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Page 22

slipping through water
softly like silk
transparent shining water
opaline reflections
in the diaphanous deep
we ride now the wind
on gossamer wingsa giant dragonfly
the bright painted dragonfly
skims the green glass.

O sybarite sylph
crystalline water enchanting
embraced by the sea
overwhelmed by her beauty
rapture sublime
suffuses my being
a lingering zephyr
softly caressing.
water slipping through fingers
softly like silk
sun-gleams dancing on waves
sparkling like sapphires
faster and faster
the bright painted prahu
skims the green gloss


The Balinese are one of the rare island people in the world, who avoid the sea, and look to the mountains. They have repugnance for the ocean, and seldom eat fish. They believe the heights are for the gods, the middle for the humans, and the low points are reserved as the domain of the spirits of the underworld.

The sea, lower than the lowest point of land is full of sharks and barracuda, deadly sea snakes and poisonous fish that inhabit the treacherous coral reef. The sea is magically dangerous, home of evil spirits; a place to be avoided, and because of their beliefs the sea is generally shunned by the majority of Balinese.

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