Almost Short Stuff by Douglas Gilbert , “Burma Beneath Mount Myanmar”

Burma Beneath Mount Myanmar

The generals nullify humility.
They proclaim:
We are the gods who

bring typhoons, keep out
the evil West. Let
the monks not in prison
the supposed holy
save their people.

We challenge their magic, because
we have the weapons, the Chinese,
the name change

We don’t mind the joke
of a Nobel Peace Prize for
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
because we are the gods, and
monks are Burmese shamen on their knees
arrested at will, orange slices

Could be an outlaw of Yeats
has swum across the lake
to see the elected leader
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, or
it might be a crazy American
who thinks Myanmar is Burma, and
magic
ref: New York Times, May 8, 2009, “World Briefing: Myanmar: U.S. Man Held In Swim To Dissident’s Home,”pg.A13.

—Douglas Gilbert

Books by Douglas Gilbert