A shed as big as a nest,
Roofed with torn plastics and tarpaulins,
Fenced with tiny slices of bamboo,
Floored with the alloy of mud and soil,
With no windows and back door,
All day and all night dark and hot,
That’s my building just like a prison.
A hut as wide as a mouse trap,
Located on the tip of a high mount,
In the open mouth of a landslide,
In monsoon, it dances with the wind blown
And gets flung and destroyed by catastrophes.
Sometimes, it gets swallowed by landslide,
In summer, it’s as hot as the hellfire inside it,
Where I’m accustomed to the sunburn.
Living there, I am a healthy bird
With an extreme headache, dizziness and fever,
That’s my building just like a cage.
A house as quiet as a grave,
Lack of society and relatives,
Muddy roads with slippery rocks,
That’s my building just like an isolated nest,
Where I am a busy ant
But an ordinary bird,
Simply living with high thinking.
A house contaminated with dung and urine
Smelling just like ammonia
Full of caves and holes all around,
I’m, but, an unhappily happy camper,
Listening to the amusement of rats,
All day and all night, they are my play partners
When I’m an absolute loner.
In summer, hotness is my governor,
I play and live outside the shelter.
In winter, coolness is my school friend,
I cuddle myself just like a twisted prawn.
In monsoon, I’m a sleepless owl with landslide and flood
And a restless ant with repairing and collecting dry rations.
That’s my building furnished with experience.
In which I’m animated with zero hope for future.
Ro Pacifist is the winner of the archipelago‘s Rohingya Writers Prize 2022 for his poem, “That is my building.” Ro wins $500 AUD, publication in the archipelago literary magazine, and membership to our writers collective. With this prize, we wish to encourage the contemporary writing of Rohingya writers: those writing against the systematic erasure of Rohingya culture, and in resistance to the genocide of their people. We continue working towards further ways to collaborate with Rohingya writers.
Please join us and support the archipelago by becoming a member HERE.
Ro Pacifist is a twenty-five-year old Rohingya writer. He is currently living in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Ro is also an English language teacher to Rohingya through a YouTube and Facebook platform known as Easy English Center (EEC).