My morning prayers on the Irrawaddy


Painting the skies in shades of pink, vermillion, orange and red,

Our powerful Master was regaining strength, igniting like a ball of fire,

Above my darkened mountains, on our distant border with Tibet,

It seemed as if the entire Irrawaddy,

Its oak and pine filled rainforests,

Each and every creature loathing within it,

And every Burmese inhabitant on it,

Bowed down,

Darkened themselves with gratitude,

With pleasure,

For regularly lightning up weakening spirits of this majestic river,

For strengthening its banks to survive attacks from the clandestine monster of erosion,

Eating away Irrawaddy, eating away banks of my sacred Land of the Golden Pagoda,

With folded hands and closed eyes,

I prayed to my Golden master,

I hope one day,

This fisherman from Mandalay,

Can beg this world to take notice,

If not help us, help my land,

At least help me awaken my sleeping baby-kissers…


Beyond Irrawaddy’s Beauty…


From his common sense, this fisherman can presume,

Burma must be a rare ingredient in the Western gossip stew,

For my land remains out of their sight,

Engulfed in thick clouds of uniformed-terror…

A uniform is all that one needs here,

To live a life, devoid of humane ethics and sanity,

To win an opportunity to mete out fear,

And, dive into the depths of ruthless inhumanity…

Any day we poor fisherman refuse,

To pay that daily exorbitant boat tax,

To let them rob us off our hard-earned gasoline and rations,

To let them traffic thousands of us to Thailand, China, and Malaysia,

To die each day, being eaten slowly by mental, and sexual exploitation,

We can be lawlessly shot, then and there…

On mood-swings of our dazed soldiers,

Depends the fate of my village,

For like other Burmese villages, it could be razed down to ashes,

It could be plundered, with its women abused,

And slaves easily carved out of its men, already battling hunger,

Our own men, our own protectors have been inflicting unrest,

Our supposed, saviors are hunting us down every day,

We need the West to help us out, to do its best…

Like the Taliban, our military, too deserves lessons of a lifetime,

For trying to tarnish the Land of the Golden Pagoda,

For showering devastation on this soil of monks and peace,

For trying to ruin this majestic gateway to the enchanting East…

Like each and every day,

I’m trying to seek refuge,

In the beauty of the pristine Irrawaddy,

In the beauty of my lush forests, and my green hills,

Trying hard to oar away from the voluminous uncertainty,

Only, hopelessly awaiting a day,

When the West and the influential rest,

Will pay heed to whatever this fisherman had to say,

To all that we endured,

To generations wasted beneath Irrawaddy’s beautiful deception,

Generations that that have long been shunned,

Have long been silenced, their conscience procured…