November 1, 2010

When the Mighty River Rajang Dries Up

Clearly these photos (permission granted by friend to use them) - show the drying up of the  river...it is not caused by drought...it is not because a monster has swallowed up all the water...



River bed is now exposed by the impounding of the Bakun Dam. We have been told that this was not an expected outcome. Strange? Stranger?Strangerer?

Old logs which had been at the bottom of the river now are drying in the sun like crocodiles....



Typical upriver or ULU staircase used by villagers to board their river expresses(powerful boats which look like a huge capsule and are skippered by drivers wearing sometimes only their blue boxers i.e. -translate - underpants).....May be never to be used again.

A typical Sarawak fishing net or Jala....hanging forlornly...verandah is painted blue. I was once explained  to that the blue paint gives houses an eerie look at night.


Timber trucks continue to take out logs to Bintulu from the Bakun area.


The drying up of the Rajang below Belaga can make a person's emotions go on an overdrive.

Poetry is an overflow of emotions according to W. Wordsworth. I like Walt Whitman who wrote some poems on political issues e.g. O Captain! My Captain! (about Abraham Lincoln) using free verse.

And here is my poem for today......
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Writing Unmetered Poetry -

Words come tumbling out as the river dries up.

Walt Whitman penned his poems in minutes.
No rhyme. No meter. No rules.
Yet  his poems  are great American poems.
Reading aloud his poems one often feels wounded to the core.
Every sinew vibrates by his chosen words.
His soul laid bare.
His heart beats  drumming in one's soul.

When a river dies
A man
COULD stand by and watch.
Stumped. Breath held.
His love and his life withheld.
Yet who cares as much as this one soul?
My river is my poetry of life.

I have no rhyme. No meter. No rules.
Left.
My soul has died.




13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah ha!!

All Souls' Day...a new soul added....The Rajang River's....

Seriously....Very readable poem...got a resounding echo there...you Walt Whitman fan?

小洋 said...

Very very sad and angry to see a river dying!

Bengbeng said...

it is said that sometimes a picture can paint a thousand words. if that is true, the first n second pic render yr post unnecessary. the pics tell it all

David Chin said...

I must be getting out of touch in NZ. Apparently now in Sarawak, you can also steal a river!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Anonymous....yes it is sad indeed...thanks for visiting. I enjoy poems which help the soul.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Shao Yang....yes...sad and angry....I feel the same too.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Beng Beng

Thanks. The pictures suffice....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

David

Looks like lots of things are still worth stealing in Sarawak!!

Anonymous said...

we all know who the thief is and yet no one dares to do anything to him....he steals anything and everything to add to his immense wealth
just look at the King George sports field in Sibu.....aint that supposed to be a community ground ....instead it stands the highest buliding in Sarawak..
The lists goes on ...........

Anonymous said...

Thievery? No, it is entrepreneurship in its purest form. If anyone should doubt it, then he (she) needs only consult some members of a cyber group that comprise a collection of some of Sarawak's elite.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous 1 and 2...people in the future will have to study history to find the real culprits...at the moment I can only say that there are too many good actors on the Sarawak stage. But there are good people around too. And we must know how to separate the sheep from the goats. But then I am afraid Que Sera Sera may ring too true for many of us if we are not careful...whatever will be will be...Q S S.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 1 - most people who are getting the brunt of the situation are not even aware of the damages they are suffrering as they are quite oblivious to the surroundings as they continue to pay tribute to the towkays and the higher ups.

While many of the so czlled community leaders do not have the simpliest inkling of what good governance is..the towkays are just laughing all their way to the banks. Some medals or stars given to a few people here and there do kept their mouths shuts.

..I am wondering if the old Iban tradition of paying tribute (pupu) to the Rajahs is still in the minds of the indigenous people..poor people will always remain poor unfortunately if they do not break out of their shell....Najib said I help you you help me lah...in what ways? Sounds like one towkay who used to say ...you drink my doffee I have all the timber and your induk dara...was that a good deal? the deal went through.

Hort Log said...

Appalling. I had seen other villages flooded by dam building in W. Sarawak also - the people could do nothing but move their long house elsewhere...but where I wonder ?