Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sorrow purchase

A smile made of a memory-twitch
a word coined in a tongue-tied moment
a head-nod wrought of empathy
silence spun from love-thread
humility born of ignorance;
all transferable currencies
valid for the purchasing of sorrow.

Friday, 17 August 2012

For the unwavering

In the rise and fall
the burst and collapse of barometer
the ant-bite injection that drew gasp
the love-bite that shredded heart
in scream and nonchalance
and the hundred ways of hurt
the one conclusive abandonment
life-ink bottles have spilled over
in froth and solitude
have emptied without reason
and in the gassing of spit
and the asphyxiation of barb
there are those who take the blows
and still bow low for more
and more
who fall and fall
and still rise
in banner and quote
heart and singularity;
they add stitch
they craft our common signature.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

In the mean time…

In the mean time
there are short words
and shorter thoughts,
a precise forgetting
of together things
a sharp memory of the blunt;
in the mean time
footfall drops too soft
knock too loud
word is better not said
and silence is forbidden,
in the mean time
you are better dead
for dead is what you are. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


They walk in and out
of my room
as I enter-exit theirs,
friends and colleagues
walking carriers of fear and hope
mask-wearing and unmasked
perhaps like me,
they come with complaint
and suggestion
demand and supply
the randomness of our days
the moments that drive
the events that frame
and they come
with tea or coffee
copy or excuse
heart or mind or both
paper to sign
joke to share
these paper-makers
who test my work-time teeth
in their uniqueness
different from one another
varied from hour to hour
and I wonder:
do they come to see me
and see someone else instead,
like I do
when with smile or grime
or threat and pledge
they walk in and walk out? 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Bhavatu sabba-mangalam

Not in that longed for moment
not in knot
nor bound in ring,
not in the flower and bouquet,
the pouring of atha pan
the chanting 
the consecration of approval
of beta-sheafed worship,
not in lamp, wick or flame
the roll of drum
or swirl of dance,
not in celebratory kiss
the prosperity wish 
of the punkalasa 
the abundance wish of rice
but in the tear drop and near drop
the breaking and awakening
the everyday of togetherness
the hurdles of wrong-word
and doubt-rats mocking
for these and little else
a simple line to murmer:
‘May there be every blessing!’

[Published in the UNDO Section of 'The Nation', inspired by the photography of Rukshan Abeywansha and with thanks to Mithila and Wasana]