koi sidebar
koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 2, June 2014


Laura Hill
Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada


My home for a year while teaching in Thailand is the muban Sett Hakit, strung along a meandering ‘Y’ road set with worlds that traffic spins around. On one circle, men play taek raew, kicking a ball of bamboo straps through triple hoops set high above or over volleyball-like net. Handmade exercise equipment surrounds the next. A morning market whose vendors offer seafood, fresh water fish, fruit, vegetables and clothes in a carillon of color almost closes the road. In the third circle, the Town hall has a gravel pitch for a lawn bowls game. In the evening, ladies exercise with varying degrees of enthusiasm before loudspeakers. I knew soon after my arrival at which of the stores in the muban that I could buy school supplies and prizes. It took a little longer to learn which prizes my students liked, but I never learned entirely why some prizes were treasured and others ignored.

cradle for a babe
coin sized rain drops dance
on a scooter’s wheels

Between and around the circles, multihued, narrow four and five storey cinderblock buildings edge the road, split into blocks of mostly dead-end sois. Some lean on each other or sprout petrified forests of rebar. My apartment building has, like others, sparrows that feast on offerings set daily before a pair of ornately decorated spirit houses set up to feed and accommodate the deceased in whatever reincarnated form they take. Laundry dries modestly on barred balconies. Mildew and fallen leaves blacken walls, tarps and umbrellas at street level. After school, I work on school projects; print the papers at one of the middle circle shops before returning to my fan room to set them in order.



| contents page | next haibun |

koi sidebar r
koi sidebar r