Saturday, June 9, 2012


At a diplomatic gathering
an ambassador’s wife
smiles sweetly
as I’m introduced as a poet

(a term I’ll always wear
like a size 14 dress
on my size 8 frame)

I smile back
hoping I can talk about the weather
the cricket world cup final
which we might win
or the war
which no one will

but her next question’s one of
mild surprise
“you write in English?”
and my smile turns
for a reason that can’t find its voice
in poetry or prose
so I nod a diplomatic yes
and grab a drink from
a passing tray.

(April, 2007) - From Stitch Your Eyelids Shut

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Year 2008

In the early hours
of a new year
bursts of firecrackers
cold December air
the smell of gunpowder
and renewed hope
rose high
sound couldn’t quite separate
fake fire from real
as a man lay dead
from a bullet to the chest
at a kovil in Colombo

Where he was
praying for peace.

(From Stitch your Eyelids Shut Colombo, Akna: 2010)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Meeting in South London

That morning I met you
at the underground station
was a freezing December day
but your smile was warm
and the three months
we had spent apart
melted like
the frost at my feet.

But by January it had snowed
and the new year had brought with it
new possibilities
for you

On the day I had to leave
we walked beside that
frozen lake
In your eyes I saw
that the end had already begun
Even as lengthening shadows
signal the end of a day
and falling leaves
sing of summers end

Still, there were tears in you.

so I took your hand
told you gently
“It will be a long time
before this place
and my heart
see the sun again….”

(From nothing prepares you, Colombo: Zeus, 2007; second edition forthcoming 2012, Colombo: Akna: publishers)