Rainbow Revolutionary


With far more roofs than are needed,

Golden eaves, bewildering embellishments,

Porticos held up by pillars sprouting ardent

Angels offering busts and candles, architraves

And window-frames accompanied by legends,

Threshold stairways flanked by snakes

Disgorging snakes disgorging tiger-headed demons,

Ogre sentries glowering at the worshippers,

This affluent extravagance appears to serve

The cementation of their status quo.


Offerings get bagged up for the monastery

While a sermon’s blasted through the tannoy;

Monks like rows of oranges ripen in front of

The dais while nuns in white kneel humbly

At the back as the widow offers up her snack

Where the playboy monarch shares a gilded shrine.

All this bloody incense burning and genuflection!

Nothing proud or assertive apart from the wat

Itself and that crested and bewattled cock

Strutting around as if he owned the place.


Henry VIII would dissolve it forthwith, as would

Any self-respecting communist. But I recognise

In myself an overweening prejudice, a thirst

To disapprove, as if I could lay claim

To knowing what is best for folk, aim for

Justice my way here on earth, set up some NGO

To neutralise their mystic status quo,

Yoke the Buddha’s gold to viable

Corporate uses, mine this site and promote

The superiority of the overweight who already


Occupy the beach. Gadarene swine

With sunshield, fags, cocktails, towels,

Designer bags, Apple phones and afterbite,

Reading Guardian-recommended paperbacks

Or sprawled asleep exhausted after dismissing

The board or taking over a theme-park

In Phuket, while turning as pink as the sunset.

What might make more of a profit than

The palm-oils’ gloomy crypt would be a park

Where Westerners took elephants for rides.




To be fair, the monks also have i-phones and are in the habit of taking selfies.



About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
This entry was posted in Poetry, Politics, Thailand and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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