Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Prabuddha X

This is the tenth part of the translation of Mahagama Sekera's epic poem 'Prabuddha', an exercise that has the permission and blessings of the immediate family of Mahagama Sekera. Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI , VII, VIII and IX were published in
There has been
a grand place-exchange
for day is night
and night day,
the sun has set
but the clotted night
is kept away
and the world is set alight
yet once again
by a thousand bulbs.

Soft, slender bodies
flimsily draped
in tasteful show-all
a thousand nymphs
arrive from all directions
for the grand fiesta of lust
radiating intoxication.

The soft music rises
awakens by and by
heart-locked lust
in the upper floor
in this corner and that
the white fizz
of ice-cold in golden brew
feeds un-satiated desire. 

Jazz drums and guitars too
in war-whoop crescendo
summons to do battle:
‘Come hither!
come have your fill of wine
ere life-blood ebbs away!’
Then a dance from nowhere.
‘Thy body is mine
and mine is thine
there’s no I or mine
as we wine and dine
dance and jive
from night to night;
but we move
each according to desire
and that is the custom
of our tribe,’
they said.

In word and in silence
gesture and expression
they also say:
‘Look at me!
kiss this body
this is a style
and upstairs affair
until life ebbs away!’

‘No, this is not love
this flesh-fascination
where love slips to impotency
with a pill that stills life
this is not love.’
Intoxication blends with slumber
lips de-glossed with wine…
there is music but it’s unheard
for the dance has ended,
and there in the half-consciousness
of drunkenness
fallen now
here and there
fast asleep
true nudities stand for inspection
like so many empty glasses.


  1. Beautifully done.

    1. But we miss your original poems.

  2. Malinda,
    Beautiful. Looking forward to reading this masterpiece in print! May you secure the Gratiaen Award this Saturday. Good luck!