LEADERS - not followers

Monday, February 25, 2008

Close Your Eyes

(TOP Prompt Get Surreal)

They tell me that the ocean
Is not just wet and flat
In fact, it’s cold and deep as well
But everyone knows that

But what about the ocean
That Mermaids sing about?
It’s unlike any other one
Of that, I have no doubt

I don’t mean the Atlantic
Pacific, or the rest
This ocean that I know about
Is neither East nor West

This ocean has a FAT side
And not just ‘near and far’
But which side do you mean, my son?
Can we get there by car?

The FAT side of this ocean
Accessible by boat
Is ninety million miles away
Space travellers take note!

The sun is slightly further
If you go the other way
It takes no time to reach this place
But you can’t go there by day

I went there, once, at bedtime
And swam from shore to shore
The strangest fish I’d ever seen
Directed me, and more

A Mermaid swam before them
And led them with her song
She had a soft and gentle voice
That carried through the throng

She sang of the ocean’s FAT side
Explaining to the Earth
That ocean’s only get this FAT
In order to give birth

The FAT side of the ocean
Came into view at dawn
With one last heave, one final push
A brand new DAY was born


Recollections of a place
Open country; open range
Given to me by God’s grace
Sleep induced reminders; how strange

Memory’s pleasant neighbourhood
Open doors and open hearts
The safety of my childhood
The point at which nostalgia starts

Beautiful environment
Open minds and open fires
Security, enchantment
A fusion of dreams and desires

Tranquillity all around
Open eyes and open arms
Comfortable, soothing sound
Reverie dismisses all qualms

Living luxury landscape
Open fields and open skies
Such a relaxing escape
A way of life that never dies

Everything; thought provoking
Open reason; open rhyme
Feel-good factor evoking
The adventure of a night-time

Friday, February 22, 2008

Live and Learn

WI The Return, Parallel Universe, Legend

It's an older post, but seems to fit all 3 prompts.

There's a PARALLEL UNIVERSE right in front of our eyes - the mirror.

Mirror, Mirror

There is a well known saying
You must have heard it
“If you really want to know
Look in the mirror”

But mirrors are confusing
Left is on the right
Is it all the wrong way round?

Are we to assume
Opposites do not attract?
And does ‘yes’ mean ‘no’?
Is something wrong really right?
Is bad really good?

They never make me look slim
Athletic, handsome
So they seem to have that right
Much to my distress

But something I need to know
Not just me, I’m sure
If images are back to front
Does the same apply
To everything? What about
The lies they don’t tell?

Grandparents are living LEGENDS - and their wisdom is LEGENDARY

Nok Noi Si khieo

In Thailand, as in places round the world
Education can be passed by word of mouth
Lessons are not learned while just at school
The same is true in North as well as South

One evening, as we sat to eat a meal
A bright young girl, the daughter of a guest
Noticed a bird that flew into the house
And put her old grandmother to the test

Khun Yai, nok noi si khieo, nee, shue arai?”
What do we call this miniature green bird?
Yai’ – grandmother, looked at the child and spoke
She asked the girl, as though she hadn’t heard

Arai na look?” What’s that you want to know?
The girl looked her grandmother in the eye
“I want to know the name of this green bird”
“I know that, girl, but let me ask you why”

“If I can tell my teacher, she’ll be proud.
She’ll put me at the top place in her class.”
Dek ying, thammai?” The old girl had to know
Young girl, why? Gran thought she could let it pass

Left arm across her chest, right hand to chin
Grandmother thought about it for a while
Then slapping both hands down against her knees
She looked up with a knowing nod and smile

Dek ying, nok noi nee, shue yang nee - dieo
Granddaughter, this small bird is called – hang on
She braced herself and passed on what she knew
Nok noi, si khieo” - Small green bird – Wisdom’s a con!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Never admit your age

Rescheduled for MPTR 02.03.09
A Pack of Cigs,
A Pack of Lies,
A Barrel of Fun

Was it the same, when you were young?
You had to be the correct age
To do the things you wanted to do
Didn’t it just fill you with rage?

Like going to the match, you’d think
You just turn up, support your team
But even simple things in life
Are not as easy as they seem

Queuing up to get in the ground
The click of the turnstiles beckon
You only want to see the game
Not as simple as you reckon

At seventeen, with baby face
I only want to pay half fare
So I queue up with the juniors
It was cheating, but who’s to care?

A pack of cigs in my pocket
Inside the gate, police are perched
I thought I knew what I should say
When it was my turn to be searched

“What’s all this then? How old are you?”
The copper asked me, to my face
“I’m just sixteen,” I lied to him
“I’ve a dilemma, in that case

Do you want to lose the ciggies?
Or go next door and pay full price?”
He had me, bang to rights, of course
“I’m only fourteen” I rolled the dice

He tossed the packet on a pile
It must have been a metre high
Hundreds of other ‘kids’ caught out
Not the only one then, was I?

Going home, we all took the bus
An inspector got on to check
All the passengers had tickets
I was sitting on the top deck

Armed with a double agenda
He took my ticket in his hand
And asked me, “Son, how old are you?”
“Fifteen,” I lied; he took a stand

He said “So when’s your birthday, son?”
I told him “May the fifteenth, sir”
At least I’d given him the right date
But he wanted to know “What year?”

