***Australian writer Virginia Jealous will be resident at ComPeung during March and April 2014. She will be working on Flightpath: Thailand, a project of fiction and non-fiction, written in prose and poetry. Flightpath: Thailand takes as its starting point the East Asian-Australiasian flyway for migratory birds and will explore literal and metaphorical notions of ‘flightpath’. It is part of a wider, regional arts initiative with plans to work widely across borders and across cultures, with local networks of all sorts – including perhaps birdwatchers, refugees and scientists – as well as with artists of all disciplines: www.flightpathproject.wordpress.com
For the first week of my residency at Compeung, Kaye Aldenhoven – a friend and writer from Australia – was also staying in Doi Saket. We were each working, independently, on long, longer-term pieces of writing.
However when we began to share some of our daily notes they often manifested as haiku – almost as short as poems can get. And it was as if, unplanned, these poems were having a conversation with each other.
Here are some of these snapshots-in-words. They describe the same sensuous world, experienced differently. They are simultaneously as tangible and as ephemeral as the moment itself.
Kaye’s poems are to the left; mine to the right.
Virginia Jealous, May 2014
from neglected mango trees
drowned in creepers
koel calls insistently
white-breasted waterhen stalks
lily pads quiver
case moth larvae
cling to rice leaves
at home I feed them to gliders
bearing featherweight burden
barely gets airborne
long, lithe, alert
ruddy otter jumps onto padi wall
slides into grass thicket
Flightpath: Thailand is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-Thailand Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.***