Nobody, no crime and How you live on – Salt water
These two poetries are the verbal form of the sensual connection I, as a foreign activist, has formed to the Spring Revolution, and to Myanmar – a country I have never set foot in.
Following the escalation of the Spring Revolution and the Civil Disobedience Movement via the news, research articles and social media since the beginning, I am extremely impressed and inspired by the resilient revolutionary spirit of the people from Myanmar. But at the same time, for a long period, I had been feeling a deep sense of helplessness as a Southeast Asian citizen, for not being able to voice up and take action upon the humanitarian crises in Myanmar, out of fear.
is a sneaky monster that insidiously slitted its way out from your spine, just to maul you from behind and feed on your livelihood.
As the urge to act grew, the growl of fear echoed louder, became an overwhelming infatuation. I entered the most depressive period of my life.
4 am, after a relentless cycle of Eat-Shit-Cry, I finally sat up and attempt to induce somewhat of a word vomit, to release all of the chaotically interweaving emotions and thoughts, in search of some tranquility.
That was when poetry became the vomit of my distress, my overwhelming desperation for a cure to Helplessness.
Nobody, no crime
Western food and Westlake view
I see the Myanmar flag wavering across the lake
of federal dream
of unity and solidarity
of dictatorial power
But does it matter?
Lives and bloodshed on others’ land?
When I’m barely able to look after my own well-being and livelihood…
Why even care?
Their ever-persisting struggle for autonomy and self-determination?
When my throat was numb against my own abuser
not to mention
of the people far away…
The discomfort rumbling my sickened stomach
Following the acidic reflux
Making it to my throat
chokes me to sleep
We were raised to be ‘good’ people
Instilled with ideas of morality and ethics
To do good deeds, to care
To help those in need and to become ‘humane’
Injected with fear and indifference
To not get involved, to not care
To stay obedient, to behave
Then what does it mean?
Internationalism and Regionalism?
Global citizen and ‘ASEAN identity’
Just to appropriately remain silent
When the roars of violence and mortality
the cries for support and empathy
Are right next to our homes
and vividly audible to our ears
from the People, with whom we claim to share a mutual ‘identity’…
Intellectuals and elites
What has given us the audacity
To discuss and mock corruption and dictatorships
Yet remain inactive and silent
more stubborn than ever
start calling ourselves ‘nobody’
when it comes to voicing up
the ridiculousness we made fun of
in between the walls of our classrooms…
.Deep in our consciences
We all know
This region hosts more than diseases, drug trades, or human traffics
And when the Russian roulette spins
Some of us will be on our last legs
As resilient and determined as ever
Calling for the non-existent solidarity
that we turned our backs upon
when the problems were not ‘ours’…
How you live on - Salt water
Salt water purifies
Salt water sanitizes
Salt water disinfects
I clean my wounds with salt water
Salt water rolls down my face
Salt water dampens my pillow
in the veins of your friends
in the corners of your eyes
and in the streams between us
sanitizes the stitches we sewed
on open wounds
and our cut-opened hearts…
Don’t want to expect the worse
But cannot force myself to demand the best
So one day
If that day ever comes
Salt water will evaporate
And in the atmosphere that it goes to
I peacefully breathe in your existence.
I’ll plant a mangrove tree of hope
and nurture it with salt water
Wishing that one day
If that day ever comes
In the air that this tree produces
I feel your presence with me
through my nostrils
fills my lung
Keeps me alive
Nurtures my spirit
Carries me on…
P/s: Written when the fear that one day
something may happen to my activist-turned-PDF
soldier friend crept in.