Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Friday, January 24, 2014

He Was My father, He Was Right

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
 - William Blake

Put your hand in a pail of water
my father said and the hole that’s
left when you take it out  is how
much the world will miss you.
He was right, he was my father.
But if you drop a stone in still
water don’t the miniature ripples
that circle out to the banks become
an extension of something more
than just a sinking stone?

My father was a workaholic, I am not.
He took me to work some weekends
filing cardboard boxes of invoices
in gray metal racks in a dank basement
where the new cement walls still hadn’t
cured, still hadn’t dried.

He chewed the stub of a yellow
pencil until it looked like a thoroughly
gnawed corn cob.  “Gimme 1/ 58,” he’d
say and I’d hoist it up to him.

When my mother asked me later,
standing in our kitchen with the French Chef
over the stove who looked surprised
to find an analogue clock in his stomach,
“How was your day?” I said, “Dad eats pencils.”

FG 1/24/2014

The reason for poetry lies between these two water images.

The first to line of the Blake poem is another.

Although poetry is my private war with the world – and very few every read these poems – I am blessed* that some do read them.

* Well, I am in a Blake-ian frame of mind.  Still cold here.