New Town Project

Just like that, mornings disappeared in the little new town
A plane in the remnant world war bomb shelter
Wings broken and crushed hides amidst wounds
Gentlemen distribute calendars
And drive off putting real life into the little town
Poor hypocrite residents in singlets and vests
Hang out in the sun to dry hand towels from
The naked once-rich now-mined neighborhood
The well dries up when needed in such a catastrophic age
Arms trade of drought developed
Makes one wish to the philosophical in the face of time
Having to postpone the time as much as possible
Days mislaid are move to sexual assault
Having to shoulder onerous baggage beyond capacity
Little pinky toe stepped on a landmine and died in tears
Though not anyone’s fault, they go and mark
A cross on the seat night at the front
The little new town deemed irresponsible turns out vagrant
People all over the world turn up their noses in contempt
Oh, Lord, where have you gone into hiding to meditate?
A lion with open mouth, a tank enters the town
Even rabbits that raise a hullabaloo prick up their ears
And listen attentively
A short poem that had to deliver in bulk amputated
Hands and legs during the war
A short poem that is readerless
A short poem about a crane that drugged a messenger
Pigeon to carry a message
Peace is a rare herbal root redolent of gun powder in the midst of the wilderness
Still staging ambushes while draped in religious blankets
Restricting certain colours to pre-determined areas
To be born and to grow up in
Pugnacious demeanour grabbing the vacuum over
An unfinished fence
Already dead trees chopped down
While carrying everything that weigh them down
They still arm themselves to the teeth
And enter the little town again
The little poem of the crane carried away in the beaks
Of the messenger-pigeon in the midst of battle is
The trademark on the wing of the mined plane
In the little bomb-shelter
Shaped and moulded abstrusely
Hidden under the pillow of a young witch
Living at the outskirt of the town
What sort of little new town is this?
Too many crosses
Along the little-trodden pathway of the town center hall
Wolves in packs move in step by step
The child listening to all while hiding behind a pillar
Is the little crane still having to hide in the bomb shelter?
To this very day with a short poem in its beak
While the bond of death awaits
To recite it.

Nyan Lynn
Translated from the Burmese by Phyu Hnin Phway