Monday, August 24, 2009

si tenggang's homecoming


the physical journey that i traverse

is the journey of the soul,

transport of the self from a fatherland

to a country collected by sight and mind.

the knowledge the sweats from it

is estranger's experience,

from one who had learnt to see,

reflectand choose between the challenging actualities.


its true i have growled at my mother and


but only after having told them my predicament

that they have never brought to consideration

the wife that i began to love in my loneliness,

in the country that alienated me,

they enveloped in their pre-judgement.

i have not entirely returned,

i know,having been changed by time and place.

coarsed by problems estranged by absence.


but look.

i have brought myself home,

seasoned by faith.

broadened by land and language,

i am no longer afraid of the oceans

of the difeerences between people,

no longer easily snared

no words of ideas the journey was a loyal teacher,

who was never tardy

in explaning cultures and variousness.

look i am just like you.

still malay,sensitive to what

i believe is good,

and more ready to understand than my brothers.

the contents of these boats are yours too,

because i have returned.


travel makes me a seeker who does not take

what is given without sincerity

or that which demands payment from beliefs.

the years at sea and in coastal state have thought me to choose,

to accept only those tested by

comparison, or that which matches the roads of my ancestors,

which returns me to my village and its comppleteness.


i've leanrt the ways of the rude,

to hold actuality in a new logic,

debate with hard and loud facts.

but i toohave humanity, respecting

man and life.


i am not a new man,

not very different

from you;the people and cities

of coastal ports

thought me not to broodover a foreign world,

suffer difficulties

or fear possibilities.

i am you,

freed from the village,

its soils and ways,


because i have found myself.

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