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Red Pools in Beutong Ateuh | Kolam Merah di Beutong Ateuh

4 November 2012

Red Pools in Beutong Ateuh1

people come and express their greetings
people shake hands
people walk with gloom on their faces
people hold rifles, cocked and ready
people don’t hear the Quranic recitation
people forget to announce the call to prayer
people hear the sound of gunfire
people hear howls of terror
people hear moans of pain
people see blood turn into red pools

people count, with teeth chattering from fright,
the number of men martyred at Friday noon
people recall anxiously how many men were taken
and how many returned home
people begin to dig holes
so very soon soon filled
people begin to give witness;
witnesses wheeze with fear

and I and the thousands of others here
cannot be bought
I have an instinct
a conscience
although long besieged
I choose death
and I too give witness
(that the massacre really did occur)

Kolam Merah di Beutong Ateuh2

orang-orang datang mengucap salam
orang-orang berjabatan tangan
orang-orang berkeliling wajahnya suram
orang-orang di tangannya senjata siap kokang
orang-orang tak mendengar pengajian
orang-orang lupa mengumandangkan azan
orang-orang mendengar suara tembakan
orang-orang mendengar raungan kengerian
orang-orang mendengar rintihan kesakitan
orang-orang lalu melihat darah merah menjadi kolam

orang-orang menghitung dengan gigi gemerutuk ketakutan
berapa lelaki syahid Jum’at siang
orang-orang mengingat dengan harap cemas
berapa lelaki dibawa pergi kembali pulang
orang-orang mulai menggali
lubang-lubangpun berisi
orang-orang mulai bersaksi
saksi-saksi berdesah ngeri

dan aku serta ribuan orang disini
tak dapat dibeli
aku punya naluri
hati nurani
walau lama terkepung
aku memilih mati
akupun bersaksi
(bahwa pembantaian itu benar-benar terjadi)

English translation by Debra Yatim, edited by John H. McGlynn

  1. Beutong Ateuh is a small and isolated village in Aceh, home of the ulama
    Bantaqiah and his followers.
  2. Beutong Ateuh, perkampungan terpencil di kabupaten Nagan Raya tempat
    bermukimnya seorang Ulama bernama Bantaqiah dan pengikutnya.
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