At times, right before I drift to sleep,
I am awoken, slumber interrupted,
As my house becomes the center of discordant noises.
Suddenly, I hear the roosters crow, befuddled by the yellow moon,
I hear the tingling of a wayward dog’s collar,
I hear the neighbor’s failures in karaoke,
I hear our resident gecko,
sounding out his mating call,
I hear packs of dogs in heat,
howling through the night,
I hear frogs lurking in the water,
their cumulative clucks like plucks of a cello out of tune,
I hear rough engines of motorcycles,
I hear domestic disputes gone awry,
I hear crickets, cicadas,
To give further drama to the night’s opera,
a neighbor’s waterbuffalo, announces the aria!
It begins its excruciating twelve hour labor,
to end only when the village speaker,
bellows the morning announcements.
I hear Thailand before I sleep:
She is frenetic, unrelenting, unapologetic—and yet—inspiring.
For as I write a catalogue of Her noisy offenses,
and of my sanity, chipping and corroded,
I’ve realized like a sudden jolt from thunder,
how Thailand has unwittingly
kept me from slipping,
into the droning slumber,
of a conventional life.