by Maw Min Thann (1971-2021)

    City gates are shut.
    The thoroughfares
    are quiet.

    The pandemic threatens
    individual lives.
    War is not over yet.

    September —
    I long for them from a distance.
    I converse with them from a distance.
    From a distance
    I remember them.

    September —
    in an arid afternoon
    I find myself alone,
    like a ghost.

    In a flash
    I miss you.
    I send metta to you;
    may you be well,
    from a distance.


    Translated from the Burmese by Ko Ko Thett for the forthcoming “Picking off new shoots will not stop the spring: Witness poems in essays from Myanmar (1988-2021)”, edited by Ko Ko Thett & Brian Haman, forthcoming from Ethos Books in January 2022.

    Maw Min Thann classical guitarist, writer and poet, passed away from COVID-19 in his hometown of Mandalay on 29.07.2021. His guitar performances often accompanied poetry readings in Mandalay. The poem, dated 13.09.2020, was written during the first wave of COVID-19 and the lockdown in Mandalay.

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