Kuali Hitam

Warisan Zurinah Hassan


Facing the Harbour

It disturbs me
Every time I face the harbour lights
They are the lights of our boundary
Reminding us nobody can live without a name
And loyalty to a country

But nobody can choose his own name
Or the country to be born in


Suatu hari pada tahun 1966
ayah membawa pulang
sebuah peti televisyen
kami bersorak riang
lalu sibuk menyusun ruang
untuk memberikan padanya
sudut yang utama

Mulai hari itu
kami mengatur kerja harian
kami melentur kebiasaan
mengikut jadual tayangan

Tetapi sebenarnya
peti itulah yang mengatur acara keluarga
mempertemukan kami
dengan tetamu pelbagai rupa

Dari Kentucky
mereka datang menghidang makanan segera
lalu menakluk selera bangsa

Dari Marlboro Country
mereka menunggang kuda
ke dalam minda anak-anak muda

Dari kota London
kilauan emas pemetik api
menyalakan seribu fantasi
sambil mengusap dada
dengan asap dan jelaga

Dari Paris semestinya
mereka memperagakan kehebatan jenama
lalu memakaikan anak-anak kami
dengan baju ilusi

Ketika kami cuba melindungi putera puteri
di dalam pagar kesantunan
mereka menjerit “breakaway”
lupakan segala batasan

Kadang-kadang kami marah
kerana terlalu banyak iklan
memecah keasyikan
perlahan-lahan kami fahami juga
kuasanya mencorakkan rancangan
dan menyusun jadual tayangan
yang kemudian mempengaruhi
agenda kehidupan.

Biasanya kami leka
ketika wajah negara
dan watak bangsa
diadun oleh tangan sang penaja

TV commercials

One day in 1966
My father brought home
A television set
How we cheered with joy
Immediately rearranged our space
To give it
A prominent place

That day was the beginning
Of our daily routine
Following the program summary
And setting our time accordingly

In fact the box has come to control
The timetable of our household
Bringing to us guests
From all over the world

From Kentucky
They serve food in an instant
Conquering the taste bud of our nation

From Marlboro country
The horses gallop
Into the minds of our young ones

From London city
The gold lighter
Sparks off a thousand fantasies
Filling our chests
With fog and smoke

Form Paris for certain
The parade of brands and fashion
Dress up our children
With clothes of illusions

While we protect our boys and girls
With ethics and morals
They shouted ‘breakaway’
Lets break all the rules

Sometimes we are annoyed
By too much interruptions
disrupting our concentration
But we come to understand
The sponsors right
To schedule our viewing
And we come to compromise
As it dictates our live

More often we are carried away
While the characters of our people
And the landscape of our land
Being shaped by advertisers’ hand

Life from a train window

Life, is it what I see outside a train
Moving fast on its railing
the ever changing faces
the ever changing scenes

Oh self, are you that great mountain
Standing indifferent and proud
to the caressing wind
to the approaching clouds
or are you just that wild grass
condemned, but thrived
hated, yet survived

Are you that rushing torrent
Flowing down in violence.
Bitter and puzzled by the jungle
Only to fall down as bubbles
Laughing at itself amidst the pebbles

Are you that old river slow and calm
Surrendering services to fields and farms
Following turns and meanders loyally
With heart heavy and gloomy

The rain that fall suddenly
Obstruct all views from this train
Telling us we are all lonely
Each on his own journey
Meeting and departing
Happen without any warning

Searching for myself outside a moving train
Among strange faces
And ever changing colors
Before I could make up a vision
The train pulls on its alien coaches
To another station

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