Your Stories

This page will feature the selected short story, poem, or article of the month along with its English translation.

Bilingual writers, we would appreciate your help with the translation of Indonesian work into English. Please contact us at dalangpublishing@gmail.com

Please adhere to the following maximum word limits:

Short story – 3000 words.
Poem – 500 words / poem – please submit 5 poems on individual pages.
Article – 2000 words.

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Aku Tidak Ingin Tubuh Ranummu

Ouda Teda Ena was born in Sleman on October 17, 1970. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the English Education Department at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Loyola University Chicago in the United States. He is now a faculty member at his alma mater, Sanata Dharma University. In his spare time, he loves to write poems and flash fiction. He has written a novella, Arok Berkaca Dedes: Sebuah Novelet Intrik Politik Berdarah; a poetry collection, Perempuan dalam Almari: Kumpulan Puisi; and a compilation of flash fiction, Hampir Chairil: Kumpulan Kisah Kilat.

Ouda can be reached at ouda.art@gmail.com.

Copyright ©2018 by Ouda Teda Ena. Published with permission from the author. Translation copyright ©2018 by Laura Harsoyo.

 

 

  Aku Tak Ingin Tubuh Ranummu

 

Lelaki itu sudah mengawasinya semenjak belia. Mulai dari ia masih kuncup, lalu ketika mekar. Dia seperti terbius baunya yang semerbak segar. Tiap pagi dia mengintip dari jendela sambil menghisap rokok kreteknya. Asap dikepulkan perlahan keluar dari mulutnya bersama baris-baris mantra. Matanya jalang dan nanar, ingin segera memetiknya jika saatnya tiba.

***

Sejak semalam tidurnya telah tak nyenyak. Bantalnya yang hangat, sarung tenunnya yang lembut tak mampu melelapkan tidurnya. Ayam masih berkokok bersahutan sesekali. Langit di timur mulai berwarna biru cerah. Embun di daunan mulai menjatuhkan diri ke tanah. Lelaki itu tak sabar menunggu matahari. Dia kalungkan sarungnya ke leher dan bergegas ke sumur. Ditimbanya seember air, dibasuhnya wajahnya untuk mengusir sisa-sisa kantuk.

Diambilnya keranjang bambu. Tangga bambu ditentengnya. Dia pandangi perdu kopinya, rimbun dan subur, buahnya yang ranum memerah menyembul di ranting-ranting di antara dedaunan yang hijau tua atau menguning. Segera dipasangnya tangga bambu menyeruak ke dalam kerimbunan pokok kopi. Perlahan-lahan dia naiki tangganya, setapak demi setapak. Setiap naik satu langkah, nafasnya menghirup dalam-dalam segar udara pagi yang dipenuhi wangi daun dan buah kopi.

Pada sebuah ranting yang besar dia mendadak berhenti. Sepasang mata hitam coklat sebesar kelereng melotot menatapnya. Tatapan yang penuh kebencian, penuh kemarahan, bercampur sedikit ketakutan. Gigi tajam dan runcing dia pamerkan penuh ancaman.

Lelaki itu terkesiap, darahnya mendidih memanaskan kepala. Dia tahan marahnya dalam kemeretuk giginya.

Mata mereka beradu.

Degup jantung lelaki itu menggetarkan ranting-ranting pohon kopi. Cemburunya memuncak, memompa seluruh darahnya ke kepala. Sejenak hilang akal sehatnya. Didih darah di nadi-nadinya menggetarkan tubuhnya. Hampir saja tangannya yang kokoh menghantam remukan kepala binatang jalang yang mendahuluinya memetiki buah kopinya.

Kesadaran kemanusiaan dan kasihnya kepada alam mengekang gerakan tangannya, yang didorong oleh sebuah naluri kebinatangan. Lalu rasa cintanya menyunggingkan senyum.

“Aku manusia dan kau adalah binatang.” Bisiknya kepada si luwak yang mencuri buah kopinya.

Mata luwak itu masih melotot, giginya masih menyeringai. Wajah marah penuh kebencian. Dia mendesis seakan ingin menerkam leher si lelaki dan membunuhnya. Luwak itu merasa terdesak dan akan melakukan apa saja untuk tetap dapat menikmati ranum merah buah-buah kopi itu.

“Aku dikarunia hati untuk mencinta dan kau hanya dikarunia naluri untuk bernafsu.” Berbisik lagi lelaki itu pada si luwak.

Luwak itu tetap pada marahnya. Matanya semakin melotot, seringainya semakin penuh nafsu membunuh.

“Kau tak paham kawan. Kau hanya tergiur pada kemolekan ranum merah daging buah kopi. Kau tak paham sejatinya kopi.” Suara lelaki itu tetap berbisik.

Ia tak mau mengusik luwak yang marah. Ia tak mau membahayakan diri sendiri.

