This Side of Things (abhanga poems)

“A Different World”. Location: Banjarmasin, Indonesia. Image belong to Erlyn Olivia, owner of this blog.

behind rusty walls, sits

a man with a trapped soul

time does not disavow

but mankind does


“Abandoned”. Location: Surabaya, Indonesia. Image belongs to Erlyn Olivia, owner of this blog.

a world not so different

men with no name or voice

yet still persistently

survive throughout


Based on the comment that I received, I need to add an explanation about the first picture. Those houses are built on top of a river, and families do live inside. Not a healthy living environment and I can only imagine the pollution it accumulates to the river. The location of the picture is in the city of Banjarmasin, on the south side of the island of Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. As an island, Kalimantan has a lot of rivers. Boats are a common form of transportations in Kalimantan. Along the river, it is very common to see houses like the one in the picture. Many of the very poor residents live there. I guess in some other countries, this type of living place may be referred to as the shanty town.

When I visited Banjarmasin 2 years ago and had the chance to ride on the boat passing by these houses, many thoughts came to my mind. I wrote my poems above as my way of respecting the will of survival of the people there, regardless of how much I also understand that this type of living ruins the environment. I think blaming the people who live there for the problem, who were likely born into the environment after many generations before them had survived there as well, is not only useless and unproductive but also unfair. The solution requires a much more wholesome collaborations between the people, the government and the nation.


#NaPoWriMo2021 – Day 3

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) – Rusty or Decayed

2021 Weekly Photo Challenge: This Side of Things.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. What a stunning image! Does the water last for long? (I’m assuming it’s from the rains.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erlyn Olivia says:

      The water is actually a river. Those are houses built on top of water. The city of Banjarmasin is on the south part of the island Kalimantan (Kalimantan is the Indonesian side of the island Borneo; a smaller part of Borneo belongs to Malaysia). Kalimantan has a lot of rivers, so it is no wonder that people build houses on top of river. Not a healthy environment for living and definitely not good for the river, but you can say that this is a community for the very poor. In other countries, this type of living place may be called shanty town.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for clarifying. So interesting. I can see how it might not be the healthiest environment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    Oh what cool photos you have found for this week. Thanks for playing along 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erlyn Olivia says:

      You’re welcome, Cee.

      Like

  3. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations! I have selected your post to be featured in CFFC.https://ceenphotography.com/2021/04/06/cffc-size-comparison-of-objects/
    I hope your week is off to a terrific start.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lifelessons says:

    I used to have a dream about being on a bridge where the section in front and in back of me fell away into the river and I was trapped on the one section of road still whole..It was so frightening. Your photo perfectly captures that feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erlyn Olivia says:

      Oh no, that’s a scary image.

      Liked by 1 person

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