Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Queen Returns

What were those years like
would she know,
those track-ripping times
of anger and contestation
the affirmation of history by disavowal
the claim for a plot
by planting of mine
the attempted liberation of a people
by the conferring of dismemberment?
Did she know that her roar
would be out-roared
the chug-chugging out-gunned
in multi-barrel ways
that black smoke turned blacker still?
Or did she wait
in the manner of the regal
for a time that had to come
when magazines emptied
could no longer be re-filled
in the inevitable emergency

of life after death after death after death?

Monday, 27 October 2014

When I am alone

“When I am alone I become my friend” – Sybil Wettasinghe

When I  am alone
A child comes running
along a nondescript niyara
wades across canal
holds my hand
drags me to king-coconut days
of play houses and roasted Jak seeds.

When alone
I walk from time to time
peer into eyes that have not aged
gather grandmother’s love
mother’s admonishment
and after fuss and tear their work have done
flop on chair or floor
they with their chores
and I in the circles of protective eyes.

When I am alone
I toss my passport into the Kelani Ganga
take flight from Hanwella
attend rallies and meetings
visit coffeeshop conversation
lovers and love-making
from before and after.

When I am alone
I roll like a pebble in a river
find traction in a bicycle chain
and wait for all the sunsets
I had missed. 


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Beasts and burdens

One on top
and the other below
in the do and obey
of karmic script
or chance births
growing to unhappy fates
each a prisoner
of burdens ordained
that plague and plague
until the quelling
of order and submission
in some other land
some other time
later rather than sooner
as far as we can see.

[Inspired by the line drawing of Gamini Abeykoon]

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