Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


 Chong Khae, Thailand

Under a single spot light
my father would play basketball
with me and the kids in town
well into the dark autumn night.
But toward ten he’d simply take
the ball and go in. No amount of
Aw come ons would ever change
his mind, and a few seconds later
the spot light would go out.
Guys would upright their bikes
and still sweating pedal off mumbling.
“He always does it when he’s winning.”

In stature and build
my sister now 70 reminds me
of my father, and for that
I love her. But she never caught
his sense of fun or boyish play.
Now, a world away I live with
another family and when I hear her
living-alone Jeezums on the phone
I feel sad.

I’m not allowed to do anything here,
but on days when the old woman
who feeds the dogs and kids
goes to the hospital for her meds
and my wife is not around,
I water the orchids in the late
afternoon and then spill Sakura food
onto my palm and let it fall like a
grace on the water of a single urn.
A tiny fish, the only one left,
rises from the dark
memory itself and I quitely watch
as it begins to dart and feed.

You don’t find poems, poems find you. I often get to a point with a poem when, like pole vaulter, you’ve cleared the bar and can look back at it with some admiration. But that’s never the end point. The poem has to go over the bar with you, or fall haplessly to the ground on the other side.

I called this poem Happiness, but all I remember about my father was his sense of fun and boyish play. I know little about his or anyone’s happiness, so I’ve changed the title to Grace. It’s the state I’m in when I remember him and of this I am sure.

FG 2/2011

All Rights reserved by the author Forrest Greenwood.