Vi har inlett ett spännande samarbete med poeten  N.Diana från Bali

I was born in a small village in West Borneo. Most of my childhood was spent in the forest: the rice fields, plants and animals were my friends. These memories led me to study Biology. In 2014, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science. As my major was Microbiology, I worked as a product specialist for a microbiology equipment  supplier for two years. I have also had years of experience working in laboratories. Today, I am a project facilitator at the Innovation Hub of the Green School in Bali.

I am one with the word. I always believe in the power of words. They can be spoken. They can be written. Both are ways of working for eternity. I have published two books: My son, Lelaki di Biara, is a collection of poetry and, my daughter, Terbuang dari Eden, is a collection of short stories about women. I have published in several anthologies and newspapers as well. Throughout 2008-2011, I gave talks about books and writing on local television and radio. My most recent performance was at the 2018 Indigenous Celebration in Ubud, Bali.

I am currently working on a translation of poems from Lelaki di Biara. This will be my first book available in English. I am also compiling a second collection of poetry in Indonesian. In the future, I also plan to write about Woman and Tradition, especially with regard to women in the Dayak Community.

Poetry for a Sustainable Future:  

You can watch Diana reading the poem An Elegy for Borneo  HERE!

An Elegy for Borneo

The spirit of the ancestor is weeping

a stream of tears from pantak1 eyes

While your Kapuas River is already murky

with mercury, lead and cadmium.

Because you listened to their words:

Just swallow your ancestor’s tears!

they’re dead, maybe they never existed

You still nod obediently counting the profit lost

from rupiah to dollar or back the other way.

Let’s remember the time of the jungle and its trees

the fresh maram2 fruit and durians which never ceased.

We shared them with the squirrels and the forest rats

the water flowing abundantly from virgin springs

the wet stones and green rugs of moss.

We shared them with belibis3 and anteaters

: Oh, how this land has God in it!

Now we see the haunting spirit of the ancestor

wailing like a womanly devil on the movie screen

which we watch with tension, laughing happily.

While your Kapuas River is almost dry

a fossil of your womb, infant of your generation.

You still nod obediently, felling trees for illegal plantations

mining gold upstream in the river: godless and greedy!

Borneo, July 2012

1 Pantak: a wooden statue carved by the ancient Dayak people. A visualization of ancestral spirits.

2 Maram: a Salaklike fruit, red with a sour taste. Also known as Asam Paya.

3 Belibis: a bird from genus Dendrocygna

Special thanks to Michael Linden, who helped with translation.

Elegi Tanah Borneo

Borneoku (indonesisk version)

Roh nenek moyang menangis

menganak sungai mata pantak1

sedang sungai Kapuasmu itu keruh sudah

bercampur merkuri, timbal dan kadmium

sebab kau dengar kata mereka, “teguk saja air mata nenek moyangmu!

mereka sudah mati, bahkan mungkin tak ada.

kau masih mengangguk-tunduk

menghitung berapa untung-rugi, rupiah ke dolar atau sebaliknya

mari kita ingat masa rimba dan pepohonannya

buah maram2 segar dan durian yang tak habis dimakan

kita berbagi dengan tupai dan tikus hutan

air melimpah dari mata air perawan

bebatuan basah dan lumut-lumut permadani hijau

kita berbagi dengan belibis3 dan trenggiling

: betapa tanah ini bertuhan!

kini kita lihat roh nenek moyang gentayangan

meraung-tangis seperti setan perempuan di layar kaca

yang kita tonton dengan tegangnya cekakak-cekikik bahagia

sedang sungai Kapuasmu itu nyaris kering

berfosil rahim dan orok generasimu sendiri

kau tetap mengangguk-tunduk-runduk

membabat hutan untuk perkebunan liar, menambang emas di hulu sungai

: tamak yang tak bertuhan!

Borneo, Juli 2012

1 Pantak: patung kayu sesembahan masyarakat Dayak purba, visualisasi roh nenek moyang.

2 Maram: Buah mirip salak berwarna merah dan rasanya asam atau dikenal juga dengan nama Asam Paya.

3 Belibis: sebutan nama burung dari genus Dendrocygna