Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Thursday, July 7, 2016

In Phitsanulok (July 4, 2016)

There are four of us for dinner at the Kasnaree
restaurant.  It’s an upscale fish place with a lot
of atmosphere.  There is a duet singing to the almost
empty room.  Slowly, it dawns on me that they are
singing in English and then my memory yields up
that they are doing Peter, Paul and Mary songs: 
500 miles, Leaving On A Jet Plane, The Very First
Time I Saw Your Face . . . .

My wife is prattling away in Thai with her cousin
and I am caught in a whirlpool made by the two
rivers of memory and language.

Biew, my wife’s oldest daughter to my left
seems to be saluting.  When I look she is holding
her small smart phone making a video call.
I see the faces of the two younger daughters
who could not make the trip because of school.
Biew is trying to show the girls the colorful
dishes on the table.  Their faces are clear but
shown at a crazy angles.  They look like the faces
of the convicts sentenced to forever fly through
space trapped in a pane of glass.  The image is
from an old Superman movie probably of the
same era as the Peter, Paul, and Mary songs.
Few will remember the movie, so why write
it down in a poem?

The girls see me and scream “Papa!”  I know
they are in my room playing with the TV,
the computer and with the A/C and fan both
on high. This video calling is amazing, like Dick
Tracy’s  watch come to life.

“Get out of my room,” I say, but can’t help but
smile.  They giggle back and it sounds wonderful.

FG       7/8/2016

Phitsanulok is a Thai city about a four-hour ride north of here.  We went up to keep an appointment with a urologist.  I am taking one medicine that is expensive by Thai standards (Harnol OCAS for prostrate health).  It cost $100 for a two month supply.  I had a blood test (PSA is normal) and urinalysis which showed some infection still present.  So I got a drug for this, too.  Total bill about $160 (if anyone cares, I do) and I go back in another two months.

The link is a history of Dick Tracy’s watch.  Neat.  The video watch didn’t appear in the strip until the 1960s about the time of PP and M.  Poetry is memory.