From A Gecko’s View
Why do sirens have to blast off
From the security cars
Of people of high station?
They say it is to clear off obstacles
In passage to get them quick
To their stately business,
To make known that this honorable
Minister from Japan or Indonesia
Or Singapore is here
And must receive royal protection.
But can they not pass
Through the road, pass through our lives
In absolute anonymity
Like an ordinary citizen, toad,
Or firefly? Like they are no different
From the street sweeper who collects
Leaves and memories, the cyclo driver
That survived the Khmer Rouge,
Or herons that catch fish on the swamp
Full of mindfulness, water buffaloes
Sunning in the mud and heading
Home before dark.
There is happiness in obscurity
And a turtle makes loads of that
As it crawls back to the sea.
I’d say, power best kept
Without artifice and fanfare
Is power pure and born of nature.
23 June 2003
Phnom Penh, Cambodia