Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Life’s Not A Journey But An Entanglement

In Sri Lanka I was taken to a museum of
tribal masks once used to frighten away
all kinds of medical problems.  The museum
was in the basement of a small house on
the way to Galle. The ceilings were low,
the floor uneven and I was the only one
there.  I don’t remember being scared
by any of these masks, some which were
lit by flickering spot lights for effect nor
was I interested in the tags relating what
the mask might cure.  When I left the attendant
probably sensing that I wasn’t going to buy
anything from a glass case of curios,
flicked a switch and all the lights went out. 

When I first got here, my wife’s father
was barely hanging on with terminal cancer.
We took him to three government hospitals
but he didn’t want the radical surgery
doctors prescribed.  Instead, we drove him
to a man who made an elixir “from the tree.” 
Buddhists have a strong bond with the natural
world and the strongest of these may be to trees:
the Papaya, the Mango, the Jack Fruit, the Palm,
the Po and others.  The medicine provided in
an empty whiskey bottle I doubt had any positive
medical value, but that natural bond with the
Thai world sublimates and softens the heart
and ultimately cures the skeptic of heretical

FG    5/6/2016

I didn’t know what to title this piece which seems broken into two separate memories.  Entanglement seems to be a fad word out of quantum physics.  It has something to do with electrons mimicking each other’s spin (information) no matter what the distance from each other is, and simultaneously, too.  If you believe that life is a journey, a football game with x and os that you can strategize and win, you probably believe that superstitions and snake oil cures are to be laughed at.  On the other hand, well . . . .