I Come to You ‐ Mekong

Mekong – I am a poet

I come to you

To appreciate your natural beauty

To investigate your inside story

And to be close to you
I come to you

Mekong – You’re like a human being

You have a head, a body, arms, and legs

Your height is 4,800 kilometers long

In your body

65 million blood cells flow up and down

Mekong – You put your head

On China pillow, lying down on the ground, sleeping

So your long hair is enfolding

The scent of dried tea leaves from Yunnan

Mekong – You rest your shoulders

Against the mountains of Burma

The mountains comfort you

Mekong – Your breasts look like

Sticky‐rice fields in Laos,

Ripe, colored yellow‐ochre

Your cleavage has the sweet odor of Laos coffee

Mekong – Your white belly is like a faddish Thai girl’s

Exhibited between her crop top and tight jeans

But you decorate yours

With colorful orchids

Mekong – Your hips are like sculpted sandstones

From Angkor in Cambodia

Big, firm, wonderful

And gracefully artistic

Mekong – You place your slim legs

In their prettiest form

Into verdant paddies in Vietnam delta

Mekong – You do look like a human being

You not only have body parts

But soul, heart and brain

So you feel, you create and you think

Mekong – you have created and left many

Living through three thousand years of civilization

Mekong – you have history

You have legacies of ancient culture

You have religions

You have traditions

And folk songs and myths

They are your milestones and diaries you passed

Mekong – I listened to your timeless legends and stories

Especially, Naga and Praa Kaar

Naga arose from your body

Half-human, half-dolphin still lives in you

Are they true stories of your life?

Are they only legends?

I learn that people still talk about them

Like and believe in them

For me it’s an interesting

Mysterious, supernatural thing

Mekong – I glimpsed your soul in your blood

The ancient temples – Bagan, Vat Phou, Angkor

Where Hinduism gave way to Buddhism

Tongues derived from southern India

Are spoken and sung and chanted in your heart

Although different, the same essence is shared

Mekong – Traditional music and folk songs

Are lively in your heart

I appreciate your nice arts

I am touched and refreshed

Also I am happy in your festive nights

Mekong – In your heart

I see people’s simple daily life

Fishermen, farmers and ordinary people

Independent on your body, like your children

With admiration, they call you “Mother River”

Mekong – In fact, you are a genuine mother

Of kindness, mercy, and love

Mekong – On your body

Are mountains, forests, fields,

Tributaries, rapids, falls

You compose your natural beauty with people’s life

Your beauty is without luxurious modernity

All natural

Now I know that

Authenticity is the most wonderful and the most beautiful thing

Mekong – your heart and body are so beautiful

But, I see some wounds on your body

Blood is blocked in your veins

Who makes these wounds?

Who blocks these veins?

I know ‐ Some want to ruin you

With modern techniques and make-ups

So that you will become more developed

Oh, innocent Mekong – don’t believe them

Dressing you new clothes

They will send you to the market

They will, like evils, drink your blood for their benefits

They will destroy the beauty of your virgin nature

There is injustice – There is torture

There is terrorism

Mekong – I talk to you

Don’t believe them

Don’t try to be beautiful in modern ways

Otherwise your natural beauty will be destroyed

Your body will be dried-up

Your life will be lost

Mekong – Please don’t die

If you die,

All of your history, culture and your children will die

Mekong – I don’t want to see your funeral

I always want your natural beauty to be healthy

So I will save you I will save you

I will protect you and I will fight for you

Mekong – I come to you

I am not an environmentalist

But I am a poet

A poet loves Nature

more than others do


Min Htet Maung