by Wayne Deakin
Where are you and where were you
Ever, anon, a son, a word man?
A bespectacled, innocuous, incredulous
politically receptacled, man of the masses
Singer of tropical troubadour tropes
Marxist man of the paddy fields
Son of smoke-filled valleys and trees,
Of farmers who lived off the land
And faceless Europhile servants
Who kissed their husbands off to work-
And wore the Ascot-costume creed
With decision, precision and incisive need.
Mixing with linguists from the delegation
That must have made your parents proud,
The scholarship that lit a fire and
Sent paradoxical smoke into Bangkok’s night
The city would never smell the same
A phoenix rising from agrarian ashes,
The angel’s tarnished with red smoke
Who would frame that frightful symmetry?
The military-forged manacles
Of the Occidental mind-the ideational
Rape of the Oriental heart,
The plight of a mutineered martyr,
To sojourn in the jungle’s night,
To which, with clear and opened ear,
The future heeds with distant fear.