Their shadows float behind them in the afternoon.
Sari-clad, they hurry, ahead of the monsoon
where water sheets in currents, a brutal driving hand
sweeping away the humid heat of this exotic land.
Morning-listless palm trees dance to gamelan of rain.
The dust of temples washed away, they glisten once again.
Monkeys cower in branches. Dogs slink away to hide.
Only water in the streets. All else has gone inside.
In the shadows of their studios, the batik-makers hold
their wax-pots, streaming rivers of waxy molten gold.
They’ll stem the flood of colors as each gently pours
precise tiny rivers that echo those outdoors.
Shadows in the corners. Great baths of brown and blue,
that when the liquid wax is hard, they’ll dip their cloth into.
Then boil off the wax so they can make rivers anew
A different course determined for each successive hue.
Outside the monsoon blows away and sun comes out again.
As all the voices of the world—the music and the din
start up again and heat comes back to bake the village street.
Mud turns to dust, sweat beads the brows of everyone you meet.
Tomorrow in the afternoon, another hour of rain,
for nature follows her own steps over and again,
like the batik artist, who dips his cloth once more,
dries the cloth, gets out his pot, and once more stars to pour.
Sheltering from the Monsoon, Ubud, Bali, 1996
The NaPoWriMo Prompt, Day 2 is to write a poem about a specific place.