Full Moon Lantern Festival – Travel Journal

The Full Moon Lantern Festival in Chaing Mai, November 2013. 

Thousands of people in the streets near the Ping River on this full moon night. Each individual, man, woman and child released a large 2-1/2 foot tall white paper lantern into the moonlit night with little competing light to spoil the effect. Each lantern gently filled with heat as the candle caught the flame. It slowly rises to join myriad of others in the night sky. A soft breeze moved the lights slowly across my line of vision, each rising –  a disappearing pinpoint of light.

Not an orchestrated show but joyful event created by everyone, tourists included. I very much felt a part of this awe inspiring Thai festival.

Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River
(“How do you feel? Write about its opposite.”)
Push back against peace,
that river of green oxbowing
the high mountain meadow of my life now.
Freeze it right down
to the playful otter’s den;
iced juncos fall like raisins
from a Payne’s gray pudding sky.

Call all the bad birds:
Mock me, Bitter Raven, deride
my easy laughter with your own
ironic groan; prove to me
the cruelty of the real.
Carrion Crow, friend,
you have been pecking out my eyes,
forcing me down into darkness
with no extended wings. In the frozen
meadow, even the ravenous fox
has stopped, one paw up,
tufted ears cocked
for the sound of the poacher’s gun.
The river shifts, shivers:
a patterned craze of cracks

races to either shore.