Nuffnang Space

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Child of the Tonle Sap

The sun beats down on his bare sunburnt neck
he scratches the scab on his arm
he balances in the battered basin -  his toy, his joy, 
his personal ride and pride
The lake is shallow this time of year
if he takes a spill he'll swim
woe if he tips over in the monsoon tide
for the swollen belly of the  lake
could easily swallow a boy of six
this boy in the basin-boat

He waits  for the next tourist boat 
 to bring some hope of change
change for his pocket with a hole
change on his father's face when he ceases to frown
when he sees what his son, barely five,
can net in from tourists that day.

His mother and sibling ride with him
in his father's old fishing boat
there's no fish to be caught these draught-laden months
so a-begging they will have to go;
a desperate mother in dire straights, a baffled baby
and the brave little boy with his slithery snake

"A tip, a tip," their song they sing
"One doh-lar for skool." they chorus
one  doh-lar for the snake-boy, the basin boy,
the child of the Tonle Sap.


This post and poem is an entry for Thursdays Poets’ Rally Week 48

Note: I received an award for this poem! That is a lovely surprise, and I wish to thank the administrators of Thursday Poets' Rally for this unexpected honour of the Perfect Poet Award.Wow!

Click on Fresh Poets to Explore to link to Promising Poets' Cafe.
     Incidental poet that I am
Accidental writer, insecure 
Inexperienced, far from sure
of how to woo the words
Out of the closed doors 
of my heart
Incidental poet that I am
Declaring, Here I am!

I nominate dreamingthruthetwilight for her poem "The forgotten tune"


  1. Touching poem with great use of the occasional internal rhyme.

  2. So sad, the plight of some countries in the world when many in the west are so obese through gluttony. Hard hitting prose, and powerful in it's imagery without the need for the photgraph, and, sad. Good writing.
    Soul Speak

  3. This is a beautiful poem Rosie. Even in your subject's circumstance, you've capture beauty, joy, and love.

    Nice work!

    Serendipity Smiles

  4. I felt as if I was witnessing the event. Lovely.

  5. vivid imagery, you have made it real to us.

    Happy Rally.

  6. A wonderful piece of work. Well written and so vivid. Love it!

  7. We ran into lots of these little boys in boats in Egypt. Always reminds me of the Little Match Girl, it's one of the reasons I give to UNICEF.

  8. Oh wow powerful imagery and such a sad sad state when children haven't the luxury of being children

  9. @ Jack Edwards Poetry, thanks for following. Am following you back. You've got lots of interesting for a follower to explore!

  10. @ mindlovemisery, chromapoesy, Daydreamertoo - it is really sad, and people who have seen this understand. There are many volunteers in Siem Reap who do what they a soup kitchen which opens 3 days a week to feed the children...

    @ Peggy, you are right there, the children have adapted to their life there, and that is home sweet home for and full of adventure

    @ a-soaking-event-2, jingle poetry, Kim Nelson thank you for your kind comments.Love 'em, :-)

  11. Great imagery and lovely poetry. As I read the poem I actually felt as though I was there.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  12. Genius! the combination of the visual with your words makes it even more powerful

    "change for his pocket with a hole
    change on his father's face when he ceases to frown"

    I love it! Well done, a really well deserved award