Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Carousel

It was a little machine that
whirred and churned like a vending machine,
but contained a white-hot star, which if you
got near enough to the TV tray it sat on,
had a new-car smell to it.

It was mostly plastic – and that then was new –
and so little used that its cord still had stiff kinks
from the packing case. My mother held the remote
which was tethered by a cord, and she often pushed
the backward button before going forward, and felt
obliged to run the focus in or out on every slide
because, well, the remote itself was something new.

At one end of the dark living room stood a sail
of a movie screen, and at the other adults filled
the sofa and chairs and even sat on upholstered arms.
My grandfather held a bean-bag ash tray as he smoked
an Old Gold while we kids lay on the floor as the room
went allegorically from noon to midnight with each slide.

We listened as the Carousel made its changes:
Click, click and north and south . . .
Click, click and east and west . . .
“Polly, my girl, you’ve got it in reverse gain.”
Click, click and now and then . . .
“Atta girl, now you’re cooking.”
Click, click and home and away . . .

FG August 13, 2011

All rights reserved by the author Forrest Greenwood.

I am thinking of the allegory of Plato’s cave, but more to the point of how we save memories through allegory. I don’t know if this is a human gift or a trifling affliction.

I include a photo of a Kodak Carousel and even of a slide as the word has come to mean a Power Point presentation - for those young enough to not understand. As of June 2009, Kodak no longer makes slides. Some one should tell Paul Simon.


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