Express Train to Siam

Like the rogue dragon fruit left on the railway tracks
just about to get smashed by an approaching freight train
I don't stand a chance.
Not that it matters for what's the use of making trips work
let the heat pick on me first, heavy rains will do the rest.

Made a dash to get aboard, there was no rush to take a seat
through the primeval forest, dragonflies flew in, flew out
They didn't let me sleep.
Ice sachets with a straw, poured green tea, sipped my drink
there's nothing passengers can't purchase in the third class.

Who threw out all the family dogs, their tails now in motion
up and down the wide avenues of the bygone Siamese capital
I fail to understand this.
When the Ayutthaya shadows fall and the glittering temples
on the other bank of the river one by one sink into darkness.

Even though I'm just arrived in town, I'm not quite here yet
at the central station I was welcomed by an elderly cabbie
with a long right moustache.
It was this fellow who drove me to an unknown destination
the whistle of the express train dwindling away uncertain.


Halfpipe Overlords

Hail to the Lords of the boards from Bangkok!
Reunited here in the province where
over the hills, by a gas station, amidst the bamboos
a local Rastafarian prince built his own castle,
a halfpipe doubling up as a temple to Mr Marley.

We farang visitors brought along the charcoal
and selected cuts of meat, and squids 
all humble offers to be grilled and washed down
with prodigious sips of of Thailandese Leo beer,
while the Sire and his heirs pirouetted on wheels.

Hail to the Lords of the boards from Bangkok!
Whose greatness is all but oppressive,
guests as we were, they showed us friendliness
their chariots of war painted in bright colours
rode high and above to please the foreign envoys.


A Day At The Kindergarten

'Teacher Bo! Teacher Andy! Teacher Xiu Xiu!'
I'm many teachers at once
When the kids tap on my shoulders
I smile at them and make funny faces
'Teacher Andy! Teacher Bo! Teacher Silly!'
they cry delighted, their giggles
all around me, their energy overwhelming
I cannot help but sweat
the humidity, the stress, my lack of authority
'Teacher Lore' – I say – 'I'm teacher Lore'
I repeat while pointing at my chest
'Good morning teacher! Hi teacher Bo, Andy, Silly!'
I'm all these people and more
In the meantime the school band is playing Thai
tunes that I don't know. I escape
into the classroom and wait for my turn;
A day at the kindergarten has just begun.