“Kau hanya suka daging buahnya yang merah ranum manis segar berair. Ambilah kawan… ambilah. Makanlah sepuasmu, aku tak butuh itu.” Lelaki itu tersenyum pada binatang yang marah itu.

“Aku rela menunggu kau membuangnya dari ususmu. Kau hanya mengunyah dagingnya, lalu membiarkannya bercampur kotoran dilorong-lorong ususmu yang menjijikan. Tapi disitulah hatinya ditempa. Ketika kau membuangnya, ketika kau tak telah menikmati daging dari tubuhnya, yang tersisa hanyalah hatinya. Hati semulia mutiara hitam.” Lelaki itu mulai menuruni tangga perlahan. Merelakan buah-buah kopinya dilalap rakus sang luwak.

“Kalau kau paham bahasaku, kuberitahukan padamu, sejatinya kopi ada di bijinya, di hatinya.” Bisiknya pada si luwak sebelum dia meninggalkannya.

“Dan hati sebutir kopi pun harus rela hancur dan diseduh supaya ia mengeluarkan wangi, memberikan rasa sehingga hati seorang manusia tertambat padanya,” guman lelaki itu sambil menimang sebutir kopi di tangannya.

***

Brewed Love

Laura Harsoyo was born in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and grew up in Palembang (South Sumatra) and Surabaya (East Java), where she graduated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Airlangga University. She loves to read literary works and is interested in writing fiction. During her 21-year career in the hospitality industry, she wrote articles for Chef! - a culinary magazine in Jakarta, as well as translated some articles in organizational publications. She currently works as a freelance translator in fiction and nonfiction writing. Laura translates from Indonesian into English.

Laura can be reached at: harsoyolaura@gmail.com.

 

 

 
 

 Brewed Love

 

The man had watched her since she was a bud and as she blossomed. He was intoxicated by her fresh fragrance. Every morning, he peeked at her out of the window while smoking his kretek cigarette. The smoke spiraled out of the sides of his mouth as he chanted his mantra. His eyes were wild and filled with an eagerness to pick her when the time came.

***

That night, he had not been able to fall asleep. Neither his warm pillow nor his soft cotton sarong had been able to soothe him. The chickens kept clucking until daylight broke through the eastern sky and dew rolled off the leaves to the ground.

The man had no patience to wait for the sun to rise. He wrapped his sarong around his neck and hurried to the well. He drew a bucket of water and washed his face to drive away his drowsiness.

Carrying a bamboo basket in one hand and a ladder in the other, he went to check on his coffee tree. Clusters of ripening red berries dotted the branches of the tree, lush with dark green foliage and some yellowing leaves.

He quickly poked his ladder into the tree’s canopy, leaned the ladder against the trunk, and then carefully climbed the rungs. With each step, he inhaled the fresh morning air, scented with the aroma of coffee leaves and berries. 

When he reached a big branch, he suddenly stopped.

A pair of dark brown eyes glared at him. The large, marble-size eyes were filled with anger and fear. Threatened, the animal bared a row of sharp, pointed teeth.

The man gasped; blood rushed to his head. He clenched his teeth, restraining his anger.

Their eyes met.

The man’s jealousy made his heart beat so violently that he almost shook the branches of the coffee tree. He seemed to have lost his sensibilities. Fury propelled his hand and he almost struck the head of the wild animal that had beaten him to picking the coffee berries.

But his sense of humanity and love of nature prevailed, and he restrained the movement of his hand.

“I’m human and you’re an animal,” he whispered to the luwak stealing his coffee.

The civet held its ground. It continued to stare at the man with bared teeth. Hissing, the luwak seemed ready to pounce. The cornered luwak would do anything to keep enjoying the red, ripe coffee berries.

“I’m blessed with a heart and the ability to love, while all you have is desire,” the man said softly to the luwak.

The luwak still didn’t move. It glared at the man with a menacing grimace.

“You don’t understand, my friend. You’re just tempted by the beauty of the red, ripe flesh of the coffee berries. You don’t know the essence of coffee.”

The man spoke gently. He did not want to disturb the angry luwak, nor did he want to put himself in danger.

“If the red, ripe, sweet, and juicy berries are all you want, then take them, my friend. Please, help yourself. Eat as many as you want, I don’t need them.” The man smiled at the angry animal.

“I’m willing to wait for you to discard them from your gut. You only chew her flesh, then leave it to break down in your intestinal tract. But that is where the heart is forged. After you have enjoyed the flesh of her body and you discard her, all that remains is her heart. A heart that is as precious as a black pearl.”

The man slowly descended from the ladder. He left the coffee berries for the luwak to feast on.

“If you understood my language,” the man said before leaving, “I’d tell you that the essence of the coffee is in her heart.”

The man rolled a single dark coffee bean in the palm of his hand. “And the heart of a coffee berry, the bean, should be willing to be crushed and brewed in order to release the aroma and taste that captivate the human heart.”

***

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