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Issue No:63
  • :0973-1121
  • :November
  • :2012
  • :English

The Sea Hold

The sea is large.
The sea hold on a leg of land in the Chesapeake hugs an early sunset
and a last morning star over the oyster beds and the late clam boats
of lonely men.
Five white houses on a half-mile strip of land … five white dice
rolled from a tube.

Not so long ago … the sea was large…
And today the sea has lost nothing … it keeps all.

I am a loon about the sea.
I make so many sea songs, I cry so many sea cries, I forget so many
sea songs and sea cries.

I am a loon about the sea.
So are five men I had a fish fry with once in a tar-paper shack
trembling in a sand storm.

The sea knows more about them than they know themselves.
They know only how the sea hugs and will not let go.

The sea is large.
The sea must know more than any of us.

­­—Carl Sandburg

Indonesia / Lamalera

Flying Fishermen

The fishermen of Lamalera village in Indonesia catch whales in a time-honoured tradition of a subsistence way of life

This profile is by Janani R Ganesan (, a freelance journalist based in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India

His sinewy body wrapped in a grey-and-maroon striped lungi (a wraparound sarong used by men in south India), he stands out in the crowd of suits and boots at the 11th meeting of COP to the CBD in Hyderabad’s Hitech City, the swanky venue for the global bash. He is usually found hovering around a venue where discussions about issues faced by coastal communities are held, and it is easy to place him at first glance as a fisherman. But Bona Beding is no common fisherman. He is one of those 'flying' types, who jumps into the sea with a harpoon to catch big fish. Bona, as he is fondly called by people who know him, is a whaler from Indonesia.

Not being fluent in English does not stop Bona from smiling invitingly at curious passers-by. Though he has Riza Damanik of KIARA, the Indonesian non-governmental organization (NGO), to help with translations, Bona is not intimidated by the English speakers as most non-English-speaking people usually are. In his broken English, he intervenes to correct the...



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