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Sunday, June 01, 2014


by Martha Landman

This is the incredible moment when a huge volcano erupted in Indonesia sending ash spewing an estimated 12 miles into the sky. The powerful explosion took place at Mount Sangeang Api in the Lesser Sunda Islands - an area that plays host to 129 active volcanoes - and sent a distinctive spaceship-shaped ring of pyroclastic smoke high into the air.  The photographs were taken by professional photographer Sofyan Efendi during a commercial flight from Bali to the fishing town of Labuan Bajo in West Nusa Tenggara province. Scores of farmers who work but do not live on the island were ordered to leave and not return until the volcano has finished erupting, said Muhammad Hendrasto, head of Indonesia's National Volcanology Agency. There are not believed to have been any deaths or injuries as a result of the eruption. Authorities have had Mount Sangiang Api - which means 'Mountain of Spirits' in Balinese - on high alert for almost a year, he told China's Xinhua news agency.  The volcano sits in Indonesia's notorious 'Ring of Fire' - an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. It has 452 volcanoes - 75 per cent of the world's total. --Daily Mail (UK), May 30, 2014

The sky is a passion tower
A vertical breath from the bosom of a fire God
Voluptuous love-plumes bellow like a death sentence
An inferno of justice

Where are the birds, the planes?
Entranced by elemental fury, farmers hover in the shade and
offer incense and a thousand goats to the gods
who enrich their soil

The sky is a love sculpture
Tangled clouds of fairy floss assault the atmosphere
Rivers flow in lava, arisen from the mountain floor —
Tomorrow’s saucers fly —
The sky is passion.

Martha Landman writes in North Queensland, Australia. Her most recent work has appeared in Jellyfish Whispers.