John Hyland Bali

Morning begins by stripping

coconut leaves and weaving

small baskets, canang, offerings

to the gods that watch. Under shade

of a rusted corrugated tin

roof, dogs slump beside caged chickens

that passer-byes spit upon to bless.

Women with smoking branches

emerge from huts in moss-green

and gold, orange and silver

sarongs, robes and scarves.

Old men with sun-leathered skin,

cigarettes dangling, hollow out

logs to fashion hulls of boats.

Clouds like distended mountains

out across the bay in the morning.

Boats gather about schools of tuna,

and the horizon is not blurred

but a distinct seam of sea and sky.


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