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Sunday, November 19, 2006


by James Penha

Shaman slits
the throat of a goat,
collects its blood in earthenware
holding already the flesh of a red snapper
for this nation is sea and soil
and must be saved
all of it
from pollution.

Shaman wears a Muslim peci on his head
but these are dangerous times,
he says, and the sooth of our ancient archipelago
from many mouths must be heard
against black magic.
He listens to the bowl,
quaffs its eerie contents

and chants spells
so to bewilder the terrible Wizard in our midst:
that his alien abracadabra will fail
ever again
to bemuse the water and land.

James Penha edits The New Verse News from Indonesia.