FICTION & POETRY
VOL. 2 ISSUE 1
The Revolution won’t materialise / out of your mere thoughts.
K ZA WIN
This is the final poem, dated 23.02.2021, by K Za Win (1982–2021), who was shot dead by Myanmar security forces at a protest in Monywa on 3 March 2021.
Revolution will be in bloom
only when air, water and earth—
all the nutrients are in agreement.
Before the Revolution opened out,
a bullet blew someone’s brains out,
out on the street.
Did that skull have a message for you?
Faced with the devil
is this or that statement relevant?
In the dharma of dha
you can’t just wave the sword.
Step forward and cut them down!
The Revolution won’t materialise
out of your mere thoughts.
Like blood, one must rise.
Don’t ever waver again!
The fuse of the Revolution
is either you or myself! ▢
First published in Adi Magazine, Summer 2021, this poem appeared in Picking Off New Shoots Will Not Stop the Spring: Witness Poems and Essays from Burma/Myanmar 1988-2021, edited by Ko Ko Thett and Brian Haman, and published by Gaudy Boy in North America, Balestier Press in the UK, and Ethos Books in Singapore.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
"Skulls" by Hafsa Ashfaq. Mixed-media, digital illustration & acrylic on paper (2023).
Politics of Art
K ZA WIN (1982-2021) was a land rights activist and a Burmese language teacher in addition to a poet. In 2015, he marched with students along the 350 mile route from Mandalay to Yangon for education reforms until the rally was shut down near Yangon and he along with most of the student leaders were arrested and jailed. He spent a year and one month in prison, after which he published his best-known work, a collection of long-form poems, My Reply to Ramon. In the 2020 election, he said he didn’t vote for the National League for Democracy, whose policies he was very critical of, but when the NLD won by a landslide and an election fraud was alleged as an excuse for the 2021 military coup, he was on the frontlines of the anti-coup protests. He was shot dead by Myanmar security forces at a protest in Monywa on 3 March 2021.