Three Thailand Poems

Prairie Wolf Illustration

Much thanks to Prairie Wolf Press Review, an independent online literary journal, for publishing the following three poems in their Fall 2015 issue:

Return to Koh Tao

                                                      —after a decade away

Garden moths, their quick white wings

  the warning song of parakeets

    as flora feasts on memory

.

The native palms, the guava leaves

  bemoan the loss of morning light

    loss of sea breeze from the beach

.

Gone are the hibiscus blooms

  the one papaya hanging from a tree

    bungalows that once could breathe

.

All that’s left: a barking dog, a motorbike

  flip-flops on a gravel path

    mozzies singing gossip in my ear

.

How I wish the sky cracked clear

  spilling time across the roof

    my ten-year teakwood hut

.

Pineapple Curry

                                             —Koh Tao, 2013

 Something spicy, something sweet

  a battlefield across my tongue

    bee stings buzzing down my throat

.

Sting of thin-sliced chilis

  yellow greens with tiger stripes

    onion carrots, garden basil leaves

.

So simple plucking supper like a leaf

  six strings on a Burmese guitar

    rainy jungle rhythm under our control

.

Were I some jungle monkey

  I’d race right up that spike-bark tree

    have myself a taste of something sweet

.

Baggage Claim

                                             —August, 2012

Here at Bangkok’s bustling hub

  tourists lug their heavy gear

    all the world a witness

.

A family home from holiday

  wheeling cases, pushing carts

    loaded down with memories

.

Myself—I travel light as sand

  a daypack with a deck of cards

    a change of clothes, a pack of smokes

.

As for that other baggage

  that stuff we smuggle out of view

    that’s a crime we all commit

.

That fat white guy, his thin Thai wife

  their secrets packed behind their eyes

    their smiles silent, insincere

.

What horror does that black guy hide

  beneath his spiky, spray-paint do

    his passport stamped with contraband

.

My own smuggled souvenirs: a stolen kiss

  a dozen lies, a couple sticks of weed

    a lady with the muscles of a man

.

We board our flight, we take our seats

  our gracious grins reflected

    our fuselage a cylinder of sin

.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s