Saturday, 7 July 2012


There are times of vacancy the between of fingertip and key
thought, thought-break and thought again
the routined interruptions of routine
times of passing
when the world watches me
and I feel you watch the world;
you are resident
not so much in memory
as in eye
in gesture
and the mannerisms of humour
and feigned agitation,
and I lament
that I cannot touch my feet
in venerating you;
that much is different
yours were tender,
so tender on the eye and my hands.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Marianne's 'words'*

It’s relative,
this Equator thing;
there times, sure there are,
when there’s just one line
a blissful coincidence
with nothing spilling over,
not tears nor question mark curl
no degrees of difference or distance
a twinning, if you will,
but that co-equatoring
is a strange intersection
expanded by love
to claim ‘forever’;
latitudanality rules!

The classic misnomer
in love’s surface dictionary,
flagged with warning sign
grave tone
and wide eyed no-no,
but made for endless freefall
and happy surrender to death.

Cleave and drill
extract and burn,
that’s progress;
and the earth gathers
arrogance and smirk
blends with tear
and yields the sorrow of say-it-all:
a single blade of grass.

'ආවට ගියාට'
ආවට-ගියාට කිව්වට
ඇවිත් යන්නේ නැති ඔබ

නිරතුරුවම සිත්-මාවතෙහි සරන්නී
හද-යහනේ සැතපෙන්නී

It’s about a misspelled word
a glance poorly angled
the unsaid that is heard:
love is regent
in a fragile kingdom
where break
is article of faith
and re-unite
an outlaw,
a sweet rogue
with a one-kiss ration to cash
before eviction.

The dress-code
of the pursued.

Always a comma
disguised as full-stop.

* My friend Marianne David complains now and then.  'You don't write,' or 'you don't write enough'.  So I asked her for words and promised her words in return.  Some, like 'stopped', were not word soliciting words, but I worded, nevertheless. 


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Old words

Old words smell different
they read out differently
from written-time
and now;
it must be those other words
and their fragrant specifics
or memory squeeze
or just the moment inscription
on old words,
but they smell different
as if layered by other eyes
that robbed or gifted;
yes old words smell different
from today’s words
so fresh that they cry
for the thousand eye-fingers
that make for fraying;
maybe it’s the dust of neglect
as much as the fingers of visitation,
but old words smell different
now and then. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Rain and wetness

(a note to Bob Marley)

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet... !”  -- Bob Marley

There are rain days of drenching
and crazy laughter;
and I’ve known enough of these
cloud-break clothing
sneaking through cloth impediment
to commune with skin’
I’ve taste that water
on hair and breast,
and it has even burnt
cheek and finger.
There are days of drenching
made of finest drizzles
that said ‘monsoon on the way, go home’
and pinned an after-thought,
‘monsoon on the way, so what?’
There are days of drenching
made by after-rain dampness
and they come with landscape-altering colour
incredible greens against impossible blacks,
and fairy-tale haze.
There are days of drenching
made of rain-absence
when sun and dust and wilting vegetation
bring all the rains that have fallen
and all the rains that must

I can’t remember the last time I got wet, brother.  

Monday, 2 July 2012

Yesterday and today

of lonely tune
and longing.
want the fill 
between sigh and sigh?
you might have to whisper
or touch heart's gate.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Faith Sutra at Kelaniya

is as ritual as offering,
the one to un-residence dust
and the other to expiate sorrow;
and yet eye is not eye enough
to assess success rate
and dust remains
in particled particularity,
like the
that await that other rinsing
with the maturing of
but this side of going beyond
incense and flower
fragrance and ember
dew drop and dust
another rinse is possible,
for faith gives way slowly to comprehension
the victory of light over darkness
begins with the first modest spark
and that perhaps
is the long and short of sansara.

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