Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Night and Day

The big jet banks left on final to Jeddah.
We’re still fifteen miles from the airport
but below me I see a compound lit by
grain-of-wheat bulbs in a desert of darkness.
This is a memory I often have at night
while following my glide path to sleep.
I roll over in bed. The big jet levels off,
slows and slows until I am in a deep
forgetful sleep and we land.


A few monks are up long before sunrise.
In saffron robes and carrying cloth satchels,
they exchange short blessings for food given
by old women prostrated in the dirt by
the side of the road. I hear none of their
prayers, but through an open window I do
hear music being played through speakers
at the aubotaur. A woman’s sweet voice,
softened by distance and the lushness
of the land, greets the lightening day.

FG Dec. 1, 2011

All rights reserved by the author Forrest Greenwood.

“Aubotaur” is my transliteration for the Thai word
which means village town hall. It’s an amalgam of
several words meaning baby of the main city hall
in Takhli. For a clearer explanation, I will give you my
wife’s phone number. The sound of the word
is poetry itself.

I was thinking of the Hemingway story The Light Of
The World and Roethke’s poem The Waking. The Arabic
greeting of “welcome and light” was also playing
in my mind.

The poem may not be immediately accessible, but I
think it pulls the reader through until he has a “what
was that all about” moment that's not easily dismissed
– and that makes it a poem.

I've changed the title back to Night and Day Jan 05, 2012

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