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A Letter from Indonesia

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Below is the poem entitled A Letter from Indonesia which was written by poet Krystal Cochrane. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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A Letter from Indonesia

Dear Home:

Please forgive my departure, silent and without warning, like the simmering 
warmth of mountain springs that bubble, unexpected, in the pale tropic light of 
morning. I am now straddling the equator, my toes naked against the earth, 
tasting the sweetness of Indonesian soil, volcanic, fertile, undisturbed, and to my 
soul delivering rebirth.

The air before dawn tastes of sweet-vanilla and dry nuts, at noon of ripe fruit with 
caramelized sugar, and at dusk an exotic thickness of fresh leaves, moonlit 
seas, and a richness of rare orchids all kiss in a soothing breeze. 

By day I explore sculpted canyons and wet rice fields, secret Hindu temples, the 
Mahayana Buddhist Borobudur, deserted for centuries; I discover a myriad of 
mysteries the Island Mountains conceal.

At night Gamelan music is a spice that saturates the mind and your body exalts 
the rhythm of double- headed lace drums, beating, beating, beating, beating 
dramatic time. Gongs and bamboo flutes resonate, echo in the heart, the 
passion of a culture preserving colour, tradition, sung poetry, and ancestral art. 

My diet has been that of rice, fish, and lots of fresh fruit: berries, sprouts, sharp 
tasting roots, similar to that of the Sun Sumatran Bear, stout, with sleek black fur, 
resting in the trees eating the young tips of palm which he peels with care. 
 
The sun is a golden disk that sits atop the Java mountains, painting light brown 
skin, pearls of perspiration, with dirt and pollen burning in and out of yellow rays, 
bringing dry heat to the excitement in the streets, where people infuse Life into 
Life in extraordinary ways.   

Finally in sleep, memories, spirits, emotion are lifted to the moon, cleansing the 
temple of my soul with a delicate touch of porcelain white, beams like a melody 
transforming the night, a surreal dream tangible to my skin, Indonesia swirls 
around me – my desire strong to feel the strength of its pulse from within.


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  1. Date: 9/25/2009 2:54:00 PM
    Krystal, this poem just oozes images of Indonesia, a most beautiful write>>James