Saturday, 16 June 2012


Smoke-laden land
do you remember
our long ago
so much younger than yours:
first wary days
unease flowering into ownership
a natural death by drowning
at a time that did not foresee
that other time of fire-death
and water-funeral? 

Do you footnote and forget
the wrong word that buried love
and the right act that invited blow
upon blow upon blow,
and just archive the sweeping signatures
of moment and madness?

I remember innocent love
and the names, faces, words
of those who are beyond photograph
the gymnasium that’s no more
and the ground that hasn’t aged.

I trace back from now-face
those names that were resident,
but you,
what do you hold
in your mist-clothed heart
at dawn,
in stone-gaze afternoon
and firefly night?


Friday, 15 June 2012

Another ode to offering

I don’t know if I can call them ants,
the insects that prowl on petal
and who at touch of finger
or eye (I sometimes believe)
creep into stem and colour;
there was a time
of brush and wash
and guiltless placement
on dashboard
pujemi buddhang kusumena nena
but in these perishing times
I’ve moved afar
from insect scrutiny
and rinse
and from that meditation
to this:
paanaathipatha veramani sikkha padang samaadiyaami.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

For Vraie

I could gaze and gaze
at the contour of eye,
the perked eyelash
write epics of those blessed circles
your eyes caress,
could move too
obtain difference
in angle and light
even through un-blink and steadfast gaze
but then again,
if you turned, or just moved eye
not to let gaze-trajectories meet
but just a minute ‘towards’,
I would weep,
I am certain.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Ballad of stork and fish

It’s swoop and kill time,
hold in beak, swallow and fly;
but taking has names and names,
nutritional requirement
Darwinist truism
natural control of population
elegant lens-capture
neat ‘lay-outing’
poetized gathering,
but for victim, though,
it’s small talk come too late
just ‘was’ and ‘is no more’.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Devotees at Ruwanweliseya

These faces
that of child, man and woman,
carrying karmic signature
devotional intent
talisman of learned history
and unconscious genetic strain
of event, personality and metaphor,
are they the same mix,
more or less,
of those who came before
and will they come again
and again
until final erasure?
These footsteps
silenced by chant and babble
are they different in texture
sansaric print
weight of veneration
in blend of tenderness
and callosity,
as those of the first flower-giver?
And the flowers,
were they similarly fragranced
century to century
through blood and marriage,
rupture and benevolence?
Did the flame enlighten then
in eruption, flicker and death
as it does or does not now? 
There is time and time
heart, sinew and thought
the play of the kleshas
resolve and resignation
a sil-suwanda connecting millennia
like pirith and thread,
break and continuity;
unities defying description,
as it was
and will be.

[from the collection 'Some texts are made of leaves,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2011]