Train to Chiangmai

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

I arrive by taxi at the Don Mueang train station across the street from the airport about 40 minutes early, despite the usual snarled traffic of this vast and complex metropolis. I don’t know what to expect in the mornings. … Continue reading

Balinese Art II

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This gallery contains 13 photos.

There are many styles of painting in Bali, all geographically identified and all very proximal to each other, at least in and around Ubud. It is likely true of the island in general. The most frequent topics are scenes from … Continue reading

The Best of Bali…so far

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This gallery contains 10 photos.

  Our arrival at the Swallow Guesthouse is met with artistic creations of flowers and welcoming hosts. Cool breezes blow through open windows and carved wooden vents. Smooth marble floors are soothing to the feet. Hardwood and wicker furniture grace … Continue reading

Tegallalang, etc

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

I decided to make my way north to the volcano, Kintamani, maybe 40-50 km away. The drive goes through Tegallalang, the site of some gorgeous terraced rice farming. From there the climb is a long, straight and slow, passing through … Continue reading

Le Chien Gentil

Le Chien Gentile

Help me, I cry, in a foreign language.
Sauvez-moi! I am alone here. But the words make no sound.
I am em-bare-assed before Les Francais, walking their dogs
With their scoopers handy while I feel like
What needs to be scooped from their perfect lawn.

Ne pas marchez sur la pelouse!

No walking on the perfect grass. The green, the manicured,
The watered, moist, spongy freedom that returns

to its former shape immediately recovering from any unpredictable
or careless disturbance.
How could I become that, from down here in this dark hole-iness?
Saddled with pain, loss, incompetence, small as I am. Invisible.
I used to know about things. Anything, really. You
Could ask me. I would tell you. But now I cannot scream.
I speak in tongues and you are all so suave. Clipped and manicured
Yourselves, like your dogs, prepared for anything.

None of your dogs poop on the lawn.
The scoopers are all for show, as if you are more than human.
Or are you like me?
This silence will be my death. This blackness has overtaken me,
Sending me even further away into a sealed chamber of desperation,
the ultimate bad dream of isolation with no way to be heard.
Perhaps I can seduce you with the classics, to come to my aid
With halting awkward sanitary steps. May I take your hand?

May I take your arm? May I grasp your shoulder? Hang from your neck?
Will you lie low with me? Your comrade, your equal, your long lost relative
With the messy life? Oh, this unfortunate moment of shattered façade.
Wait! Do not withdraw! Am I the mess that you’ve been denying all these years?
Let me wallow for you. Let me disassemble for you.
Let me scream in horrific delight for you.
Let me surrender for you.
Let me surrender to you. I am yours now.

I am yours. I will always be yours. Come home with me.
You can even bring le chien gentil.

(produced in a 30 minute writing exercise for We Will Dance With Mountains)