A poem by Nwe Nwe Lwin, dedicated to the victims of the current armed conflict.
Her poem is directed to those in the Mae Tha Waw and Myaing Gyi Ngu areas in Karen State, and to all internally displaced people in peripheral Burma.
O’Listen Pals, Bang Bang sound says Run Run!
O’Look Pals, the tall guns, unlike our Pow Pow ones
O’Listen Pals, a cacophony of shrills and bleats, spills and bleeds
O’Look Pals, some crawling, some sprinting, all crying
Where is Ah-Pa, where are thou?
O’Jesus, the Lord, stop this horror!
O’Jesus, the Lord, ease our hunger!
O’Jesus, the Lord, give us peaceful shelter!
Please bring back Ah-Pa, please bring back my teachers
Please bring back my schoolbag, please bring back my pals of the best
One day, thou said, I will be a global shaper and a gardener
One day, thou said, I will be opening doorways to the stars
One day, thou said, I will be seedling humanity and watering serenity
Ah-Pa, I don’t know when that ‘one day’ comes true, without you!
Since the beginning of September 2016, armed conflicts between Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and a joint force of the Burma Army and its allied Border Guard Force (BGF) have been escalating in Myaing Gyi Ngu and Mae Tha Waw areas in Karen State. This is part of the ongoing 60-year-long internal conflict in Myanmar, which has usually been described as one of the longest-running civil wars in the world.
What makes me write this poem are the photos of the children fleeing away from the war zone and having meals, donated by others, in a panicking manner on the roadside. The photo that I am providing here is one of them taken by my friend. I have no words to describe the look of the kid from the photo.
Who knows if, one day, these children will be educators teaching your kids about peace and humanity? Who knows if, one day, some of them will make new discoveries for human development? Who knows if one of these kids will become a leader who will make the world a better place? The world needs them. They need the world to help them grow up with human dignity. Stop the war for the sake of our own children! Stop the war for the sake of humanity! Let them grow up with their own future!
Nwe Nwe Lwin is a legal analyst, a writer, and a researcher in the fields of public interest law and politics in Myanmar. Her other pen names are Chaw Ei Nwe, Philo Charity, and Nwe Lwin Oo. Nwe Nwe Lwin obtained her LL.M. degree from University of Notre Dame Law School as a Fulbright Scholar in 2016 and received her first law degree LL.B. from City University of Hong Kong School of Law in 2013.
Photo by Saw Tar Too.