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ISMAIL, Taufik

For You Our Country

We were maltreated repeatedly for years

We were killed and eliminated

After we were killed our widows were hurt

We could not do anything, our villages were burnt

It was impossible to use arrows to compete firearms

As rabies in epidemic

The names of locations, cities, locations, provinces

Where we were buried were never announced

Pains and horrors alternated

In one night hundreds were shot

In years thousands were killed

So every time such a hymn was sung

We came to the last two lines

We offered our souls and bodies to God

After that it is up Him

Whether God would share it with the country


Having different opinions.

Those who have power consider that those who have different opinions

Become eternal enemies

They will be enemies until they die

We used to have Bung Sjahrir, now we have Pak Ton

Then we have Pak Nas, Pak Syarifruddin and Bang Ali

They are ignored when they are met in the street

They are excluded from those who are invited to attend wedding receptions

Their telephones are tapped; the accesses to their incomes are obstructed

Their vehicles are followed where they go

They are listed in the report prepared by the detectives

A little bell in the window

A little bell hungdanglingswaying in the window

In the month of June

Lonely cling-e-ling

Tamarind leaf and tjilping of a sparrow

Clicketyclack of the andong horses in Jogja

Old city that stretches itself in dust

Throughout the alley the lonesome is scattered

A little bell hungdanglingswaying in the window

In the month of June





One Hundred Million

The poor and unemployed are standing

They total one hundred million, can you see their faces

I am among them and do not know what I can do for them

I am bowing my head, as

There is something which is extremely serious

Disappearing from the thoracic cavity

My brothers who earn nothing and are unemployed are standing here

Our brothers with a limited access to income are bending

Their children and wives, totaling millions, are behind them

They are standing in hundreds of thousand rows

There are so many that they reach the horizon of the equator

There is no space

At the office, factory, and shop for them

Such a misery is becoming universal

Their children do not go to school

The medicine they need for the diseases they may suffer from is unaffordable to them

They are not able to pay for installments

When on earth job opportunities will be available for them

I feel embarrassed that I am an Indonesian
In my country the markets where the small

traders sell their commodities are burned in

order to build a huge shopping center

In my country Udin and Marsinah were martyrs,

Smell the aroma of their corpses, now

they are defeated, but then those who planned

and killed the two people will go to hell and will be stepped on

and crushed to bits by the heaven’s security


This Letter Is An Open Letter
What I would like to ask is

How much is a soul in our country

Is it true that it is so cheap? It seems that

Every infant that is born in Indonesia

The soul-cord is blown into the navel by God

And the first hard crying is made by the infant

When the mother endures the pain of her uterus

In the room when she gives birth to the infant

And all her relatives pray and expect that

A new human member will come

At that time nobody knows

That in 20, 22 or 25 years later

The infant will be shot by its nation

Using the bullet paid for with the money

Earned by selling the agricultural product

And the taxes which we all pay