Friday, 7 September 2012

My watch

Silver arrows
millions of them --
the astral arms
of the archer must be sore;
but right here
where they fall
stars and merged constellations
are birthed and slayed
on pavement and puddle
and there’s a one-tone shhhh…..
that silences all
this damp morning
of nowhere-to-go. 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The bus that caught India

There was a bus going to Trichy
to an airport and a plane
speeding from hatred and insanity
there was a bus
that caught a stone
and held a scream;
there was a bus that left for Trichy
but skidded off the road
to end in a city,
that Delhi of centrality
of apathy and political calculus
Delhi of a Shining India
that displaced chauvinism off-shore
but found that ideas don’t leave
like people do, like guns do, like money does;
there was a bus that caught a stone
it is the bus that Delhi didn’t want to take
but that India found herself trapped in --
and here
in Sri Lanka
we look across the water
we see and shake our heads:
‘Sorry, wrong number,
sorry, wrong bus!’ 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


One arm under her neck and back over her
the other under her arm
so cheek can rest on palm,
(she’s palmable)
soft kisses on the other cheek
and the nocturnal chanting
of all known sweet-nothings
that are everything and more;
she turns by habit,
lays head on chest
and claims in her unconscious
the conscious right: ‘you are mine’,
and turns back for preferred comforts
in the happy concession: ‘I am yours’.  

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mulleriyawa is a Memory-Ground

Blood was shed in 1562

blood, like any other blood,
in any other year,
here or there or anywhere
but Mulleriyawa,
deliberately 'asylumed'
on account of shame
was bloodied
in the name
of way of life
and by way of life
in the art of war
of have-to-do
and why and when and how
as it is
when invader is tested
and bested
as it will be
450 years hence
in that other 'Angampora'
of the relevant age:
Mulleriyawa is battleground
and memory
of an insanity
that was cured.

[Inspired by the photography of Sanka Gallage who captured a special display of the ancient Sinhala art of war, 'Angampora' by Mahantha Arachchige Ajantha Perera and his students commemorating the 450th anniversary of the historic victory of the Sinhalese over the Portuguese in Mulleriy]