Ye Yint Thet Zwe


We hate war, mother

We hate war, mother.
We clearly remember the time,
when we heard we were going to war.
We hated it so much,
that we clearly remember it all.
When epiphany and guns compete,
hold on to the epiphany
and let go of the gun.
Epiphany and guns.
That is the poem my mother used to recite.
Oh mother,
you shaped an era
and soon flew away.
We, your sons,
are on the path of hope.
When epiphany and guns compete,
I hold on to my epiphany
and grab my gun.
And we will fight until we win the war.
Yet, we hate war, mother.
We hate every single war.


A Shocking Night

Strong wind has hit a shocking night.
I have heard violin music at night,
but the fiddle music has become a broken man.
The duty of forced laughter.
The dark night is scary
– sometimes the hard sound of the storm
I feel that the time has come to cut its rights.
A desperate cry is heard again.
I can sleep no more.
I get up, I go to open the window.
I heard the news on the radio.
Why is protest displayed,
which rights detached from the people.
Conversations are loud noise.
Your brain is working,
the body will now start to move.
Looking at the future,
battles are full in heaven and on earth.
I know now what I should do.
Footsteps go to the same owners of life.
I went out already.
The dark night is scary.
Storms have winds.


Shakespeare knew nothing about
                        the summer in the Arctic Circle!

Right now,
after the snow has melted
a wonderful spring has arrived.
Even though people deep down are good
now that the winter has gone
they speak evil of it.
Yes, the winter has gone.
This place up in the Arctic Circle,
for two thirds of the year
it serves as a storage for cold.
Here, where sunlight is rare
we all lack vitamin D in our blood.
Let’s talk about equality,
because we all need it, vitamin D.
And here the people need the summer
just like their ancestors needed fire.
All winter they hatch thoughts
which are set free come summer.
After the ice has melted
the sea revives its ordinary life.
The birds sing
and people shout in harmony,
just because the sun is shining.
Here, in the winter, the snow covers the earth
more gracefully
than clothes have ever covered supermodels.
In summer people forget the sorrow of their
“Life be short”.
I remember it well, Shakespeare said so
and now I know –
the summer in the Arctic Circle is much much
shorter than life itself.


Ye Yint Thet Zwe
Poems from We hate war, mother! Karu Kartonera, Helsinki, 2016
Translations: Anne Ketola
Picture: Jaime Culebro