marcel barang

Siriworn 1999

In English, Reading matters on 26/08/2010 at 2:29 pm

 

Don’t sail your boat too far from shore

1

Please don’t tell the truth
if you don’t want the expanse of the age-old ocean to throb
Please don’t tell the truth
if you don’t want dust particles in town to panic
Please don’t tell the truth
if you don’t want ancient mountains to shudder
Please don’t tell the truth
Sacred votive figures will lose their magic
and the power of faith fritter away
Monuments to heroes will crack and crumble
Please don’t tell the truth
The rough thick bark of hollow big trees
will chip and fall off
and smother your life under
That’s right
Don’t sail your boat too close to the edge of the sky

2

Please don’t tell the truth
if you don’t want to be an unworthy citizen
devoid of thought devoid of wisdom
only waiting to do harm to the country
because the footprints of your life have trod the world for too few seasons
Don’t tell the truth please don’t
The pillars of stone inscriptions will fall apart
and the annals of darkness
interact with the light of a new century
and that is harmful to the nation’s history
That’s right
Don’t sail your boat too close to the edge of the sky

3

Please don’t tell the truth
if you still want to be a lovely tiny fluffy puppy
Please don’t tell the truth
Sediments in glasses of water
– the drink of beloved friends –
will start awake and turn it muddy
and bring about blandness and insipidity
Please don’t tell the truth
The glasses of wine on the rulers’ dining table
will turn bitter like hemlock
Please don’t tell the truth
if you don’t want to fall in the centre
of a whirlwind of loathing
Don’t tell the truth please don’t
no matter how much your words blossom from deepest awareness of the dewdrops at the core of your heart
So press your lips shut tight
and swallow those words back
That’s right
The countless seeds of the Pacific Ocean
fathered the Gulf of Siam
and the Gulf of Siam is the source of the Chao Phraya
and this ancient river flows to the maze of mountains in the north of the country
to hide itself in tree roots on that mountain range
That’s right
Our ancestors fled from the Altai range
That’s right
Don’t sail your boat too close to the edge of the sky

4

Don’t tell the truth please don’t speak
That’s right
Copernicus’s heliocentrism
is a witless deceitful theory
That’s good
Don’t pay attention to Galileo’s nonsense just don’t
The world is still the centre of the solar system
Yes the world is the centre of the solar system
which God created
And beyond the radiance of our galaxy
that’s where God dwells
That’s right
Don’t sail your boat too close to the edge of the sky

5

Columbus is dead
So too is Marco Polo
(if they ever existed)
Ah… don’t – please don’t speak
because that is an ancient tale
of the first wave of humanity
That’s absolutely right
Please don’t tell the truth
that this is the Buddhist year two thousand forty-two
Please don’t tell the truth
that this is the one thousand ninety-ninth year of the Christian era
and within a few clicks of time
the first rays of a new century will frolic upon the dermis of the earth
Of course not
You are not walking on the edge of the twenty-first century world
We are not walking on the edge of the twenty-first century world
That’s right
Don’t sail your boat too close to the edge of the sky
Don’t sail your boat
too close to shore
because you will blunder out of the edge of the world ahead

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