Ah Kong is Dead,-Prachatai

May 15, 2012

Liberty is Less Swift than the God of Death

Phiengkham Pradabkhwam

Prachatai: May 14, 2012



In the end, freedom is slower to arrive than death
Justice can wait        can make way for a tranquil homeland
They honeymooned on a day of love        a truce
The war is not over yet        However many corpses, let it be!

“Come back to us, they have finally let you go.”
Citizens at the end of the line        once dead, catch a scent of dreams
The freedom of the poor        grit your teeth when it becomes too difficult to bear
Or is death the only way to make an exchange with them?

Ask the insensate: what is your heart for?
Whose flesh is wounded by these words? Where are you hurt, o my lord?
Or is an SMS a sharpened sword, piercing the heart and bringing forth tears?
How many drops of blood have fallen? Enough that he must be killed.

A developing country    liberty is less swift than the God of Death
Death drifts in the air, it is behind the pictures in every house
The door of the prison is open        devouring people every day
This perverse homeland does not want        to see the phrai1 become people

Ah Kong is dead        He was only an elderly man
An ordinary citizen        Making a living, walking the streets
His head stooped in a covenant        less human than in universal standards
As you are a person, I am also a person

Ah Kong is dead        He died in prison
This is not the democratic age of which I dreamt
Our government    pours the blood of our friends on the tray2
Crouch on one’s knees        present it to the dictator to eat and drink

Ah Kong is dead        Who killed an elderly man?
Justice delayed    is an utter crime
Human life is cheap        they are in plentiful numbers across the land
Breathe gently        every day, the scent of death is present

1 Phrai (ไพร่), which means “serf,” is the word used by the Red Shirts to refer to themselves and to signal the profound gap between themselves and the elites ruling Thai society, or the อามาตย์.—translator
2  The word used for “tray” here is “พาน,” which is the tray on which the successive Constitutions rest.– translator

Translated by Tyrell Haberkorn




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