sendumu melantun di antara lemari buah
pagi ini ketika
kantuk masih tercurah.
sepertinya tetap dan akan terus belaka.

layaknya aku merindu waktu yang terhenti
sebagian windu lalu
apa kabarmu pagi ini?
sayang,
jawabanmu tak akan sampai

sampaikan salam pada beberapa kue ulang tahun
yang lanjur terlewat, maafkan
mungkin lain kali, saat sudah pagi lagi.

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Empat Belas Bait dari Jakarta

hanya begitu
pohon pisang berlalu
terduduk kawan

malam-malam lirih
tertinggal ternyata ia
banyak yang henyak

sinar surya
berpaling kaki-kaki
dari jendela timur

siapa yang bisa marah
senja dalam tiga
kapan bisa berani

dua puluh yang lalu
bersama ibu
dan bistik sapi

(kini tinggal ada
kemas-kemas begitu
dan gerobak kosong)

atau ketika
kau aku dan matahari
terbit di kiri

(kini tak lebih
satu kursiku saja
terima kasih)

masih berbayang
komedi orang sana
di atas layang

sore dan pagi ini?
tiada tahu
tak ada waktu

sang surau kecil
tenggelam dalam pasir
di dasar lembah

mendung menggantung
kereta para tuhan
sepertinya bukan

gunung mengepung
rumahku berbungaku
daki mendaki

bergetar goyang
terlaju landai bosan
menunggu sampai

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Where We Make Our Stand

Around three months after thousands of people surrounded the Berlin Wall and effectively forced the destruction of it in the upcoming months, Carl Sagan convinced the officials of NASA to turn their camera on spacecraft “Voyager I”, whose on its way to leave the solar system, to take a picture facing her home planet. It was Valentine’s Day 1990.

The resulting 60 frames were transmitted back to Earth across three months period, between March to May 1990. Three frames shot in different color filter –blue, green, and violet– were combined to create the final image which we have now known as the Pale Blue Dot.

Four years later, Carl Sagan wrote a book inspired by the photograph and inside the book, he wrote as follows:

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Carl Sagan died on December 20th, 1996. At the time, armed conflicts and violent attacks were rampant across the globe, such in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Congo, Burundi, Northern Ireland, and many others.

 

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angan beranjak dari tanganku yang kau telan dari sedari tadi, sampai jauh dan mengaduh.

kira, dan hanya jika, kita bersama melawan suka dan mengumpul luka satu dan satu. mungkinmu apa yang kau jadi?

sia melarung lembayung, lalu terlanjur sudah apalagi yang bisa kau haru selain ratus yang kau hapus di rongga raga.

pesanmu hampir sampai, sayang. aku tahu. tapi namaku terlupa dan tiada di dalamnya.

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Can you see a little package, wrapped in a sheet of old newspaper,
about one-and-a-half-hands wide, delivered neatly to the
bottom brim of your door?
Can you hear a soft thump as the package hits your door, and a second, slower, softer thump as it hit your floor?

You said something, around three months, or years, from now,
stop it. Stop it now. Stop it forever.
There should never be any more packages, wrapped neatly in any kind of newspaper.

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An Invitation to Murder

Maybe it’s the way that I pierced the knife into her, a little too much to the left to her heart, that didn’t kill her instantly. She only gasped with a huge shriek, which freaked me out. Her right hand immediately wrapped mine, which holds the handle of the knife. I felt the numbness creeping. My hands were shaking vigorously. It’s cold, but not ice-cold and I couldn’t feel my fingers at all. And it felt cold, but I thought to myself that maybe it was the blood gushing from her torn veins, dripping to my hand. I was really on my nerve. After all, it was my first time killing something bigger than a mosquito. We waited awhile, but there was no scream. My left arm was behind her back holding her body. I let her down easy, sliding the knife out bit by bit; or at least I tried to. What we didn’t think about is that as she lost her consciousness because the loss of blood, her feet could no longer hold her body. We should have done this with her lying down, I thought to myself.

I laid a white fabric –which quickly turned red from the blood– over the stiff, cold, inert flesh and bones of her, lying on the Persian carpet in her room just by the now-bare bed.

The room was peculiarly silent. I was still catching my breath. My heart was pounding like medieval war drums, and my hands were shaking like a rabid dog.

All that was happening in the room reeked a particular smell. Time was not ticking as it used to be. It had become slower, and slower, though never to the point where it stops completely.

It took me around seven minutes to finally be able to move my legs. I made my way outside the room to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of red wine from the counter, and went outside to the porch. When I arrived at her house about two hours ago, I lit a cigarette and forgetfully left it burnt on the ashtray. It’s still there but had burnt its way up to the filter so I threw the butt far to the street. Nobody’s around, so I guess it was fine to litter.

The time was three a.m on a particularly chilly day in December –because it had rained all night long. The streetlights were fairly dim, even I couldn’t see a thing from two house away. Somehow I felt that it was safe for me to keep sitting on the dark porch like this so I lit another cigarette and drank straight from the bottle.

Sitting still is hard, especially if you had just killed a person three minutes before. All the things you had read and watched at this point always end up at the same conclusion; no murderer is left uncaught by some form of authority. My feet was moving up and down, up and down. The fingers of my left hand tapped five times per second while the other hand was holding a cigarette which once again I left burning, leaving a trail of blue smoke over my face.

What if somebody caught me, I thought to myself. They might saw me with my hand dripping blood, caught me, pinned me to the ground. Police would come, saw the body lying on the floor of the bedroom, put me all over the crime scene and matched the blood on my hand to hers, and threw me in jail. Or I might saw them first and leaped on running as my first reflex, and they would get suspicious, and caught me, pinned me to the ground.

But what if nobody caught me?

Two hours ago, She called and asked me to come over. I lit a cigarette just before I went inside her house, left it burning on an ashtray at her front porch. She told me, “I want to die, now.”

Right now?” I asked.

“Just, I want to die, now. You owe me a favor remember?”

“I know, I know. But you didn’t even give me time to prepare or anything.”

Maybe it’s in the way she said it, indifferent and well-thought-out, that I didn’t think of saying no to her request. She said words that were almost interchangeable with anything else but an invitation to murder.

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