|Songs of Malay Winds .............. BORNEO ISLAND|
Dragon's dreams come in a variety of images and plots. Once woken up, all will be clean gone. Mother Sea will then give birth to a new child from Father Sky, perhaps a dragon again, or maybe iguana, or somebody else. However, the baby will dream the same dream. The same sky and earth will come to his mind's eye again. That way the baby gives birth to his parents, so that they remain and he have them to be born from, and they have somebody to appear in his dreams.
"Burn Eyes!" - I am shouted out to by orang islanders. Yes, I will; I'll burn your eyes, 'cause you don't need them. This is I, Wind of the Day, albeit without eyes, I see. You'll want only ears to heed what I say. I hold the whole sky on my wings and don't let the sea to crash down in the depths. If the sea drains into the lower abyss, Dragon's sides will be stripped and dried, and so will the head and claws. Ships and boats will be stranded and wrecked. The seaweeds will flag and coral groves will crumble. The dragon will wake up and moan, but nobody is to be there to hear.
This is not to happen! Wind of the Day's wings are strong and the embrace is tight. The orang* species, either the current, or future, are not going to see the dragon awake. But what's "future"? It never comes. Ask me, Wind, what is "now" and you'll learn a lot about today.
Today I was sifting sand on Sipadan and happened to hear a strange and faint voice. It was a small shell on the shore. What was that fragile creature singing about? About underwater haze, walls of fish schools - dazzling red when near; grey, blue and green when far. What nonsense! Who doesn't know that fish shimmer silvery in the sunshine and deep in the water get darker like shadows? It sang about giant turtles. I wasn't impressed: they aren't that big and aren't found very deep. Then it went on and crammed far too much: it sang about waterfalls deep under the surface, a mass of small fish to flow down coral walls attracting the sharks. Who palmed that all about waterfalls off to it? They are found on the dry land, the nearest is on Borneo, orang-dayaks' place. Those folk will behead others; especially hunting for strong and wise ones, - strange crowd, in that way hoping to extend their own age - I smile. The gained skulls will dry out and shrink next to nothing, and then they will moulder away. Besides, why extend? Since the time I was born their numbers have not become smaller: races come, races go. All is temporal and will go, including the earth. Only the sky, sea and myself will remain, until Dragon awakes.
The shell is misleading - it's peace and quiet under the water. Dream and death, only the watery surface's disturbed - I run it high. If I make it my mind - it will die away too.
I raised a high surge and it washed the chatterbox back in the depth - let it sink to that waterfall, which doesn't exist. Whether it does or it doesn't, the debate is not worth the candle - that is only in dreams of the Dragon - and I drowse him to dream.
* orang (Malay, Indonesian) - man, human
I tend to hear that my evening is short-lived - that might be true, but why should I care? One is smothered with the thick smell of flesh. The colour explodes. The ocean, that feels cramped, striving to burst beyond the horizon, has paints tantalizing the heart and the eye. The sky longs for the watery wastes, orang - for his amie's breasts, the songwriter yearns after a foreign companion, the Dragon - after subsistence, of that I'm sure. I fill every heart with the rich languorous beauty and into the orifice of the mountain and vortex of passion I call. I make this world go round: the sea and the songster, the whisper of foliage, the creak of the mast, the grinding of rock on the shore and the rustle of sand.
The hostess of the hut built on piles is awaiting a guest from the sea. The guest is racing full tilt, as they say the evening does not last a day. The Orb of Day lagged and lingered and has suddenly dropped. Where is it? There's only a red stripe left that draws on. Once it fades out and is off, what will happen? - I don't know if I have to bother. The peep in the wall of the cane hut is narrow, but I see maiden's heart is throbbing with anguish. The guest is belated, 'cause the vessel has wrecked.
The seascape's red becomes thicker; the heated sunset chokes farther behind, the unending depths howl and weep. The soul melts like a pinch of salt, and is gone from the Dragon's dream. He has no memory - what should he need the past for? Evening Wind has no providence - what should he need the future for? Time itself is a big asset. Happiness' crown is light. What else can I ask to be happy?
Palm-tree's trunk squeaks now and then, or is it the Dragon's vertebra? It grows dark over the ocean and the purple scar of the evening goes out.
The palm-trees I beat and tatter, the roofs I rip down and at windows batter, against the cliffs the sea raves, I hurl great waves - they think I play. Also I fly, fling sand in the eye, come down with cats and dogs, wear away the rocks. New cliffs will emerge and rise to the height. I'm not bothered - there's enough of night. Brute creature, the rooster, crows: "The day is to come! The day is to come!" What does the "day" mean? - An empty word. I know the word sea, also vessel. I play with waves and with the Moon I make friends. I know the word fishermen, often drive their sails, and chase sea-robbers raging with gales. I rock the night clouds and will disperse them to let the sea behold stars and the Moon.
I also know the big Dragon from songs, about the curves of his spine that come up as the islands, that he stuck like a leech to the seabed and sucks at his mother's salty milk, and sleeps. When the Dragon wakes up, it will stretch its spine and will sink all the islands. Then the beast will go diving to the lower world, which crawls with Sea and Sky's brood. But this future is only confined to his dream and I lull him to sleep.
