Where Have All the People Gone?

Remember the days when they were around,
Clogging up our paths with their noisy cars.
No matter where, they could always be found,
Way more numerous than the nighttime stars.
The dog have now gained control of the soi
And we may roam wherever we may please.
There’s no reason for us to remain coy
As we strut down the streets with perfect ease.
No more being chased away by a broom,
Or to growl and bark at the passersby.
The weak among us claim that it is our doom
That without the humans we may all die.
But I tell those dogs that they had their chance,
And it is our turn to take on the dance.

 

The Toilet Paper Baron

The rush allowed me to build this tower,
And buy this throne upon which I now sit.
The money made me crazy with power,
I was the man who cleaned up people’s shit.
I increased production on brand new rolls,
And made sure to stock full ev’ry market,
For the masses wished to fill all their holes
By hoarding the tp stash they could get.
I made the mistake thinking that the boom
Would last forever, and would never end,
But no expiration date was my doom,
While with all of my money, I did spend.
Now this tissue is what no one does buy
‘Cause they overextended their supply.

(Writer’s note: In this new age, the traveling I used to be able to do is no longer happening. I am going to have to put my plans on hold for awhile, but I felt I needed to put into context what I see on the news while I am sequestered in my home, and show the absurdity of our lives right now. It is just my take on things, and I hope you enjoy the following poems and as soon as life returns back to normal, I will return to the usual travel posts, and poems inspired by those travels. Thanks for tuning in.)

The Moment

Why do we feel the need to get away?
Should we not see all in the moment?
After we have been a part of the play,
Do we realize how our time was spent?
For in the small time of experience,
When we believe that it does not matter,
It actually holds the most importance
Of what we’ll eventually remember.
The passing does not give explanation
Of why we should stop and pay attention.
It is nothing more than an extension
Of giving my life representation.
Should I worry about the moment spent,
Or never care about where it all went?

Should I Order the Curry?

What’s life without a little bit of spice?
Shall we dread that explosion of flavor
For the way our stomach will pay the price
As pride brags of the pain we can endure?

But what do we get from a life that’s bland?
Can we experience the excitement
From a dinner that never takes a stand
To remind us of how the dining went?

How safe do I wish to make this moment?
Will I make it one of my favorite
While in the morning I have to repent?
Or will I make it or I will forget?

Who knew this much thought went into dinner,
But life depends on finding a winner.

The Coming of Spring

The winter snow crunches under our feet,
Showing to all the path we have taken.
Over the hills, the morning sun does greet
The frosty breath that our mouth are makin’.
We made it to the muddy fields outside
The bird whose wings will fly us to our home.
Though the seeds on buds in the soil still hide,
In a short time, over the grass, they’ll roam.
We finally arrive in the sun’s land
And we shed the clothes we had worn this day.
The moon shines on the waves hitting the sand,
Licking the bare soles of our feet in play.
It just takes the rotation of the clock
To dismantle the winter’s icy stock.

How We Communicate

I don’t know what happened to this beer hall
For it was a boisterous atmosphere,
And we made sure that it included all
To its nightly revelry and loud cheer.
But a hush has settled over the crowd
Who have come to dine here in recent years.
Their attention is in a diff’rent cloud
That plays into the irrational fears.
They once gained warmth by the burning embers,
And the conversation with a stranger.
They stare at another glowing member
Unaware of its inherent danger.
Each person in this beer hall is alone
Because of the possession of their phone.

Our Blind Eye

Do we want to see the atrocity
Taking place in the darker part of town?
Would we rather look on what is pretty,
Pretending that nothing is going down?
It is easy to do while the money flows
Because we can spend it on forgetting,
But as a conscience of a nation grows,
Will we be the ones who are regretting
Not standing up for what we know is right?
Will it be worth the pain we will endure
If we don’t side with justice in this fight,
And hide behind the economic cure?
How do we convince the population?
By playing into their desperation?

The Next Ten Years

When we look back over the last ten years,
we wonder where did this strange decade go.

Did you fill it up with sadness or cheer,
and do we measure the way we did grow?

Living starts to make a little more sense
though the world may have left us behind.

Newer technology may make us tense,
and society may have grown less kind,
but we have learned how to come together
within our own little community.

Gathering ourselves around each other
will make next decade a thing of beauty.

It is hard not to think what came before
when we knock upon this milestone’s door.

The Second Man to Put the Lock on the Bridge

The first man was a hopeless romantic
when he showed his lover eternity.

Many would consider it eccentric
when, into the river, he threw the key
to the master lock he snapped to the bridge.

It was his love he wished to symbolize,
raising their romance to a new prestige
that would endure even after he dies.

I remember how that lady did swoon
when he showed to her this timeless gesture
under the bright light of the waning moon.

They’d spend the rest of their lives together.

I became the second man to woo with,
being a Capitalistic locksmith.

