Chindwin, The River of Generations

They can’t flow like you
So they are effortlessly going downstream with the flow

They can’t understand the way you flow
So every time they have to go against the flow, they are cursing you

They don’t like when you are overflowing
And yet they fail to be aware of their frequent overflowing with greed

They don’t like your water level getting lower than usual
And yet they don’t seem to notice their morality getting lower than normal

They came here to see you
But to no avail

They tried to use you
And yet they didn’t know your usefulness

You allow your generations to simultaneously flow together with you
And yet they don’t know how to flow with those of their own just like the way you

Whether one can go across a river twice or not
You never ask like a wise guy
They neither allow their generations to ask the same question
As if they were wise guys with their own experiences

You naturally flow into the sea with body and soul together
But they lean their souls against their bodies letting the former go anywhere they

With the speed of your current you constantly flow forwards
But they end up keeping the speed of their blood and minds enclosed in their

Ipso facto
In this difference between man and river
Oh, My Chindwin, My Chindwin!
One thing’s for sure
You didn’t make any mistakes, my dear.

Min Ye Eain
Translated from the Burmese by KSW