Thursday, August 21, 2008

HOw mUcH??

How much humanity
must i give to be human
in a world like this?
we must fight
for value which purify
and by fighting
we slip from humanity.

to be human
we must soften the enemy
with gentleness
but always
shielding ideals
from ourselves and our adversaries.

and in the battles
we destroy civilizations
that climb into mind
in moments of maturity.

but confrontations
are still moments
when we begin to die
and we descend history's hill
after the passionate ascent;
two movements that make us.
in truth, we go nowhere.

how hard to be soft
how bitter to be sweet
how cruel to be just

what are we here?
mere creatures among animals,
or man among angels
that live with the senses
and the forgotten reason,
and dreaming a heaven
not for us.

Muhammad Haji Salleh
The Travel Journals of Tenggang 2 (pg: 44)