Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Awnings of Summer

They were made of canvas and folded
down as a baby’s pram cover folded up.
Green with white piping they were
raised and lowered with a white
cord not quite rope nor string.
The four south-facing windows
of my father’s house had them and
as I clipped the grass on my knees
near the foundation with shears
whose blades looked like cartoon
rabbit ears, I could hear ice cubes
in tall glasses through the open
screens of our living room.  In style
I felt we were on a par with the Kennedys
in Hyannis port, but air conditioning
came and soon wrecked that feeling. 
Landing on the moon wrecked that
feeling and the computer continues
to wreck that feeling now.  It’s almost
as if we have traded an age of elegance
for an age of crass irrelevance.

FG           11/18/2015

This was the house of Spring Street, the only house I knew as a kid.  I don’t think the awnings lasted long as they had to be taken down for the winter and put back up.  My mother also had an English-looking lamp post in the front yard with a wrought iron street sign on it saying Greenwood.  I know these are affectations, but it is in affectations that we come to understand the age.  My father, on the other hand, no doubt upset with my mother for some reason once told me under his breath that he could be happy living under a bridge – which ironically is pretty much where I happily (for the most part) live now.   

Crass irrelevance because technology closes us in, puts things like the moon beyond reach or becomes a virtual stand-in for life.