The sky is pale and plumeous before dawn, the small night stars are fading out - give way to the kingly chariot! The small creatures', like parrots, orangs or turtles' fears and passions are thinning away. The Dragon's dream images are gradually becoming dim, and so is the Dragon. When the dream vanishes, where will Dragon be , the sea - when neither a splash nor a drop? Where will the sea go - will the space go empty?
There is another eye, not Dragon's, and it sees another sea and another sky. The previous dream has embraced the spawn of the dream: Dragon, the underworld, the ocean with island in woods, grey monkeys, brown pythons, yellow orangs and their woodland brothers orang-utans**. But the awakening's near and the horizon is in a cold yellow predawn light. In a while it is to become hot and red - a new day will come, another deceitful white day. It lies, and is unaware that there is another day without night - not from a dream. Wind of the Dawn, its envoy, Wind from Elsewhere. The other Winds are his forms for this world. Every puff of that wind encompasses heat, songs of the blood, peace and horror. It will take strength over the sea surface, bring in the clouds, wipe out the blind dreams and then will come Day. The objects of desire are near and come unexpected.
** orang utan (Malay, Indonesian) - forest people
"Burn Eyes!" - I am shouted out to by orang islanders. Yes, I will; I'll burn your eyes without regret, 'cause you don't need them. You'll want your ears to listen to the legends of Wind.
Don't ask when it happened, as they are empty words. There's no "long ago" and "when" doesn't exist. There's only "today". I was driving a sailing boat from the North today, a small kapal, with two orangs on it - male and female - Pak and Mak. The two were headed for island Langkawi, where rice is plentiful, of better destiny they were hopeful. Folly! There's no telling of one isle from another, as they are only the Dragon's spine curves. He sleeps in his mother-Sea's bosom, his father-Sky he won't see or know, only dreams of the two poor, who are destined for Langkawi, his vertebra. I took a fancy for them and, when they arrived, I brought them a seed of Rice Spirit's from the nearest rice field. That blended with human seeds and there was a daughter, Mahsuri, the future princess of the rice country of Khan'. Reign, feed on rice cakes, sleep in the straw in the heat of the day and thank me, the Wind!
The Dragon's blood seethes in a song of colours, tinting the flaming sunset sky. He can't wake up! Waves, sing together with me, your bedtime song to lull the Dragon to sleep. Let him dream things, or else all of them will disappear: father-Sky and mother-Sea, stars that reflect in the water, clouds, islands with all life and the Dragon himself. Only I will remain - I'm not in his dreams. Who has ever seen Wind?
So far the Dragon's asleep at sunset, dreaming anxiously of the Princess of Khan'. There's a house built on piles and the girl, gazing fondly into the distant scene, waiting for her fiance to come. Not the fiance that's in power to marry her, the moon-faced and slanted-eyed princess, orang* Datuk, who calls himself Prince of the Island. I'm amused at the princes I have to behold, who can be swept by one surge, as I feel an urge, from this patch of land, Dragon's vertebra. But, so far, the Prince relishes power, swinging the baton now, though old, thinks death is far. He wants to marry young Mahsuri as one more wife. The girl's mother is not impressed - she would fancy his son for her daughter's match, the young and courageous Darus-Merong.
"Let them be", the sly Datuk thinks, "let them marry", plotting to send the son off to war to the North, "and then we will see". However, his senior wife Mahura sees him through and through, and no wander - his mind is always set at the same. She becomes more vicious than ever and designs to ruin the princess. The young are engaged and off to war with huns is Darus-Merong sent. Mahura is there as large as life, and calls for her second son, who is ugly and mean, and who is nameless, referred to as "mean son" or "mean brother". Only "mean husband" does nobody call him, as the malang** is single. The vicious and sly mother says to her mean son: "Go to your brother's fiancee, and once she's dishonoured no-one will claim her, and all that's unwanted is yours". The son does obey her and goes to Mahsuri, his brother's fiancee, in the house built on piles. However, it's Darus-Merong, her fiance, she is waiting for. So she shoves the intruder off in the water, as he pounces upon her, and he is done for. And then, finally, he acquires a name - Dragon's Frightening Dream.
Alas, Mahura doesn't give up. She maligns the innocent girl in the eyes of people, saying "Mahsuri sees men in her hut as the sun sets, while her darling is far. Dragon's Frightening Dream had set out to stand up for his brother and was drowned by her lovers". That arouses an outcry with people and those rule to put the innocent soul to death for lechery.
The red scar of the horizon then became purple, the stars brightened above and below, and a funeral song was struck up by the waves - on my plaintive call. The maiden was led to a cliff and pushed off to abyss - into the Dragon's lair.