By now, everyone was staring
But I just looked him in the eye
And with a grin, told him the truth
“It’s every year, until I die”

The sad inspector didn’t smile
He just continued with his job
And said; no hint of irony
“Show me the proof, or shut your gob”

When we were young, we only wished
We could be older, more clever
But the fun we had pretending
Will live in our minds forever

Now we’re older, wiser, closer
To drawing our old age pension
We wish we weren’t ‘a certain age’
That number we never mention

Monday, February 18, 2008

Romance - A Totally Optional Prompt


Is our love just about romance and sex?
Or is there something else that goes with it?
Heartbreak, disappointment, for a start
Hardship, difficulty, things that don’t fit

Frustration is another obstacle
Fashion trends, a characteristic
Other people’s inappropriateness
And opinions are never realistic

Hazards, such as taking things too far
Too fast, will lead to emptiness and doubt
‘Wham bam, thank-you ma’am’, that’s not for me
I’d rather pass it by and go without

But when I only loved you from afar
Afraid my love was futile, unrequited
It must be you who were blind, and not just love
Reciprocated love got me excited

If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care
I wouldn’t take the time to self-assess.
The questions that are always on my mind
Wouldn’t see the light of day, if I cared less

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Re-routed for Monday Poetry Train Revisited 23.02.09


The terminal; workstation
The writers frustration
Awaiting thought's arrival
En route to survival
Deprived of sleep
Deadlines to keep
He's one of the toilers
The midnight oilers
Twitching and dribbling
Waking and scribbling
Fragmented dreams
Condense, become themes
Forming the seams
The robust beams
That support continuity
Inspire ingenuity
Ensuring lucidity
Correcting stupidity
Perfecting the presentation
For the reader's imagination
To board transportation
Journey to a destination
Unlike any other:
The world of the lover;
Deceivers outwitted;
Crimes committed;
Nations at war;
An open door
To welcome the Aliens;
Clean-bowl the Australians;
Find ancient pottery;
Win the national lottery;
Whatever your fantasy
Just take a glance and see
Or read between the lines
Enter the field of mines
That when exploded
You'll find are loaded
With all the devices
The virtues, the vices
That expand the mind
Allow you to find
The knowledge you seek
On your quest for the unique

Friday, February 15, 2008


Welcome to says-sir-ten and Elephant Small
Thank you for visiting

I was born in Manchester, north of England. Now I'm in Isan, north of Thailand
Isan is the name given to the north-eastern region.
I live with my wife, Mok, and son, Changnoi - and very soon a new-born daughter.
Stan Ski is short for Stanislaw Skibinski. Sir-ten is the Thai pronunciaton/corruption of Stan.
Changnoi is Thai for small/baby elephant. Elephant Small is the literal translation.
Elephant small will contain Thai-related passages, as well as more general , and some conceptual thoughts.
Any deviation from the rules of verse is deliberate.
I have written two books, a semi-autobiographical account of Thai experiences - 'Hotel 27', and a clue-based story of unfulfilled potential, associated injustices, and ultimate reward - 'A Fetish For Frustration'. More on these later. Currently I am writing a novel, it's a work in progress and is about...30% complete!
Enjoy your visit(s) and return often.

Expert Witness

Expert Witness

Alleged brutality contested
During examination from guard.
He isn’t just kidding;
Many negative opinions
Provoke questions,
Revealing satisfactory treatment.
Unnecessary violence;
X-rays yield zero.



Khon Kaen, Udon Thani,
Nongkai, Nongbualamphu.
Ubon Ratchatani,
Surin, Korat, Si Chompu.

Maha Sarakam, Non Sang,
Sakhon Nakon, Roi-et.
Mukdahan, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram,
Loei, Kalasin, Si Saket.

Wherever you stay in Isan
You’ll probably feel the pang
For sticky rice – ‘khao nieow’; ‘lao khao
- Rice liquor - and Beer Chang

I could tell you all about Isan
But if you go alone
You’ll feel blessed by the warmth of welcome
And gratitude you’re shown

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Declaration of Dependence

A Valentine message to all you lovers

I want to share something with you

The Last thing I want you to think
Is that Our happiness is false
It makes me Very content
To think that, in Every way

Each day, I can feel Your warmth
It links our minds and Our hearts
It lets me know I can trust Us

Changnoi's Disco

In Thai
In English Elephant Small
A rose
By any other name
Wouldn't smell the same.
Its slick
Changnoi's nick-nick-nick
He didn't choose it
Or abuse it
He'll never lose it
But he can use it
With pride
He's a student
In every way
And every day
Is his number one aim
You'll never tame
His aggression
His Passion
His fashion
Appetite for freedom
Love of life
Stands to reason
He's the flavour of the month
Every season
Other fashions come and go
Fast not slow
Changnoi's always there
He's fair
Both of attitude and hair
He cares
He dares to care
Other fashions come and go
But no
Not at Chang-Changnoi's disco