Saturday, 28 February 2015


Of course there’s fervor
pride in duty
sense of nation
history and moment,
of course there’s order
the rank-file thing
and the saying of ‘do this’
and the doing-that,
of course there’s appreciation
gratitude for freedoms won
boundaries defended,
of course they are ours
and we are theirs
and of course
under flag and
in the unison of song
the requirement of parade
in the custom of celebration
there is defense of indefensible
the weight of carrying out
orders that don’t unfurl
from flag or chorus
and of course
somewhere between lines
there’s the out of line
of independence-residue
left un-celebrated,
of course.

Inspired by the poetry of Chandana Wijesinghe   

Friday, 27 February 2015

There will be a rose

Striding down an empty street,
so much like a King;
nothing ahead, nothing behind,
and on either side
the multitude screaming;
Mansur danced the dance of the sublime,
singing the praises of the lord:
“Ana al Haq, Ana al Haq, Ana al Haq....”
So fervent the conviction,
so true the word,
it had to rain and how!
Stone after stone after stone,
making a monument
a blasphemous sepulchre
for Mansur Al Hallaj, Son of God.
Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?
And yes, there was Veronica
with a rose-petalled kerchief.
and then the tears.
And Mansur
risen from the dead
once again unafraid
walks the streets of love
lined with screams and hand-grenades.
There is a humble song
of love and roses,
of waiting and knowing
and a scattering of body
in the disavowal of divinity.

It is the Spirit of Mansur.