beach

In Blue Hawaii

Just got back from a quickie across the ocean.

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Stayed up on the northwest tip of Kamehameha’s island.

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Had a nice room with a patio view of a lush hillside.

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Got to spend some time at the beach.

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Went to see some touristy historical sites.

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Took a hike through a lava-locked pikupa forest.

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Checked out the Kohala coast.

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Watched Venus rise over palms.

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Had to come home much too soon.

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Long-Tail Taxis

Long-Tail Taxi

Many thanks to Marathon Literary Review for including the following poem in their June 2015 issue.

Long-Tail Taxis

                                           —Gulf of Thailand, 2012

Overcast dawn, low tide gray
..long-tail taxis bob awaiting rain
….waters to rise, to start their day

Tethered to trees, long rough ropes
..sitting still as Buddha grins
….quiet squirrels in coconut trees

One boat fat with jungle fruit
..Thai flag flapping, edges affray
….suns and moons of salty spray

I am a squirrel at a teakwood table
..curry and rice and coffee consumed
….waiting, too, for clouds to clear

That girthy garden statue squints
..always aware of this one moment
….low tide, high tide, water waist or ankle deep

Two New Thailand Poems

Front Range Review

Many thanks to Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado, for publishing the following two poems in the Spring 2015 issue of Front Range Review:

Burmese Pantoum

                                         —Sunshine Bungalows, 2001

Each morning in my bungalow

  I rise—not to songs of garden birds

    but Burmese boys on the beach

      brooms in their hands, brushing the sand

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Before I rise, I dream of Burmese birds

 sweeping last night’s fallen leaves

   brooms in their wings, brushing the sand

     evidence of last night’s hash?

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After sweeping garden leaves

 after washing clothes, after gutting fish

   after a bowl of last night’s hash

     that Burmese plucks his old guitar

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I listen after washing, bowl full of fish

 white talc smoothed across his face

   that Burmese plucks at his guitar

     sings an ocean melody

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White talc paths swept smooth each dawn

 no birds outside my bungalow

   I hear the ocean’s melody

     a Burmese boy on the beach

 

Burmese Melody

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The End of Unknown Pleasures

                                                                          —Koh Tao, 2013

 Something old, something known

     familiar, guaranteed

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Mornings of sun on a half-moon beach

     blue sarong, old white skin gone brown

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Taking the terrier out for a stroll

     same old path to the PO Box

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Soaking in claw-foot candlelight

     joint in the old tin tray

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People say, Try something new

      Go someplace you’ve never been

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That might be fine were I still young

     time on my hands, no watch on my wrist

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Now, mid-afternoon of my tan

     too aware that the sun must sleep

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I swap my dreams for pebbles

     joys I might discover on the road

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Nuggets of gold, manna from heaven

     women sunning topless on the strand

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Now even these are old and known

     even these—and so I sit and breathe

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Chalok Ban Kao

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Many thanks to Steam Ticket, a literary journal published buy the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, for publishing the following poem in their Spring 2015 issue.

Chalok Ban Kao                                           

                                                —Koh Tao, Thailand 

Privacy—so public here in paradise

  things best left behind bamboo

    a market stall of mango nuts

That couple on their morning stroll

  their steps into the soupy sea

    a flirty splash or two or three

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After a kiss, he’s stomping back to shore

  kicking the calm green buoyance

    girlfriend left to wonder what’s gone wrong

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It’s bread and circus for the beach

  karaoke tourists, fools taking turns

    staging their small dramas for the bored

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Even I and my coffee are seen

  woman alone at a teakwood table

    and I watch her watch me

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Here comes her tan companion

  her leading man, her garden palm

    their bickering falls like sudden rain

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My own companion’s abandoned me

  left at dawn for scuba school

    a Sunday swim with silent fish

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So much I’d like to say to her

  to issue my objections and complaints

    popping fried eggs in hot, hot oil

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Ode to San Francisco

A gorgeous day across the city…

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Lots of tourists up at Twin Peaks…

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Checking out the downtown view…

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Sunny and eighty degrees in October…

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Some looked so happy…

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Others looked so good…

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Bright and breezy at the beach…

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Father and sons in the surf…

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A family bench at Lake Merced…

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Just a beautiful day….