On the Mekong (or, Drunk Tourists)

Mekong River, Thailand
View of the Mekong from the Thai side, looking to Laos


So this is the cup of life,

the reeds leaning into the

passing day

the drunk non-see-ers

passing time with hiccups



3/4/11 On the Mekong (or, water and dust)

Mekong River Boat

Maybe I am a rock

sitting obstinately in the

shifting ground,

Taking on time like a shoulder bag.

I see people come and go

and think if I hold my ground

the powerful waters will not erode

my wisdom of stillness

into dust.


The Wooden Bridge

Wooden Mon Bridge, Thailand
The Wooden Bridge

You say “thank you” in Thai only to remember these people are Burmese; actually, more specific than that, this boy is Mon (it is his father’s father’s recipe of curry you are eating) and they have no country–just jungle and land which they are denied to keep and these boys who are giving you whiskey and peanuts and smiles are Mon, too…and Karen.  Don’t forget the boy that laughs and calls Jono “wolverine” has a father left to the jungle—a Mon guerrilla fighter who will never be allowed in Thailand.  And the quiet Karen boy, the tall one who goes for more ice and drunkenly crashes his motorbike on the way back, cannot leave this city but can only go back and forth, back and forth, over the wooden bridge.


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