Dust Off the Two Bronze Bells
Somphoun elects not to climb
The 100 steep steps up to Wat Chom Phet
Instead lies down to nap on naked wood.
As I ascend alone, a mangy dog growls
Barks fiercely then turns tail and vanishes
Silent into the somnolent
The temple compound is serene
Void of humans
But a statue appears to breathe
The Earth Goddess Nang Thorani
Wringing water from her bibulous mane
To drown the army of the demon Mara
That would stay the Buddha
From his meditation.
I sweep the verandah with a worn broom
Dust off the two bronze bells
Enter the sim to sit in contemplation
Beneath a lustrous crimson ceiling
Carpentered firmament adorned
With florid stencils in gold
Mice, butterflies, peacocks, and bees
Mythical creatures amid delicate feathers.
In the corner, a shining gong I will never hear.