Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

My Photo
Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Tree House

The stump, as big as a pickup,
rests in an immaculate, tiled
car port as an object of veneration.
You approach it as you would
a Buddha by sliding on your
thighs with the soles of your
feet pointing away.

The car port is narrow and tall
with a steep roof as if it
were itself a Thai Wat.
It sits in back of Sawang’s
small compound, looking out on
square miles of lush rice fields
which always provide the gift
of an open, gentle breeze.

Sawang had to fell this giant
to build his house and ended up
in a gargantuan struggle to dig
out the stump.  The tree had
lived on this spot its entire life
and did not give up its claim
on the land easily. Finally,
Sawang, himself on the point of
collapse, made a deal to give
the stump a house and place of
honor – and  with that the tree
gave up its hold on the land.

Now, the stump sits among
flowers, candles, incense
sticks, and all the beauty the
Thais lavish on the dead.
Once a year, monks come and
offer prayers and apply squares
of gold leaf to the stump. 

If I had to describe it, I’d say the
stump looks like a giant anatomical model:
quite possibly of a human heart.

FG Aug 9, 2012

All rights reserved by the Author Forrest Greenwood