Wednesday, 4 June 2014

May Redness

Come May
and there’s greeting
in cloth and color
beret berating
the redness of defiance
defined and ill-defined;
come May
there’s flag and slogan
regurgitation and coinage
replaying of old themes
and words that seem new;
come May
and there’s redness
rising above man and market
flying over rally and march
as predictable
but ever so fresh
newer than other seasons
of protest and ritual

[Inspired by the photography of Ravindra Dharmatilleka]


Epistles I’ve seen
inked visitations
of observation and report
they’ve come in glance and innuendo
changes of expression
short-changed response
to things real and perceived.
Epistles I’ve read
notes of passing and no-return
senders moving on
not too long after
the finality of eternal claim.
Epistles now arrive
from far away and now
hand-delivered love
crafted in write and read
and these notes of endearment
come now as box
as bookmark and candy
inviting a philately
that is not nation-bound,
for these epistles
cashew-shaped and coconut-frosted
are fluent in the grammar of enigma
of flirt and toy
and celebrate
in confusion and clarity
the timeless insanities
the undisguised blessings
of anonymity.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Ode to a child

A twist of the hands of a toy-clock,
the arrival of a butterfly and a kite,
an unthinking word that tore your world apart:
is this how your hours were marked?
Did you collect any colours today,
any keepsake from a pavement
a dream that flew from a billboard?
When you mixed perfume and dust
did your mind erupt in an impossible fountain
in uncontrolled mirth
or as the most beautiful smile?
Did you birth the dawn with fire
did you feel life ebb away
in the startled ways
of the traditional homelands of warfare?
Did you pause to savour
moment and moment
or was it easier
or perhaps made more sense
to let the receding wave recede
and embrace the approaching one
with open arms made of unimaginable optimism
with open arms carved from a wood
called ‘lack of choice’?
In any event,
that smile,
is it the smile of a heart
that knows generosity and nothing else
even when encountering the tormentor,
the thief that sought to rob innocence
tried to re-paint magic in adult colours?
I don’t know your ways, your world,
and this is why I ask:
“Was your day a child’s day
or the residue left by an adult brew?”
I don’t know your ways, your world,
so I shall stop
and throw a smile
and make this request:
“take it and twist it with yours
unleash that fairy power;
cure me of the curse of adulthood”