All the trees are gone
to cook someone’s dinner
or turned into guns —
the orchids are torn from the trees
clinging with every ounce
of their being, taking bark with them.
Kyi May Kaung, born in Burma, has a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Political Economy. She came to America on a Fulbright in 1982 and applied for asylum after the junta’s clampdown on the pro-democracy movement started in 1988. Kyi won the William Carlos Williams Award of the Academy of American Poets in 1993 and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award for her play “Shaman” in 1996. She has been a Pew finalist twice. Her poem “Eskimo Paradise” will be in the upcoming Norton Anthology of S.E. Asian Poetry. She has two poetry chapbooks — Pelted with Petals: The Burmese Poems and Tibetan Tanka. Other poems have appeared in Meridian Bound, Rattapallax, CrossConnect, Poets’ Attic, Mosaic, and Passport Magazine. After working in international radio and with the Burmese democratic government in exile, Kyi is now working on a novel. Kyi is also a visual artist and has had two one-woman art shows since 2001.
Works by Kyi May Kaung
Free to be Wild: Artist Elsa Gebreysus from Eritrea
Shrimp Shelling & Tuna Canning in Mahachai, Thailand
Fiction: The Lovers