29 December 2010

Trincomalee Sunday , now available at Sarasavi bookshop and Vijitha Yapa bookshops

26 December 2010

White lies

In a strange land, when strangers , with only stories they tell, become your friends. Sometimes these things happen

To the Swiss  millionaire ,
who gave all away to the poor
only to toil as a watchmaker, disguised 
I told
I am a heir apparent
in the small kindom of Serendib
hiding away
Till the kingdom calls
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25 December 2010

Tis Christmas Eve



There was darkness and then there was candles , in an unusually dark chapel at 1700 in the evening.

A strange story about a moldy orange , which an eight year old (closer to nine as she says ) found very interesting.

A Christmas tree shining through the grey skyline.

At a corner coffee shop , a father playing with his two young sons . "This little piggy went to Wanchai to dance with the girls..." . An early start...

Three sisters play Rock , Paper Scissors in the tube . All grown up , yet with their girly giggles and sibling quarrels, they are in a world of their own .

A teenage daughter and her mother standing still on a escalator . Bags in their hands . The mother slightly leans forward and kisses her little girl's hair ..Oh so tenderly and yet discretely. Lest you make a young miss very embarrassed. You could see the memories of years filling up her mind .

16 December 2010

Lighthouse

The Lighthouse
set her self to her best
dusk after dusk
sits high by the shore
to lure a lonely sailor
at the passing ships she winks

05 December 2010


My First book Trincomalee Sunday .

The proceeds from the sale of the book goes towards building school library in the war ravished eastern
Sri Lanka , through the "Children of the conflict" project by Candleaid Lanka.
 http://www.candleaid.org/postwar.

Trincomalee Sunday



Rose water pink

Green yellow sweet
Saruwath man clinks
his bottles full of dreams

Trincomalee Saruwath
Trincomalee dreams

Azure ,Cobalt waves
neat reindha edged
uncurling
on  the lonely white sands

Trincomalee waves

Trincomalee sands

Sweet nothing whispers
them lovers’ hush between
the prying breeze
picks & carries away
flaring up hopes
the kind, one keeps
hidden deep within

Trincomalee breeze
Trincomalee hopes



That was yesterday
one Trincomalee  Sunday
(Clear skies, cotton clouds
completing the fantasy)
I must confess, that  I too drifted
caught up in the
daze 



That was yesterday
before
simpler times blurred
for reasons unfortunate
leaving just stories
(everyone’s got a story)
nobody’d tell 



Trincomalee storytellers
Trincomalee tales 



Note:
Saruwath:              A sweet , brightly colored sugary drink sold specially at village fairs

Reindha:               Lace

20 November 2010

In the not so distant past


In the not so distant past..we couldn't do many things

Things are not perfect and could be done better ...But have you atleast done your part?
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17 November 2010

Every time we think of whatever


Every time you make us
think of motherland
of the ones who laid lives
lament how it should have been
dream how it can be
celebrate the
whatever
It rains
It floods
Up to our knees
runs muddy water streams

Every time the heavens weep
when it floods up to our knees
my be we should
think of
the whatever

14 November 2010

Still my little boy

Frail hands reach 
up and smoothen 
the creases of the shirt 
hung flawlessly on the  lad 
set the collar neatly 
‘fore exhaling relieved 

A smile draws on a face with wise lines 

11 November 2010

Show me evil

Show me
evil lurking in the bush
coiling to strike with reprisal
show me
the fear of such vice
hung heavy in ones mind

And I will show you
a serpent
terrified for it’s life
set to use it’s strike
to flee
I will show you evil
dwelling in one’s mind

PS: Evil is an unnatural concept. Evil is not find in nature anywhere. There is good and absence of it. Evil is a concept man has devised and is a phenomena in his mind

06 November 2010

The hen and her brood




The Chinese Menu


You hand me the menu 

of 328  dishes 
three hundred and twenty seven varieties of mushrooms 
cooked in the identical way 
Or the same mushroom cooked in 327 ways 




Apex



An ant rest 
on the summit 
naive to the fact 
that  his head 
is the tallest apex now 



04 November 2010

03 November 2010

Taking a chance

A man on the death row
on his last day
takes his chance and runs
a fool who tried despite

If caught alive
He would be condemned for
10 years , no less
Absurdity that is the law

