Monday, December 6, 2010

Chicken, 4

Bali is an island of stunning beauty. There is the beauty of the deep blue Indian Ocean, the beauty of the Bali Sea, the beauty of the sugar-white sands of Seminyak and the coal-black beaches at Klungkung. There are the stately palm and deciduous trees which shade the long sighing coastline, and the jungle canopy upcountry which brushes at the wall of the hard blue sky, while chattering monkeys tell the strokes and cicak and tokay lizards critique from below. Above all the mountaintops shoulder through the last of the high green thatching--Batukau, Batur, mighty Agung, counted to be the center of the world by the people--seven links in the ring of fire that stretches all the way from the Asian continent to the islands of Sumatra and Java, simmering to the depths like troubled giants, yet gracefully sleepy for the time being.

Lovina in the north winks at Sanur in the south, having much in common--Sengaraja nods toward Kuta--Candidasa, adorned in ceremonial gold, spills its pearls to the temple in the sea and whispers with the breaking surf about gods and rites and offerings tucked into baskets made of hand cut fronds.

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