Nomads of the sea

No one wants us

For we are Moken.

Long time here yet

Still not broken.

 

Three hundred years and more,

Stateless nomads of the sea.

Skilled seafarers far from shore,

We had no home but we were free.

 

No schooling now for our children.

In sickness, we have no care.

Nomads still, we carry on.

Tourists, they just stop and stare.

 

Poorer now and losing face;

No basic rights in any land.

Exploited by this venal place;

We are just a one man band.

 

They used our skills for gain;

They made us dive too deep;

‘Nam neeb’ and dynamite destroyed us;

Now we’re just a crippled heap.

 

Poor man, rich man, beggar man, thief.

Seldom do we our stories write.

We are but nothing in this land.

But this land is ours by our birthright.

 

Even where we’ve lived for years

They will not let us call home.

Ancestral bones are buried deep

In land that we can never own.

 

Fish and forage;

Land or sea.

Shelter scavenged we accept.

Never discerning, we were free.

 

When we were young

We dived and dined.

Our great sea gave

Fish and shells and lobsters fine.

 

From Koh Phuket to Surin Islands,

Free to fish on natures patch.

Now from Surin we are banned;

No turtles, cucumber, clams to catch.

 

Without the sea we cannot live.

Sell a photo for a buck.

Embarassed, begging for some food.

Does any tourist give a fuck.

 

Thai, Burmese, Rohingya, Moken.

In the big dream many others

See the world for what it is,

Because forever we are brothers.

 

Still no one wants us.

We are Moken.

Long time here yet

Still not broken.

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