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An odd puzzle

An odd puzzle

that night we got together and talked
from our mouths no grand issues emerged;
we talked about our hopes,
things simple and understandable

one person had been hoping for a long time
to add on a kitchen to the place he rents
which reminded others
they didn't own a saucepan, kerosene stove,
drinking glasses, or frying pan,
which made them remember
they had once wanted to buy such things
only to see their wishes soon buried
beneath weariness
and wages that so quickly changed
into toothpaste, shampoo, rent
and unpaid bills at the food stall

after that many of us found it difficult
to enjoy the warm tea that had been served
because we were still busy thinking
about where to rest our heads and where to hang our clothes

another person mentioned that for ages he had wanted
a bathroom of his own
from which topic the discussion jumped to cement and wall paint,
prices for which never seem to fall

we also talked about the election campaign,
the one just passed
and of the three parties that competed,
we concluded had no connection with us: workers
whose only use for them is our votes,
to be exploited for their own interests

we laughed because we realised
that for many years we had been deceived
and treated like buffalo
but in the end we asked
why it's so difficult for a worker to buy a can of paint,
even after working no less that eight hours a day,
and why it's so difficult for them
to send their children to school
when each day they produce
tons and tons of goods

and then one among the group stood up,
looked around and asked:
"are there any things you use
that are not made by workers?"
a question that made us observe
the many things around us: neon lights, televisions, radios, clothes, books...

since that time I've always felt
we are faced with an odd puzzle, one that arises whenever we talk
about saucepans, kerosene stoves,
drinking glasses, or frying pans
and also at times we count our wages
which so quickly change
to tooth paste, shampoo, rent
and unpaid bills at the food stall

I'm always surprised and ask myself
what kind of power it is that can so easily absorb
our energy and the fruits of our labour.

(Translation of Teka Teki yang Ganjil )

English Translations from Bahasa Indonesia by
 Richard Curtis

Menagerie 5: Violence Towards Women, 2003
Lontar Foundation
Url: https://openlibrary.org/books/OL25442228M/Menagerie_5

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Wiji Thukul, yang bernama asli Widji Widodo (lahir di Surakarta, Jawa Tengah, 26 Agustus 1963) adalah sastrawan dan aktivis pro-demokrasi berkebangsaan Indonesia. Tukul merupakan salah satu tokoh yang giat melawan penindasan rezim Orde Baru. Pasca Peristiwa 27 Juli 1996, sekitar bulan-bulan menjelang kejatuhan Soeharto pada tahun 1998 sampai sekarang dia tidak diketahui rimbanya. Dia dinyatakan hilang dengan dugaan diculik oleh militer Orde Baru.

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Nyanyian Akar Rumput-Kumpulan Lengkap Puisi Wiji Thukul

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Buku Terkait Wiji Thukul


Pengarang : Wiji Thukul
Pengantar : Munir
Penerbit : IndonesiaTera, Yogyakarta
Tahun : 2004 (cetakan kedua)
Tebal : xxiv + 223 halaman

Deskripsi :Buku ini mencoba menampilkan sosok kepenyairan Wiji Thukul secara lengkap. Untuk itu, hampir semua sajak Wiji Thukul tampil dalam kumpulan ini, termasuk sajak-sajak yang ditulisnya selama masa “pelarian”, hingga tak lagi diketahui keberadaannya.

Nyanyian Akar Rumput-kumpulan Lengkap Puisi Wiji Thukul
Penerbit Gramedia Pustaka Utama
ISBN 9786020302898
Berat 0.30 kg
Tanggal Terbit 28 Februari 2014
Halaman 200

Aku Ingin Jadi Peluru – Wiji Thukul

ISBN: 978-9671-307-70-0

Penerbit Obscura bersama Kedai Hitam Putih, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Terbitan dengan izin daripada keluarga Wiji Thukul untuk edisi Malaysia.

Turut terkandung: Esei iringan oleh Munir, wawancara bersama Wiji Thukul ‘Seniman Harus Memperjuangkan Gagasannya’ dan pengantar Edisi Malaysia oleh Hafiz Hamzah.

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