SPIRITS OF BORNEO

SPIRITS OF BORNEO

A Poem by Betty Hermelee
"

rituals, reverence, tribal

"
Rich crude blood, rituals, sacrifice
reverence, spirits, effigies.
Tribal clans inhabit the highlands of Borneo.

Houses on stilts, rest in muddy earth,
carved of wood gathered by men in thick jungle.
Elaborate emblems, rich in color, unique shapes
bespeaks of reverence and family wealth,
displayed with power and pride.
Water buffalo, arduous labor, respect,
nourish the indigenous tribes
with their slaughter and sacrifice
for the death of one's master.

Celebration of diseased, extinction.
Slice the beast's neck with a sharp polished knife,
whose owner has met his fate.
Blood splatters in waves, guts spray out
over those who butcher.
Mobs roar in honor of the dead
as the buffalo descends to the mud earth.
Dissected into numerous pieces,
dripping blood head is bestowed
to the revered family.
Mobs cheer and pause
in expectation of their pickings.

When blood settles
families trek up steep boulders
deep crevices, fallen rock
to seek hidden caves, plant their effigies.
Sculpted wooden figures portray family members
who dwell for eternity,
as the soul is the principle of life and health
and exists apart from material objects.

© 2020 Betty Hermelee


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Featured Review

Very good Betty. In these troubled times it's most vital for us to understand how we all once lived in balance with the earth. Of course our world is a different place now but we still need to respect these people's.
Food for thought.
Regards.
Alan

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I can close my eyes and see the scene. You have wonderful descriptive abilities.

Posted 1 Month Ago


When I saw "Borneo" in your title, first thing comes to mind is gorilla habitat. I guess I've been watching too many nature programs & not enuf about the human culture of Borneo! You really opened my eyes as to what Borneo is REALLY known for (I even googled to confirm this is a major aspect of the reputation of this island!) I love your swashbuckling way of presenting the dirt on Borneo, but I'm also reminded of the old attitude that anyone who eats meat should not be horrified by the killing of animals & most who eat meat do their killing by proxy. Growing up on a farm, we butchered big livestock, so I was enured to the ugly messy way this looks as a child. I guess I'm not really sure what point this poem is making. Maybe no point being made, just illustrating in word paint how this culture looks & feels (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

makes me think of the short story "The Lottery"---
traditions aren't always good, but often they are kept forever...just because it is what tribes or different peoples have always done, and they are afraid of repercussion from stopping the tradition.
scary...
and your poetry here is magical...almost black magical...
j.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very good Betty. In these troubled times it's most vital for us to understand how we all once lived in balance with the earth. Of course our world is a different place now but we still need to respect these people's.
Food for thought.
Regards.
Alan

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 13, 2020
Last Updated on February 13, 2020

Author

Betty Hermelee
Betty Hermelee

Black Mountain, NC



About
I am an emerging poet; I have written over 250 poems, mostly about slices of life, happy or sad, sometimes tragic. I try to use vivid images in my poetry. I also write about my extensive travel expe.. more..

Writing