On a sleepy afternoon in bed would you read a poem?

21 11 2009

I have been looking for poems in blogs and found myself wondering: is poetry the pastime of elitists and lovers? It appears to me that poetry is not something people are really ‘into’ these days. When do we really read poetry? Other than in school as part of Sinhala or English literature. Did we ever read it as a leisure activity? As something to do on a rainy day in bed? Would you go looking for well-written poems in cyberspace or go to the well-known classics? Would you have sent this poem to a friend as good reading material, however beautiful you think it is? Would you think of sending this to your beloved as a gift? All these questions whirl around in my mind as I look for poems in blogs.

And now, I wonder why – as a generation – we are not ‘into’ poetry. Is it because good poems are hard to find, especially on blogs? Is it because poetry is considered the posh marginal in literature – people think it is sublime, but not many read it. It is not fiction, which lives on the preoccupations of lives. Is it because many people feel that writing – and reading – poems is a deeply personal thing, at a level that fiction isn’t? That it is something to do when in love and in pain?

Sugar

Smooth
on
my fingers.
Soft
in
my mouth.
Swirl
my tongue
around.
Dissolve
in
my mouth.

 

You.

 

Waiting

 

I know myself now

That I shall wait

As I have waited,

as I will always wait.

Patiently, patiently,

As the earth, as the sky.

Patient as water I will wait.

Patient as death.

It makes no difference

Where I go or what I do.

I know after all this time

That there is no time.

Still I wait and wait.

And whatever happens,

whatever I may look back upon

when its all over

I know that there is no end

no beginning.

Nothing but me and you

And the times I wait

between.

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Bliss . Cellphones . Independence Square

24 08 2009

Bliss.

Paddy
Field.

Coconut
Tree.

Blue
Wave.

Fiery
Sun.

Slow
Elephant.

Brown
Face.

Home
Again.

Bliss.

cellphones.

orangebluesilverplastic
shiny new and slightly faded
scrolling streaming surfing screaming
fingers blur.

cellphones
bhangradiscotweeting birds
shrill and chiming
always interrupting
something else.

cellphones
full of secrets
untold stories, dates broken
calls unanswered.

sms sadist, cli anguish.
cellphones
smaller faster smaller smaller
goodnews badnews nonews gossip
pictures pop up smiling
friendly camera clicks.

oops.

Independence Square

The lions are sitting in rows,
on Independence Square.
Their stone eyes are fixed and sad.
They’re watching the people
who pass them at dawn
and at sunset,
wearing their oldest clothes –
no one can tell how
clever or happy they are.

The relentless constitutional,
around, around, around.
The girls in search of the boys
in search of the girls.
The middle-aged parents
In pursuit of their
once waistlines.
Fleeing from the coronary
That follows close behind.

The lions are sitting in rows,
In Independence Square.
They’re all exactly sixty years old.
They sit and they sit,
and they listen to the rich old men
in faded tennis shoes,
discuss the economy,
in low voices before they
start touching their toes.





The Urge

23 08 2009

Belly up

Back curved

Body curled

Feet up

Deep into the night

Guiltily

Far into the morning

Lazily

On too-warm sheets

In the afternoon

With round inky shapes

Long neverending stretches

In the middle of journeys

Waiting in bus-stops

Quickly quickly between classes

And again again and again

And then.

It’s over.

And now again.

The crisp pages

Of a

Many-leaved book.