Monday, January 9, 2017

Rob Schackne Poems #5 - How A Japanese Farmhouse Changed Their Lives

How A Japanese Farmhouse Changed Their Lives

First, the execrable outhouse, unlettered haste to go,
a lingering pong stuck in the clothes. Then, the bug life.
More bugs than tried out for the moon shoot. Ambitious.
The noises started to make them crazy after the first week.

Exotic wood had to groan differently in every weather,
the scratchy music of the bamboos could never be stilled.
No electricity was a big problem, before they turned in early
to gaze for hours at the happy lizards going after the flies.

There was a nauseating stench they couldn’t locate.
They talked to each other, sure, it was as boring as fuck.
They took turns reading aloud, but it soon became a farce.
Time passed very slowly. Arguments. The third month.

Sure, they drank the local hooch. Yes, it had a nasty kick.
They took back their old smoking habits and lost condition
tooting as they struggled to draw a little water from the well.
They got rashes. The water started tasting a little funny.

The books they brought to read grew attached to the shelves
like ruined lizards. Odd mould. Walking down to the village
that could not understand them, they returned with garbage
they had to dig holes for and bury, swatting at the horseflies.

They bathed in natural water in a small natural wooden tub
in the icy water that each determined should kill the other.
When the time came to sell up, there were twenty sweaty farmers
watching them get screwed, happy their lives were changed.


  1. I find this really funny! Another back to nature experiment gone wrong. I was there in the 60's and 70's, trying it out. There's that hope of the experiment, not articulated, makes it kind of tragic.

    1. Thank you, dear Anna. That was what I intended. Glad you can see all that.

  2. I agree, I laughed while reading and re-reading it ... might be be a nice storyline for comics perhaps...