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Leaving Bangkok

Had he been riding the moped,

Of which there was now little left?

From behind my taxi window,

Cocooned in sweetly freshened air,

I imagined the pain and death

And the relatives, all bereft.

Peering out, I could see him, sprawled,

Bloody, like meat. ‘Airport soon, sir’

Announced the driver. Soon I'm gone

From this unyielding, lethal place,

Flying home through thin-aired space.

My tenth time here, but I don’t know

The grim routine beyond these doors;

Just hotel rooms and jet planes’ roars.


◄ War Habits

Census ►


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Graham Sherwood

Sun 30th Apr 2023 10:27

That's interesting Stephen. I feel the same way about London. I go, do whatever I went to do, and then come home!

KJ, you're dead right. I have friends who have been everywhere and seen nothing!

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 30th Apr 2023 09:11

Thanks, KJ. There's a lot in that.

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kJ Walker

Sun 30th Apr 2023 08:57

It always annoys/amuses me when I hear "well travelled" people telling of the places they have visited.
Sometimes it seems just like a tick list, and I do wonder how much of the country they have actually seen.

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 28th Apr 2023 08:42

I am very grateful for your interesting comments, Keith and John.
This was based on an incident that I observed on my way to Bangkok Airport in a taxi and it occured to me that no matter how much we try to understand the country we visit (history, customs etc), there is bound to be a huge gulf between us on so many levels.

And thanks to Steve, Jed, RG, Nigel, Leon and Manish for the likes.

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John Botterill

Thu 27th Apr 2023 17:50

I love the economy of your story telling. You say so much, in so few words. The brevity of your poem mirrors the brevity of the life lost and the contrasts are expertly made!

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keith jeffries

Thu 27th Apr 2023 10:38

Stephen, A poem which describes well how temporary and tenuous is our experience of other countries despite visiting them. It brings into sharp perspective the difference between cultures and value systems.
Thank you for this

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