Poems

Sean Wayman: ‘Scenes from Palembang’

Scenes from Palembang 1 The river flows by the secretive fort, which broods on itself like a painful thought. What once had served as the sultan’s seat, now turns from the world with a look of defeat. Disdaining the fort’s drab introspection, the brown river takes the opposing direction. Going in search of its mythic ocean, its waters embody perpetual motion. 2 Here on the banks the old town skulks, with wooden godowns like ruinous hulks. And worn-out houses squat on their haunches, their owners caged in latticework porches. By every contrivance the glare is opposed: the curtains are drawn;…

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