Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Orietnal Forest Lizard

It’s not zero at the bone you feel, but wonder
at how something so hideous could not only be,
but multiply and thrive.  He’s no skink but
a true lizard which predates not only history
but our own cortex and brain stems. At sunset
he climbs the baby telephone pole that supports
the wires that run down from the road to our
house, using splayed, long Chinese nails that
can grasp anything without a glue.  As I sip my
whiskey, he climbs on the far side of the pole
so I will not see him.  But I see the flick of his
rat-like tail as he rises through the ivy to reach
the shard of a summit where he gazes eye-to-
eye with the setting sun.  A long flat “S” he
remains stalk-still in a way human kind never
learned.  It’s hard for me to think that he is
like King Kong shaking his fist at the meanness
of the world, but rather he’s just basking in
the grace of the fading gold that for a moment
changes evil and the hideous of this world to
a state of grace.

Then, in a blink of an eye, he is gone, running
down the very, black cable that before dark falls
brings you to me.

FG 5/27/2013

All rights reserved by the author Forrest Greenwood. 

My Oriental (namesake) lizard probably is a skink because the skink family is large and because should I want to bite his tail it would most likely become detached (he can grow another one – this is a skink trait). I have no desire to do this, but as a precaution I make it a rule to never have more than one bottle of whiskey in the house at any one time.