I started on my writing journey by accident. I had done a portrait of an Indonesian woman in creams and blues back in 2007 I think as a gift to one of my daughters. At the time she was working in Jakarta for an NGO and the woman was her house help, more as a means to give someone employment than to do much work as there was only my daughter living in a tiny, humble unit.

I went to visit and asked the Indonesian woman if I could do her portrait. I gave one to her and when I got home did a larger one to give to my daughter. Oh I did them in pastels, just incase you were wondering.

One of my brothers-in-law professed to not know what that ugly thing over her head was and why was it in those colours? Not just once but every time he saw it. So, I thought I’d better write about the picture incase others had the same problem. Below is the result…


She lives, she dreams
of a time not too distant
when she will be free from the shadow
of her womanhood
the thought, the desire is persistent
that she should 
or so it seems.

She lives, she dreams 
of a time far too distant 
when she was free in the shadow 
of her culture lost
the genetic memory is insistent
far too great the cost
or so it seems.

She lives, she dreams
of a time not enough distant
where she lives and dies in the shadow
of a shadow puppet regime
neither womanhood not culture existent 
not allowed to dream
or so it seems.
In The Shadow of the Shadow
Not the best but this was some time ago

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