volcanoes expose a horizon rising through haze to straddle an imaginary line spliced through a continent of islands. here Wallace grasped his future. displaced God. found truth. here where one biota nudges the next Eurasia leans forward, ever so lightly she kisses Austronesia: that ancient duality old Sunda and Sahul, her kiss so brief only a whisper of Eurasian lip floats on the scent of spices hanging lucid in the warm air over Lombok Strait, aah Nusantara, below your currents thrill to a rush rich with nutrients deeper than evolution. life. here too rest the old Gods, watching Ibu stands to one side of Bapak old ‘Pak smoking a Kretek, loudly clears earth’s throat. eons pass between his coughs. ‘Pak doesn’t wait for a concept of time to be created. no concept ever thought lasts when your work is the making of land. here wait Tambora, Rinjani, Agung, Batur and that rebel alone, Sangeang Api, her brief appearance as a sunset silhouette, with plans to grow like her cousin Anak Krakatau: explosive – as if islands could flow between ribbons of sunset and grey-blue haze, but it is still ‘Pak Agung’s smoke now lacing its way up through this dense, cold air. crossing Wallace’s line we turn, descend. Denpasar airport. the height of the season.
Feature image via 'Art Collection - The Metropolitan Museum of Art'