A Poem I wrote in 1999: Good Bye Mrs Djeniah

((Reunion with Bu Djeniah, circa 2014))

Assalaamu’alaykum everyone,

I dont recall when I actually started writing poems, but I know I did write them in Junior Highschool which I started in 1999. As of now, this may very well be among the earliest poems I wrote.

Bu Djeniah was my head master in SDNP Kompleks IKIP (Elementary School). She was a very strong lady from Aceh, knew me personally, and came into classes a lot to meet the students. Very firm in righteousness, tough in discipline, but very kind at heart.

Since she left the school (No she did not die yet), a number of headmasters came in. They were either incompetent or corrupt or both, all dismissed for those reasons. I don’t know what has become of it now.

I graduated from the school in 1999, and on that year also she left the school. I wrote this poem that year as well. Jazakillaahu khayran katheera for all the things you have taught me.

Good bye Mrs Djeniah

There I saw

In front of the troops

The troops of teachers

Stood an old lady

An old lady

That commanded the teacher army

To guard us

To protect us from stupidity

Yes she is an old lady

But without her

The teacher troops will stand

Just stand still

But now

That old lady is walking away

Away from the line

Line of the teacher army

Who is she?

She is Ibu Djeniah

My head teacher

The most powerful head teacher

Now, the teacher army is commanded

By someone else

Taken over by somebody else

But can never replace you

Farewel bu Djeniah 

(Jakarta, 1999)

PS: yes I misspelled a lot, the cuts between lines are very awkward at times, but this is exactly how I wrote it in 1999

PPS: Mrs Djeniah was old when I was there, and she seems to still be alive! I googled her, and turns out she wrote a book titled “Aceh dan Catatan Seorang Guru di Pedalaman”