* orang (Malay, Indonesian) - man, human
** malang (Malay, Indonesian) - unfortunate, unhappy.
Drive and push the clouds and boats, snatch the stars from sky to play with, blow the waves in peaks with foam, move the sands and shake the cliffs. Rush, laugh and play, the Dragon I wake. They say all will be gone as the Dragon wakes up; they dread and fear that. For me, I don't care - whatever happens I'll live on. Will swish through the darkness, frolic and know no bore. But the Dragon is wakeless, steadfast in the sleep law, since time out of mind.
Since time immemorial there have been two strong warring birds: Jentayu, the one of the sea; and Geroda-Gugur, the one of the land. A ridiculous war! Since everlasting Wind, the sea has had shores and the land has had sea. What do they have to divide? Unless the water edge, but then it will always exist, however they battle. But the birds will keep fighting, and why wouldn't they? They are great as they are strong, only Wind is their stronger.
Wind was once flying above the sea depth off the shore of Langkawi and spotted a maiden in waves, not a mermaid, but Princess of the rice country of Khan'. She swam, hardly drowned; to me, Wind, cried for mercy: help, the one who drives clouds, roughs seas and bends forests. I picked up the maiden and took to a cave by the water, and rocked her to sleep until her fiance comes. Orangs wouldn't come there and it opened only at low tide.
Geroda-Gugur, the bird of the land, didn't love the Princess. It feared Mahsuri would have a strong son from the warrior Darus-Merong, and the boy would become Prince of all islands and devoid Geroda-Gugur of its power over the surface, to the joy of Jentayu, the bird of the sea. And tells me Jentayu the bird: "You, Wind, is the fastest of all of us birds. Please, fly to the North Country, where the warrior Darus-Merong is fighting huns. Tell him where his fiancee is and let him return soon. Take him this Sea Arrow and order not to waste it on huns - it's for evil that's worse". I swished off to the North and put the Arrow into Darus-Merong's hands and whispered the message into his ears.
Now, comes Darus-Merong to his elder and asks the chieftain to let him see the fiancee, that his moon-faced slanted-eyed princess hides in a cave and longs to see him. In reply the commander says that he would let him go, but he feels that Darus-Merong won't return before long, and the huns would defeat them that night if he were gone. Go to that well in the mountains, refresh your blood with the stream and you'll forget the princess. Darus-Merong said in response: "I've drunk that water and I couldn't quench my thirst. I can't forget my bonny that pines in the cave". He stepped onto a kapal boat and the wind filled the sail towards Langkawi. I made the sea smooth and the sky clear from clouds, studded it with stars, decorated with Moon and lit the ocean under the boat for him.
When suddenly there's Geroda-Gugur by the land with evil intensions waiting. The evil bird saw the sail, pounced on the boat, beat the water with wings, threw giant waves and got ready with lightning. Darus-Merong reasoned that the worst trouble was there and he flung the Sea Arrow at the fierce bird. The arrow hit the attacker and the black blood shed into the ocean's white foam. The wounded bird remained on the waves as it laid a Black Egg. The egg cracked and opened up a big hole in the water, in which Darus-Merong was swallowed.
Princess Mahsuri's heart gave a big thump and she cried in her sleep. She gave a curse on Langkawi: the households will have no peace, the fishermen - catch, warriors - luck until Darus-Merong returns from Dragon's abyss, meets Mahsuri and takes her to light.
I put the curse in Prince Datuk, Princess Mahura and islanders' ears that very night that had covered the island. There was overcast sky, no Moon and only Dragon's bottomless sleep.
The orbs of the night are hiding faces - it means Dragon's awakening's near. In meditation the wave suspends for a second above the coastline - Dragon is soon to awaken. The Sun lingers with dawn - is it worthwhile to rise, if the dream is going to vanish. Orangs are standing in awe, anticipating all to go into nowhere. Their fears are vain: much will be left. I'm Wind of the Dawn and I'm aware of that. The soul is a wind, and it is not in the dreams, hence it will remain. And all that the soul has accepted, absorbed, brought to life is beyond Dragon's dreams and immortal. All other Winds are confined to their hours. They can't know that they are one Wind. And only at dawn it regains recollection. The orbs of the night are hiding faces. Orangs are welcoming day, expecting big bounty of nature. Wind of Fancy has sung them, as if in the seven orang-generations Princess Mashuri has opened her eyes, the glorious warrior Darus-Merong has gone through all troubles and is back. They came to the shore, hand in hand, and brought a great many blessings to the island Langkawi. The spirits of skyscrapers and white ships have appeared. Palm-trees have borne a crop of green foreign money and the beach sands have turned into gold.
Futile are fears of the orangian race, but the hopes are also misleading. In the cave, as she was, is the fiancee-princess and in the abyss pines away the young fiance. The seven orang-generations for them are no good. But when Merong rises from depths of the ocean and Mashuri returns from the cave, the blessings will be much more greater. The ocean is to renew and so will the sky and the islands. The Sun will have more orbs of the night hide their faces. All the creatures and objects will start their song to my voice. No-one will ever remember the Dragon, whether that is asleep or has woken - what's our care? Listen to Wind of the Dawn, the people of Ocean, prepare to meet bride and groom. The objects of desire are near and come unexpected.