Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

For Others Not So Near

(Chong Khae, Thailand)
As a boy in school
if I thought of death at all
it was as the last aerial in
a fireworks display whose report
was so loud and flash so bright
. . . it had to be the end.

As a man in middle age,
if I thought of death at all
it was to shudder that I could not
protect the ones I loved from
the evils of the world or worse
. . . from those evils crouched within.

Tonight in an empty room,
I’m with uncounted friends,
some dead and others not so near.
It’s snowing loud in this tropical land
and I can barely hear. The little boy
on my lap, though cripple still,
is alive to the music and happy amid
the Christmas great good cheer.

Everything I remember seems a story now.
Someone whispers, “Mr. Death is just
outside. What should I tell him?”
Do I create the world or is it made just
for me? I drink from the cup and say,
“By all means tell him he’s welcome
and please . . . do come in.”

FG 11/25/2010


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