Cairo


* * Nathela arrived in Cairo. She saw it as a densely populated city, a maze of streets bustling with life. Men with their long robes and turbans and women with their long dresses and headscarves consumed much of the space; all were hectic pursuing their own business. Itinerant vendors jammed both the narrow and … Continue reading

Mawlana Jalaluddin

Mawlana Jalaluddin


* * After having a rest in the morning, Nathela went for an afternoon stroll. It was then that she saw a crowd full of men and women of any age, circling a storyteller. Nathela missed the beginning of the story but joined the crowd nevertheless. “He is not an ordinary Mufti,” the storyteller said … Continue reading

Drunk in Love

Drunk in Love


* * A lover walks a thousand miles and confuses West for East, but keeps whirling. That’s what love gives to real lovers: drunkenness. * Being in love is drunkenness. Being sober is not love. Not until you are drunk in love can you truly feel what it means to be ‘alive’. * Love is … Continue reading

A Wondrous Nightingale

A Wondrous Nightingale


One whose heart is aflame with love is a wondrous nightingale that opens its beak to chew roses and swallow thorns. The roses taste sweet in its beak but the thorns are excruciating its chest. That is the destiny of everyone who dares to set the fire of love in their heart, For the clouds … Continue reading

War and Small Nations

War and Small Nations


* * * Once, high above a pasture, where a sheep and a lamb were grazing, an eagle was circling and gazing hungrily down upon the lamb. And as he was about to descend and seize his prey, another eagle appeared and hovered above the sheep and her young with the same hungry intent. Then … Continue reading

A Prayer for My Country

A Prayer for My Country


Today, 17 August 2012, Indonesia celebrates the Independence Day, so I wrote a poem, “A Prayer for My Country”. Merdeka! 🙂 * * O my Lord, My prayer is simple. * Let the water and the soil, the air, and the fruit of   my country be sweet, my Lord.   *   Let the homeless … Continue reading

Words and Tears

Words and Tears


* * Words are tears  that have been sculpted with sorrows; and tears are words that need to be shed. We need both tears and words, because without them happiness loses its brilliance and grief is endless.