Shoot him dead
do not spare, for I know not
whether to hang him
Or to imprison for another ten
yells the warden
Avoiding a dilemma

To turn back time

A lone tribesman
dances the ghost dance
in my head
anti-clock wise

02 November 2010

Fences

There were fences
once upon a time
in a childhood
separating
lives of toy soldiers and marbles
the
bowlers and the batsmen
of post noon cricket games in the street
fences
over which we would exchange
sweetmeats in April
through which we
escaped homework
then one day
fences went down
and brick walls arose

31 October 2010

A dream
I am
Woven with pattern of love
and the frail threads
 of memories
I come
to find
that insomniac
You are

25 October 2010

Happy dreams


Sun smeared
we laid

a whole day of jazz
tunes have
sound bruised my
mind

Now in the shadows of heavens
beneath the dark sheet of the night
pierced randomly
to make tiny twinkling patterns
your pulsing heart beat
heave upon me

Like a lost wave
on her
shore

pulsing
 heart beat
I listen to
against my own

Then you break the hush

You
smile
 in your dreams

16 October 2010

Tourists are a peculiar species


The following is a poem and the PS by Yehuda Amichai. An Israeli poet, Don't ask me which side I stand on that issue. But the poem talks of tourists . And is more applicable to Sri Lanka these days .

Quote
Visits of condolence is all we get from them.
They squat at the Holocaust Memorial,
They put on grave faces at the Wailing Wall
And they laugh behind heavy curtains
In their hotels.
They have their pictures taken
Together with our famous dead
At Rachel's Tomb and Herzl's Tomb
And on Ammunition Hill.
They weep over our sweet boys
And lust after our tough girls
And hang up their underwear
To dry quickly
In cool, blue bathrooms.


Once I sat on the steps by agate at David's Tower, I placed my two heavy baskets at my side. A group of tourists was standing around their guide and I became their target marker. "You see that man with the baskets? Just right of his head there's an arch from the Roman period. Just right of his head." "But he's moving, he's moving!" I said to myself: redemption will come only if their guide tells them, "You see that arch from the Roman period? It's not important: but next to it, left and down a bit, there sits a man who's bought fruit and vegetables for his family."

Unquote

14 October 2010

Where we write from.

We write from our
 memory traps
millions pores
in our cortex
We write from
our muse
that invisible place between 
the shoulder blades
the hazy blur
between you and the pinchpoint
takes shape of a word sketch
between  oh so perfect
parallel lines

We write from our
beliefs
the lead burrow
deep in the pit of our belly

But never
never from the
heart
that’s a misconception
an excuse

09 October 2010

So.... verbs?



So
Heaven .
              You  said , while you slurped last bitter drop
              of the cheap
             double espresso shot
is a verb

So
Love.
 is a
verb too
             there you again
              scuffling your shawl

So.
here contemplating
sit I
on the proper syntax of the three word parade
I was about to mumble
‘fore all this

16 September 2010

How long does a sunset take

From the point that
the golden threads across the blue
the wrinkles of the day gone
the blotches of a strange colour scheme
the crows come roost
bats headout
fathers come home
alter lamps are lit
a hen gathers her brood

To the point
the pot of rice overcooks
on a disremembered flame

15 September 2010

Cancer Hospital photoshoot

Muse

I saw some pictures, in monochrome , taken at the Cancer hospital . Of mothers and  children . Worn out bandages and exposed canolas . And smiles through the pain , and hopeless eyes . Do not take me wrong ,I see the good intentions , yet it was disturbing.

I personally feel it is crossing the line. The photograph , the photographer gets attention ...and the subject...fades away . That's the plight here , some of them know of the iminent plight , yet it is living for the day that is the struggle.

The Poem

Please Smile
for the photograph
You can go back to your pain
suffering
nausia
and the
pain
after the click

PS:
After I wrote this,  I felt that writing about the photos was no better than the shoot itself . Two wrongs do not make a one right. How many wrongs does it take

Shapes

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The former mayor of Colombo has gone back to his old job of driving a Three wheeler.
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11 September 2010

What goes in side the tram......




PS: 4 years ago on the 11/9 I flew to a foreign land to start...Start, is a funny word.
Anyway it has been since 4 years facing the south china sea . And today,  like it was that day,  it is raining ..

