Wednesday, 18 July 2012

That other country I’ve left

I left a young man in Peradeniya years ago.

Can’t remember date
can’t remember place.

Perhaps it was not Peradeniya
but Dumbara
mist-laden memory land
first-hurt-place of sorts
first-death too
valley of robbery
and loss
untraceable now. 

I left behind a young man
in the Sarachchandra ‘Wala’
playing to an empty theatre,
left him
in a circle of death
seventeen severed heads
around the Alwis Pond
1988 or was it 89?
I left him in the gymnasium
balanced on a badminton net
bested by weights
lost in a dribble,
left him
on the rugger field
after a single-match season,
collapsed on the cinder track
5000 meters after the starter’s gun,
among conversations
without beginning or end
and voices crushed
by ear-drum bursting
ball-point pens.

I left him
in a mountain of love letters
in heartache’s undeliverable pulp,
kisses blown away
by death and distancing
the heart-smouldering nights
in the giraya
of have-to-do and no-escape.

I left him on the Akbar Bridge
and the lines of a song
lost among the reeds
and broken cadences
in the going waters
of an upstream time.
I left a young man in Peradeniya
a century ago;
and I am told
his is a laughing ghost
smiling at dawn
chuckling all day long,
and I am told
that on certain nights
he recites the story of his time
in Iambic Pentameter
in a voice so clear
that it goes unheard
at Marcus and Ramanathan
stopping now and then
to sigh the sigh
that ought to melt mountain,
but does not.


1 comment :

  1. dr Mervyn D. De Silva18 July 2012 at 19:35

    I was born and bred in Kandy-it brings sweet memories to me