one last chance at love
for relief,
for eternal nothingness
for dim recollections
of Sanur Beach.


Tuyul: (Bali Mother)

Hush, blackness sweeps
       over land and sea
the wanton lady walks
       from dusk to dawn
       ghastly white, naked
seeking out her prey

Tuyul, bane of mere mortals
stealer and tempter of souls
Great Dark Queen of a formless world
Money rot, money rot, money rot
greed beyond all measure of propriety
passionate, choking greed ...
Tuyul, you gave your only child.

Unhappy spirit, you have
a ghosts floating walk
bug-eyed mistress
of the grave
sweet sad seductress
of the moon man

You are Bali now.


On Bali: Third World Blues

I'm confused
the West is parasitic -
culture shock of
       the fruit salad elephant
corporations axe the multicoloured
life oozes mana
       temples bathe in tropical heat
       monkeys eat rice on ancient steps
Rupiah - pounds sterling, U.S. dollars,
children smile.

(1993 - Singaraja, for Sean and Deanne.)


The Weeping Idol ( 3rd World Dreams)

The idol weeps under
strange modern skies,
things creep from
       green canopies
and feed the salty tears of
things creep with mechanical
       limbs and
narrow eyes
- the times are out of joint.

The Idol cracks
on a pedestal of dreams -
the village maidens
       trade mother love
for currencies hard as bitten nails
Sri Dewi goes the way of all
       the bright young moons
fiercely to extinction,
to the endless night of
a Western winter.

The Idol weeps
       tells her tale to the nature Gods
       of old
they cradle her in memories
and she sees all things
past, present, future ...

The Idol weeps
       under strange modern skies
this is the Age of Iron.

(1993 - from a Balinese painting.)


Bird of Memory

I am your Bird of Memory
plumed, proud, ancient -
perched upon your knee
I wake you from a premature
I sing you songs from the
       world's first morning
I strut and trill
the half-moon is my
Once you fed me fish
and in return
       I brought you flowers
       from the sun
we were lovers of the dawn

(1993 - for S.K.S. inspired by a Balinese Painting.)


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