(The audio for this poem starts at about 2:07–you can move the cursor forward manually)
Chiang Mai Easter
The forest of my father’s youth.
High hills of hard scrabble timber
Tribesmen in black and orange weave
Their clans together in villages
Of thatched huts on stilts.
Pigs and chickens sleep in the shade
Interrupted now and then by flocks
Of bare bottomed children.
This is where he spent his ideals
Scattered like spittle in the mud
Clearings where betel-gummed
Matriarchs tried to match him
With their squat daughters.
From his bamboo pulpit
He proclaimed Christ crucified
Dead and now living
In this poppy-stained jungle
Where there is no winter
And therefore nothing