Toeti Heraty: Department (from Indonesian)

Department
By Toeti Heraty
Translated by Me
For Rien

You gave me
a final order: bring me
everlasting youth and beauty.

The chamber is stifling
as dry dust piles
onto folders, files, and papers
with crinkled corners, and hopes
already stacked and locked away,
silent in dust.

Passion, at first trembling,
arises as orange flames
to youth-green life,
becomes scribbled paper
with typed requests
that are set aside.

Windows opened and curtains pushed aside
let in the sun to warm
the ever-shortened working hours
torn up here and there—
for tables are deserted, ashtrays gleam
and the phone rings and rings
as a voice is lost
in swarming idleness.

Ah, so mankind lives by quiet strength
with roots so deep to seize the earth
and closed-off meetings, seminars, reports
with working papers, copies, texts,
advice from bosses and vice-deputies?

The life of man is too much aflame
and without a sign annuls as mute
the piles of dust that echo
and fall upon the paper boys
at the main entrance, and the line
of official cars that come and go.

Indeed,
far from life
and your last request.

Suata Departemen
Untuk Rien

kau katakan padaku
pesan terakhir:
bawakan keindahan dan
kemudaan selalu

ruang menyesak, karena
keusangan debu membiak
map-map, berkas dan kertas dengan
ujung-ujung layu dan harapan-harapan
telah ditumpuk, diperam
membisu dalam debu

gairah, semula menggetar
bangunkan nyala-nyala jingga pada
hidup yang hijau muda,
jadi coretan-coretan
secarik kertas dengan ketikan permohonan
yang dibiarkan saja

jendela terbuka dan tirai menyisi
lewatkan matahari menghangati
jam-jam kerja yang semakin pendek
disobek sana-sini—karena
meja-meja lengang, asbak mengkilat
dan telpon berdering berkali-kali
suara hilang dalam iseng
yang berlipat ganda ini

ah, manusia hidup kukuh tenang
dengan akar dalam-dalam mencekam bumi
dan rapat-rapat, seminar, laporan
serta prasaran, naskah-naskah kerja
wejangan oleh bapak-bapak atau wakilnya?

hidup manusia terlalu membara
dan tanpa isyarat akan menganggap sepi
tumpukan debu yang berkumandang
menyentuh anak-anak penjual koran
di depan pintu, mobil-mobil dinas
berderetan datang dan lalu

memang,
jauh dari hidup
dan pesan akhirmu

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