Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fall Leaves Smolder

Have you ever had a scent freeze the moment, yet take you by vignette to another time and place?

my photo, Eugene, Oregon

Fall Leaves Smolder

Didn't see the smoke
while passing
through its neighborhood --
the earth-locked scent
recalling an evening walk
in Ubon.
Families gather
sheltered in open air
char pot lit
returning to reclaim
this evenings peace.
The air is still heavy, but cooling
to rich brocade of character
extracted from the day's labor
in commerce and stride.
Anticipation of now
still seen in midday
bikes and taxi samlors racing
water buffalo soaks up to ears and horns and nose
in noonday sun
a whisk of smoke
and hemp fiber drying
noodles on wooden racks.
Savor kow paht gahp gai
slow the time
but no less intense.
Thailand --
this evening's walk.

photo from

In 1966 I was stationed in Thailand with the US Army Signal Corp. These are typical scenes of my time there. Close to the earth, rich in culture.  I remember the scent of burning vegetation.  The smoke of fall leaves burning brought me back 45 years.

photo from

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