Kunang Kunang

Ifa Barry was born in Purwokerto, Central Java, and grew up in a nearby village before emigrating to Australia.  She has lived and worked in Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Austria.  Ifa enjoys sharing her cultural heritage through teaching traditional Indonesian dance and cookery, and spends her time middle-distance running, exploring nature and observing Australia’s native animals.

This poem was written in Indonesian, Ifa’s mother tongue.  See the poem in Indonesian, as well as an English translation (kindly provided by Ifa herself), below. 

KUNANG KUNANG

Malam hari telah tiba

Malam gelap gulita

Ku lihat jauh kunang kunang

Berkelip-kelip di mana mana

Cahayamu menyinari alam
semesta

Malam gulita menjadi indah
dan bercahaya

Ku dekati kunang kunang

Ku tangkap tubuhmu yang
bersinar

Ku pegang erat di tanganku

Ku bisikan ke telingamu,
“kau adalah hewan yang
luar biasa”

Hatiku senang

Bersorak ria di kala aku
bermain dengan kunang
kunang

Ingin aku memegang
tubuhmu sampai larut
malam

“Tetapi aku mesti
melepaskan dirimu kembali
menyinari alam semesta”

Kini ku sadari

Beribu malam kita telah
berpisah

Aku merindukanku

Semoga suatu hari Sang
Pencipta mempertemukan
kita kembali di malam gelap
gulita

FIREFLIES

Night has fallen.

It is pitch black.

In the distance I see fireflies

Flickering everywhere.

Their light shines on the
universe.

The darkness turns to a
beautiful glow.

I approach a firefly.  I catch
its glowing body, hold it
tightly in my hand and
whisper in its ear “you are a
wonderful creature”.

My heart is happy and I am
full of joy when I play with
fireflies.

“I want to hold you ’til late at
night,

but I must release you to
illuminate the universe”,

Now I realize

the thousands of nights we
have parted.

I missed you.

May our creator one day
reunite us under the night of
complete darkness.

© Ifa Barry, 2018