Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Fields

“Get back our fields!
Drive the Han and the Manchu
out of our fields!”

                    This was our battle cry.

Hebei, Bejing…
Sichuan, Guizhou, Hunan…
Xieng Khoung, Long Cheng…
                    Our mountains and valleys,
                    our cities and towns.
                    Our lost fields.

Ba-yue Wu, Lui-deng Shi, San-bao Shi, Tian-ban Shi…
Xiu-mei Zhang…
Touby Lyfoung, Vang Pao…
                    Our lost kings and generals.

Chiyou fought ten battles
for our fields around Beijing.
                    He won all
                    but the last.

Ba-yue Wu, Lui-deng Shi, San-bao Shi, Tian-ban Shi,
and Xiu-mei Zhang fought three wars
for our fields in southern China.
                    They lost all three.

With each lost,
we were driven further
into the southern provinces
where we Miao still cling
to barren mountaintops, go hungry
six months out of the year,
drink water from tepid ponds
shared with animals.

Then we were driven into the far mountains
of Vietnam, Burma, Thailand…
And Laos, where Touby Lyfoung
                    united us in Xieng Khoung
and Vang Pao built the last fortress
at Long Cheng,
                    which he defended for fifteen years,
                    but, in the end, lost.

Now we Hmong are sowed
into new fields in five continents:

Argentina, Germany...
Australia, Canada...
Thailand, United States, France...
          Our new countries.

Fresno, Minneaposlis, Stone Mountain, Tampa...
Nimes, Grigny, Toulouse, Orleans...
Strasburg, Gammertingen...
Jahouve, Regina...
Sydney, Brisbane...
          Our patches of new farmlands,
          Vegetable fields, vineyards,
          Fruit plantations.

"Hold on to our new fields!
Dig into our new fields!
Grow in our new fields!"

Note: Hmong historical information from: “Chinese Odyssey…” by Yuepheng L. Xiong, Hmongs are called Miaos in China.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very historical, beautiful, and powerful. Thank you!