Robin S Ngangom
A pup coming out on the road the first time
High on adrenaline and psychotropic substances.
My little daughter only said
Remember the left pedal's the clutch
The middle one the brakes.
After you've found your hands and legs and head
Can do a little jig together
Always let old women and the cows cross first,
Don't let the boys riding on a two-legged thanatos or
Taxi drivers blasting away rock while abusing lanes
Drive you into murderous rage, and above all
Always expect the unexpected
Like the nutcrackers materialising without
Any white warning on a road you think is buttery.
The road was not built by your father.
Robin S Ngangom
That country where I return in memory to dim travels
Of a child, where serpentine roads
Of a long war send me to its twilight borders,
To its fair women with raven hair and sandalwood breasts,
Its poor rice-fields and hills rain-bound, and
Monasteries old in wisdom,
That journey was made some time ago
As only wishfulness would allow.
Once, a poet-explorer from equatorial distances
With unknown blood singing in his heart, walked
Its streets, marvelled at its strange gods, and
Loved anxiously and discovered loneliness.
But these are darker days, my love,
When freedom has become a rare metal
That must be mined from cruel intelligences.
There is nothing more bitter than hearts of men
Without a country, more terrible than the exile
Of young men and women who only want
To make their people see with words not guns,
Pleading with indifferent countries, protesting
With colours and alphabets
Against a "senseless crushing of flowers".
I'm telling the story of Myanmar and its brave daughters
Deserted by the big brothers of the West, and
Democracy weeping in its tropical forests,
I speak of incessant tears hidden in the folds
Of intoxicating freedom. Listen, love,
To Burma's story, once the East's pearl, now
The base metal of democracy, the elusive
White man's cross that natives carry, causing
Its doctors, students and priests to mourn
Their native land's fate, to sing fugitive songs
Around the world, hoping only songs will preserve
Fragile sanity in a mad country where bandits
Come riding in tanks to greet its citizens, generals
Enslaved by their own horrors, purging their terrors
By uprooting fields and gardens, exterminating
Before things could grow into nightmares.
My love, in my dream where they tear a green
Heart from the hill's ribs in steamy jungles
For the idle whites swooping on Rangoon, who
Will take away jade souvenirs to remind themselves
Of a subject race, I carried you across slopes
Of my war-torn mind, leaving furrows of lead and
Put flaming orchids in your bridal hair.
In my dream each drop of blood sprouts
A humming voice the bandits throttled,
But the running blood grows in clamour,
Answering unerringly to new voices.
Comes all light,
And yet we still need
To set afire a lamp
To keep any darkness at bay;
Alike lighting the
Brittle clay lamp of life,
The fuel of love and pain
To each know individually
This journey forever of coming
And going back into the dark
To see the light again!
So God exists...
Soul and the dancing body,
The oasis and the desert
Called the universe!
Don't walk with a wine glass
In broad daylight,
Ride a camel in lieu!!
Searching the water fountain
Wise men ride in disguise
In the caravan too!
Sand storms alter
The surface of the desert;
The sorrow and
Pain in our lives,
Hide yourself in the
Love tent for a while...
The winds are soon gone,
The heart and the sky
Are both clear!