Editors’ Choice Top 5 English Poems | January 2021
By Ishrat Bibi
Dear golden land, Myanmar
You’re the place that Allah sent me
Whatever traps some set to deprive us from you
We’re still struggling to stay within you.
Because you’re our treasure to dwell.
Whatever adversities we faced in your land,
We’re still striving to get to you.
Because you’re our golden land to live in.
Whoever turn traitor against your sovereignty,
We’re still fighting to protect your bosom.
Because you’re our life-blood to survive.
Love you, Myanmar from the core of our hearts.
God bless you, our golden land!
By AH.Ali Ammar
Wandering on the alienated lands,
my lifespan seems to wind up silently
but not know where my dwelling place is now
I’m unable to comprehend the meaning of my life.
Leading a nomadic life,
my dignity seems to be valueless
but not know where my greatness is now
I’m unable to comprehend the meaning of my rights.
By Yu Yu Win
What is more powerful than self-esteem?
What is more valuable than self-esteem?
Self-esteem protects us from enemies.
It keeps us happy with what we have.
Why need to be sad if I’m happy for being myself?
Why need to be hurt if my expectation is just from me and the Almighty?
Why need to be lost if I have the ability to win?
Why need to worry if I take care of enough myself?
Because I know I’m amazing,
Wealthy and worthy are created
by the Almighty with all abilities.
By Jamalida Rafique
In the darkness lies a soul
In the darkness lies a heart
With loved ones being torn apart.
In the darkness lies a child,
With no world to reconcile
And with no window to sight
Through the magical words.
They say “Magic falls out when you open a book.”
Yet they create nightmares and horrors to look.
They say “Books are like a home.”
Yet they destroy a place that I call home.
They say “Education is future.”
They say “A book is a window to the world.”
Yet they deny a window to my world.
They say “You are the window to the world.”
Yet they hide me from my world.
A child’s future is not toy, but book –
The window to the world to breathe and look.
A refugee child’s dream is to travel
Through the books to be acceptable,
Not to be confined to the windowless refugee shed,
In the darkness and hopelessness the life sees its dead.
The ability to read is a child’s greatest joy.
A book is the child’s true toy.
The book that opens the window to the world.
The book that allows the light to enter from the magical worlds.
The book that finds the lost soul.
The child that the book makes whole.
I was born as a baby girl
But being born as a daughter
I become a burden for them
Because they have to pay dowry.
Despite old enough to get married
I’m still single, rejected
My parents live from hand-to-mouth
They couldn’t afford those demands.
My smooth skin turns wrinkled now
My youth inverts into older
My eyes transform into purblind
Yet I couldn’t be a spouse for somebody.
The age of marriage is over
The older my age goes, the more dowry they demand.
My young sisters are in line, too
The weight of the world is on my head
Yet I remain as a burden.
Seeing the rich’s wedding around
Tears are dripping through my cheek
All my other friends got married
They visit their parents with their cuddling babies
How can I show my face to them?
Having a form of body, I’m useless
No privilege to be chosen as a spouse
No man here to wed me without dowry
Who invented this system?
I find no entrance to leave this world
Just colliding inside bashfully.
I am a treasure of future
But my society treats me as a trash
Is this a crime being born as a girl?
Yet I remain single and rejected
No man wants to wed me without dowry.
Indeed, this life has no marriage for me.
Note: The dowry system is the fallout to Rohingya marriage. It has been poisoning our social lives in today’s community. The poet immensely articulates how the system gives side-effects to a Rohingya girl who has not chosen yet as a spouse since her parents can’t pay dowry for the would-be-groom.