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The beaches in Bali can have black sands;
Hot volcanic ash glitters and gleams as galaxies float underfoot.

Rattan basket offerings litter the views where small gods eat and run.
They might stay a little longer and linger
In the temples where tourists can only defile.

Masticating macaques, mildly curious.
They seem unconcerned.
As we walk around and through.

Gede, Made, Budi, never spent,
They look skywards, seawards, and to the paddy,
Never failing to bow, eyes front,
Ever smiling.

To deliver them from the day,
Dancing for the tourists, fishing to forget,
Walking through fire night after night, as if to prove a point.

Dressed in white, going about their business
In the countless perfect sunsets over restless horizons.

But is it because they know no better?
But it is because they know better.
I know, because he told me,

“In Jakarta there is work but it is a dangerous place.
From Jakarta, they come here and fight and sometimes kill.
Singaradja, my home town, is a paradise,
Rolling rivers and streams and dolphins, quite close.

Do you want to see?
A hundred dollars but I’ll give you discount.

We all need to make a living here.
With our baskets, our smiles and our galaxies
Trampled underfoot.”