Mong San (from Myanmar writing in Arakan )


wearing a thin shirt of the sea

I went out for fishing

the fishes in the sea

are the scars of my life

my father threw my name into the sea

and then

he dived and dived into the sea to get it

but hasn’t come back yet thus far

i got on a small boat and paid homage to the fishing port

my fishing net gets more and more patches

what’ll there be on the other shore?

what will there be on the other shore?

what there will be on the other shore?

what’s sure is not a single fish in my net?

my father once told me

that one will want to come back to this port

as soon as he reaches the other unseen shore

I want to try to go to that shore.

who’ll be that man

who wants to come back from that shore to this port?

Translated by Ni Ngrein


ငါစွာ ပင်လယ်နန့်ပတ်သက်နီရေ အင်းကျီပါးပါးချေကို ဝတ်လို့

ငါးဖမ်းဖို့ ထွက်ပါလတ်တေ။

ပင်လယ်ထဲက ငါးတိစွာ

ငါ့ဘဝ အမာရွတ်တိဗျာလ်

ငါ့အဖက ငါ့နာမေကို ပင်လယ်ထဲ ဝေးချပစ်ခရေ။

ပြီးကေ ပြန်ကောက်ဖို့ 

ပင်လယ်ထဲ ငုပ်လားစွာ…ငုပ်လားစွာ

ဒေဂု ငါရပ်နီရေအချိန်ထိ ပြန်မလာသိ

ငါ လောင်းချေထက်ကို တက်ပနာ ပိုက်ဆိပ်ကို ရှိခိုးလိုက်တေ

ငါ့ပိုက်ကွန်က အဖာအစပ် များပါလတ်တေ

ဟိုဖက်ကမ်းမှာ ဇာဟိဖို့လေး

ဟိုးဖက်ကမ်းမှာ ဇာဟိဖို့လေး

ဟိုး…ဖက်ကမ်းမှာ ဇာဟိဖို့လေးချင့်

ငါ့ပိုက်ထဲမှာ ငါးတစ်ကောင်တစ်လီချေတောင် မဟိသိစွာ


ငါ့အဖက ပြောဖူးခရေ

မမြင်ရရေဟိုးဖက်ကမ်းကို ရောက်စွာနန့် ဒေပိုက်ဆိပ်ကို


ငါ ဟိုးဖက်ကမ်းကို လားကြည့်ချင်ရေ

ဟိုးဖက်ကမ်းက ဒေဖက်ကမ်းကို လာချင်နီရေလူတစ်ယောက်စွာ အသူလေ။


Mong San was born in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Yangon University of Education. At present, he is working as a high school teacher in Rakhine. He started writing poetry in 2012, initially in Burmese language as Arkakan also known as Rakhine people were restricted from learning their mother tongue. Although the former generation of Arakan poets had composed several poems in native language, young people are  not aware of those as the education is limited to Burmese language only. However, he started writing poetry in Arakan in 2015. In 2021, his solo poetry book named Lu Gaung Myar was published by Coastline, an association of young Arakan Poets. He desires  to continue writing experimental poetry in Arakan language and wishes to promote the uniqueness and beauty of Arakan language through poetry.

Ni Ngrein is an Arakanese poet and essayist from Myanmar. He graduated from Sittwe University majoring in English. Currently he works for Humanitarian and Development for Arakan.