There was mould in the pot of ashes!

At the foot of the apple tree
I found my lost pocket-sized watch.
On that day
I burnt my apple tree foolishly.
How beautiful
Was the smoke going up!
The watch was striking rhythmically
And dissolving gently in the smoke.
A picture of white enamel pot
hanging from the lowest branch
was tossing and turning in the smoke.
Before finding the watch,
The apple tree had
Green leaves, red apples and
The pocket-sized watch at its foot.
Looking hazily at the smoky apple tree,
Burnt apples became the crows
With seeds in their mouths, spreading the wings.
The crows flew up in the clear sky.
The watch stayed in the smoky apple tree.
How beautiful!
The string of the picture was catching fire.
How beautiful was it!
The sky where the crows flew up
Was black with the crows.
How beautiful it was!
The ashes of leaves were fluttering in the air.

How beautiful!
The hands were ticking.
How beautiful!
The last apple that hadn’t become the crow
Was performing a striptease with the flame in the mouth.
How beautiful was it!
The slowly growing shadow
Was among the flames.
The white enamel pot was, too, in flames.
The apple tree bursting into flames.
The wings of crows were also
In flames.
The pocket-sized watch swaying in the air
Was in flames.
My shadow was in flames, too.
How beautiful! How beautiful! How beautiful!
The white enamel pot slowly going out of the flames.
The crows hurriedly
Went into the picture free from fire.
On the picture were the black crows.
The burning wings.
The apple tree was only seen as a flame.
Apples, flames, leaves.
Flying ashes.
The pocket-sized watch was
In the white enamel pot.

Nyi Sane
Translated from the Burmese by Thein Aung