Between protests

There’s this joke
we used to share
every moment
still
between the marches
sipping
coffee
strong
conversation
gone
we plan
the next protest
lapses
away from
our ideologies

One would get up
and say
“ hey, what if they
listen to us
and give in today”
“What would we do tomorrow”

And then there would be
a brief
silence

And then there’d be
a roar
of laughter

03 September 2010

Common knowledge

I know
I know that you know
I know that you know that I know
I know that you know that I know that you know
I know that you know that I know that you know that I know
You know too much
And I know

30 August 2010

Forget me........Not

When I try to
forget you

From the grayed tangles
left between the teeth of a comb
from a waft of faint perfume
sitting light on the late autumn breeze
from the tender hum
of an old tune

You appear

And whisper in my ear
“ I am trying to forget you too”

28 August 2010

Bath games


Boys playful at dusk , @ canal Pollonnaruwa
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The week was .....

Oh my goat
The protest over the sacrifice of animals at a kovil did not , for some reason , hit right through to me. The images of  goats  and chicken being lined up in hundreds,  for sacrifice on the temple court yard ,  were forwarded to my inbox . And the saffron robes and  placards condemning the act have apparently gathered up the along lane adjoining the temple..

These images , triggered another  , from some time ago , to play in my head . An image of dark young men ,  bare bodied waist up,  standing in a column at police park , for the initial screening to join the Army .  Two weeks of basic  training and off they went directly to the  trenches in the north . At a time when the battle strategy was to send  more boys than  they could shoot down, most of them probably did not last the first 6 months unscathed.
Funny I do not seem to remember any protesters in the vicinity.
 

The Miss?...
Saw the short video of  the Island’s participant answering three questions  as a promo for the “beauty” spectacle.. Obviously shaken, and uncomfortable with the language she was  using  she looked to put on a brave face while she tries  to take on the world .
Below the moving picture , the comments ran long.
Some agitated , some finding it amusing and some carving words prompting from their view  through  patriotism tinted glasses.  
I am with stirred sentiment alright ,  but not very definite whether to smile or cry.
 

Since the things have settled
He was a self proclaimed refugee.  Who claimed to have paid 2.5 million to travel the ocean  in a fishing boat to some forgotten shore in south china and crossed the border over land. Who’s earlier story of a family and a grown up daughter  back at home  some how effected our emotions when he announced couple months after  that he has married the pretty lass who used to accompany him and who was introduced as a  cousin. He was our beloved Sri Lankan food man . Who could cook up most home land specialties that our homesick hearts craved . And delivered to our doorstep with Sri Lankan punctuality .
 

Monday he called to say , he is going back home . “Now that the things have settled “, he said.
Through  the mixed emotions filling up my heart , I could hear
” it must have been good , but it’s over now “
a line from a forgotten song play in my head over and over.

24 August 2010





Were  they
Really ?
Angels .
Once.
Stoned
as they were
after the dame reality
placed warm pecks


on their cheeks 

18 August 2010

Aney Sin

I would have loved to take credit for such a muse, yet this was inspired by http://reargate.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-post_10.html. So another translation/ adaptation.


 I 


Who

Capture your plight
through a lens
white poise it properly
tune the shadows
to tell the complete story

Say
ooh
ah
Aiyyo
and Aney sin in the caption
And
move on

Is nothing  but a ………

Monologue- Jaffna waiting

Let me tell you upfront
I
have never been to
Jaffna

But, I have

These days
Things are good
 I hear
Peace
is among the
sweet drinks
green lanka lime ,
sunset orange barley

Ignore the floor panel
made of empty carton
where 50 rocket shells came from


Pottu on her brow
The light house
covered with a

Dialog

Dialog ? really?

Monologue ?

Jaffna listening
still
awaiting
for the cue for her to speak.


PS: This is a first . I have never explained my poems .  This is based on stories I heard from people who have visited Jaffna . That is what most us living beyond shores do . Exchange travel stories . And relish later. The story of dialog is based on the fact that the light house on point pedro is covered by two transmitting towers put up by Dialog . I found that to be ironic.

15 August 2010

Sunday thoughts




Sunday .

Weather ,Hot with slight drizzle.

Soundtrack, Bus horn, rain tapping on my window and “Loosing my religion “ unplugged version

Fragrance: Buttered rice and chicken curry

I am thinking of sea shells , ocean whispers , Sri Lanka green, Gotukola, blue butterflies & slow jazz.