Top Posts from 2019

Well, it is the end of another year, and this one has seen some really exciting changes in my life. I moved from South Korea to Thailand. I took two voyages back to the United States, one in the beginning of the year, and one during the summer break to get everything in order for the move. I got to visit Japan during the Sakura festivals and see what the hype was all about, and I got to fulfill a long dream of mine of spending Christmas in Germany. It has been an exciting year full of highs and lows, and I want to thank all of you for being along for the ride. I thought I would take the time to go through the posts that you enjoyed the most this year and list them in order according to their popularity.

#10 – Cherry Blossoms in Our Winter

This is the first poem to make this list, and it is actually one of my favorite poems that I have written. It really captured the moment that I witnessed during my trip to Tokyo, and I think showed why the Sakura Festival is so important to all of the people who live there,

https://johncollings.com/2019/04/21/cherry-blossoms-in-our-winter/

#9 – Being Indiana Jones – Hua Hin, Thailand

Even though this experience was more of a day trip from Hau Hin, it was still close enough to the place where I set up my base to include it in this area of Thailand. I had a lot of fun on this first trip out of Bangkok, getting to explore the country a little more, and it just showed me what little treasures I could find as long as I took the time to find it.

https://johncollings.com/2019/10/13/being-indiana-jones-hua-hin-thailand/

#8 – The Journey to Ring in the New Year – The Holidays Day 13

This was actually the first post I had during the 2019 year, and it told of the story of the struggle I had making it to my brother’s house for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Snow can be a beautiful thing, but not if you have to travel through it dumping down out of the sky on a holiday night known for people drinking too much and taking unnecessary risks.

https://johncollings.com/2019/01/01/the-journey-to-ring-in-the-new-year-the-holidays-day-13/

#7 – How is This Not a Thing – Itaewon Day 2

I had many unique experiences during my time living in South Korea, but one of the most unique experiences was being sat down in an enclosure with a bunch of meerkats in a cafe in the middle of downtown Seoul. The Meerkat Friends has been in operation for over a decade and it is easy to see why so many people enjoyed a post about cuddling with a bunch of the furry creature.

https://johncollings.com/2019/02/03/how-is-this-not-a-thing-itaewon-day-2/

#6 – Massive Explosions – The Move Day 15

Only one thing can beat cute, furry creatures, and that is blowing things up. It is kind of a tradition in the United States anymore, and it is always a fun to be able to spend it with my family. I was especially impressed with the creativity that went behind some of the fireworks, and I am also impressed with how big, and loud they have gotten over the years.

https://johncollings.com/2019/07/05/massive-explosions-the-move-day-15/

#5 – Ice Cream Asian Style – Back to Japan Day 1

Who knew a pair of chopsticks and a small cup of Hagen Das would have been so intriguing? It was another one of my posts inspired by my trip to Japan and this was even before we were able to experience the sakura. Funny thing about this post was we found a small little spoon in our bag from the store after we finished eating our ice cream.

https://johncollings.com/2019/03/23/ice-cream-asian-style-back-to-japan-day-1/

#4 – You Can’t Go Back to the Green – The Holidays Day 20

I am always surprised by what posts connect with people and which ones do not. This post was supposed to be a throw away about a day at I had to spend on campus of my old college getting some paperwork taken care of, but for some reason, people kept coming back to it over the year. I guess they feel the same way about that lyric to that Billy Joel song that I do.

https://johncollings.com/2019/01/09/you-cant-go-back-to-the-green-the-holidays-day-20/

#3 – The Legacy – The Move Day 1

This was my final farewell to a country that I had lived in for four years. It was a bittersweet departure. During my years at the school, there was a lot of talk about “Leaving a Legacy” behind, and this was my response to that idea while saying goodbye to all of the people that I had met and grew with during my time there.

https://johncollings.com/2019/06/20/the-legacy-the-move-day-1/

#2 Downtown Bangkok

Making the move to Bangkok has given me an opportunity to explore a new corner of the world, and the city of Bangkok has so much to offer that it might take a couple of years to get to it all. This was my first attempt at making a dent into seeing what this city is all about, and I am sure there will be many more to follow.

https://johncollings.com/2019/08/12/downtown-bangkok/

#1 – The Arrival- The Move Final Day

There is nothing like moving into a new place. It is full of excitement and potential, but the only way I could share this moment with my family and friends was to write this post about it. The amount of people checking into it was almost like having a house warming party except I had not quite unpacked yet. It was still fun to show everybody the interesting artwork that was found in my bathroom. He has got a name now too, Smoke.

https://johncollings.com/2019/07/30/the-arrival-the-move-final-day/

Honorable Mention – Bend Sucks! Move Somewhere Else – Around the World Day 39

When I published my first book, I was told that you would never know what would take off, and what would die in obscurity. This post has found a life of its own. There is hardly a week that goes by when I do not have a person look at this post about a funny bumper sticker I saw while in Bend, Oregon a couple of years ago. It has turned into the most widely read piece I have ever written, and I am interested to see if it continues to make a presence in the coming year.

https://johncollings.com/2018/07/25/bend-sucks-move-somewhere-else-around-the-world-day-39/

Thank you for visiting me site this past year, and I look forward to seeing more of you next year.