Khao Jai Poem by Bryan Thao Worra

Khao Jai

Enter the heart and you understand.
To be jai yen, my heart cool, without worries,
I smile like a nak, a rainbow bridge, a June rain,
Trying to find a middle path I‟m happy with:

I‟ve seen how much difference one person can make.
I don‟t want anyone to fall behind in our beautiful city.

As a writer, I never want a title, a grade or a sheet of paper
To hold a soul back from
All of the good they can do in the world.

A head of knowledge is worth more than a tray full of gold and jewels.
But every head is unique and capable of generosity.

Some will learn everything they need in life from a book,
But others will find a page inadequate even in the schools of Sihome.

Some discover galaxies in the motion of a single human body.
Others can gaze at the finest dancers of Vientiane and remain Unchanged.

There are those whose greatest teachers are a touch.
Some can be blind and with a single piano, move nations.

Some must discover on their own, free of desks and distraction.

We fail the world, ourselves,
If we don‟t seek the best for one another,
If we‟re unkind to someone whose only crime is they aren‟t like us,
Or they make their way through the world
By a different road than ours.

But I‟m just a nuckawii.

There are people in the world who‟ve trained a lifetime
To change things so much better than I, the silapin
Or a laughing nak dontii.
And any day now, they‟ll do their job properly.

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