Three Thailand Poems

Lime Hawk

Many thanks to Lime Hawk, an online quarterly literary journal, for publishing the following three poems in their Spring 2015 issue.

 The ABCs of Khao San Road

                                                                  —Bangkok, 2013

At night, under neon, parties appear

Backpacking tourists hip-hopping the globe

Cram the narrow road with manic music

Drumbeats, electric rock, beers in the air

Even young children run drunk on pleasure

(Families, too, are welcome here in Hell)

Guava, pineapple, papaya for sale

Have you ever tried a fried scorpion?

I settle for a Chang, a hand-rolled smoke

Just don’t sell me another souvenir

Knick-knacks, doodads, mass-produced in China

Leave me be in the midst of this madness

Me, mid-50s, too old to play the fool

No one needs a new tattoo on their face

Or three hooded wives like that bearded guy

People here either sell shit or buy shit

Quality, quantity, no real concern

Recently, a man was stabbed for laughing

Someone thought it rude; no one said a word

The killer kept drinking, dancing till dawn

Until the sun rose, demons undenied

Very few survive such wild indulgence

We wake after noon, vomit and forget

Exactly what we did the night before

Your eyes might roll, thinking I’m some priest

Zoos are fun, even home if you’re a beast

 p 

Last Night on Koh Tao

                                                             —Gulf of Thailand, 2013

Lost my beaded necklace east of Bangkok

wore it for a dozen years, then gone

an old friend disappeared

 p

Several hundred miles south

fresh new beads around my neck

I lose my black bandana

 p

Things come, things go

they enter through an unseen door

then exit through a window where a wall does not exist

p

Tomorrow, on the ferry home

aaI’ll say So long to this small stone

aaaafive times now in fifteen years

 p

Each time, I’ve smuggled one small piece

for now, all I hold is this full moon

this breeze, these gentle lapping waves

 p

Things come, things go

as I have done and must again

a firefly, a spark across the sky

p

 Chumphon Ferry

                                               —Gulf of Thailand, 2013

Koh Tao disappears—again

the island shrinks, small gray minnow

swallowed by a thirsty sea

 p

Beside a woman on a back-deck bench

aableach-blonde hair buzzed like a boy

aaaaour tongues are incompatible

 p

I shut my eyes, leave the past behind

the candlelight, the ceiling fan

dog asleep on my bungalow steps

 p

I’m a stray, too, solo on the road

only my breath for company

so much more than I could ever need

p

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