fajar zakhri | indonesia indonesia

August 21, 2017

words by: Fajar Zakhri

Globetrotter's in house wordsmith Fajar Zakhri put pen to paper in honor of Indonesia's Independence Day on August 17th. He convicts, he stretches, he pushes, he moves forward, he holds nothing back. As always. 

Read on. 

leaving / developing
everyone keeps talking about leaving
like it's the hippest fashion displayed in store
but i've moved from house to house
stranger to strangest
and i don't feel like moving anymore
everyone keeps talking about leaving
because nothing here seems redeemable
but we've accumulated era to era
terrain to terrain
to our name
and still we are caught in hysteria
so who's to blame
you can buy a ticket to a faraway land
where you are promised with freedom
you will be making waves and waking up
to a view promising equality and liberation
but who will stick around to make things better
who will take heed and pave way to the future
brick by brick and stone by stone
will you leave them unturned
or will you carry on
you can take some time off and go on a vacation
and snap photos to let us know where you've been
you keep talking about leaving because you want to show
that the fastest way to quit is to find the nearest exit
and lock its door
you take pride in your vagabond ways
you can afford it because you have the means
new-age platitudes for a brave new world
and filters to make it seem more interesting
you can check in on social media accounts
shoving movements down people's throats
but everywhere we breathe the same air
and the lands are either red or brown, dry or soaked

you can make anything grow
you keep talking about leaving
because you reap what you sow
but you're a slave to the rhythm that we dance to
in concrete buildings
on shaky grounds
with discordant sound
four on the floor
can we count some more
until everyone's leaving
and no one's making friends
everyone's on the run
making amends
to cover up the disconnect
and act on the privilege
there's still a ray of light
and there's enough room on this bench
can you please sit down


the co-dependent
"unity in diversity"
but don't you think
we could not be more divided
only to be in tatters
putting talks of democracy on hold
while taking long phone calls from fascism
and sending love letters to neoliberalism
how convenient
using god as a tool
because religion will save our souls
begging for mercy
from preachers on TV
casting off streetside philosophers
so casually
because they don't make sense, right?
they ruin your agenda
disrupt the proverbial peace
it's all vicarious living
and it's not as much living as it is
making ends meet
where the ends don't ever
quite see each other
they keep bending sideways
while you gulp oil and spit gas
chew tobacco and poop out papers
each containing a value
that determines one's worth
and makes decisions on everyone's behalf
all hail the new god
we praise new mosques
restore the old ones
with all the churches torn down
and every object a congregation
nobody's a temple
you're a candy or a fly
a victim or a prey
you close your eyes

silently pray
and to the sky
you quietly say,
"save me and my kind"
when did you forget
you too are an animal
you can stop roaring
when you've learned divinity
in different names
spelled love
in every alphabet
built walls
across civilizations
conquered mountains
without reaching the summit
where are the greener pastures
only mirages
in drier deserts
in which we're lost
still we're digging sands for water
when it's wind we need the most
breathe a little
make this business unusual
slow these machines down
we've been running in tandem
forgetting how to walk
some of us have been amputated
to the bone
some of us have been paralyzed
all alone
have we been making empty pledges
devoid of celebration
for the living and the dead
with all this inferiority complex
have we just been dying instead
so i demand
better care for matters
concerning the transfer of power
spare some moment
before another proclamation

seventy-two years won't do
when millions request for freedom
and independence is only granted for you