Being Brave

Bravery manifests in many guises. John was tired of fighting–he was assigned to the front line–and was terrified. But, like all his comrades he put up a brave front. Besides, he would never let his side down, by playing the coward. He wanted respect and men in the front usually got it. It’s primal, the respect, that is. So was the fear. He had enough; he was drafted, he had no choice so here he was, some people in his platoon still left, and all he could think of was he going to be next? It was dark, he had no idea where he was and didn’t dare to light a match. The smell of decomposing flesh was nauseating. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a piece of Wrigley’s spearmint gum. He unwrapped the wrapper and carefully folded it into the smallest possible design he could and put it back in his pocket. Sort of like  a keepsake. Something to remember this moment by. He was chewing the gum when he heard  rounds of fire coming from the north: enemy direction. He hit the ground at the same time noticed that his buddy had been hit. As soon as the firing stopped, he felt icy cold and heard a deafening silence. It was then he noticed that everyone around him had been hit and he was completely an utterly alone. the illumination in the sky was enough to show the carnage around him.

He put his hand in his pocket and felt for the wrigleys spearmint wrapper that he had folded umpteen times. He felt secure by the touch of it, a moment of normalcy in what was an insane situation*. War sucks. His dreams of coming back a hero, medalled, to show off to his family, friends, girlfriend was inconsequential. What was he supposed to do now? He rubbed the wrapper between his thumb and forefinger; thinking, thinking. In shock and not a soul in site. The quiet was relentless.

So he did what any brave men would have done. He took his rifle, stuck it into his mouth and blew his brains out. The last thing he remembered before pulling the trigger was swallowing the piece of paper.



fascination comes apart
when lovers meet
where do they start
missed phone calls
unread texts
forget the bullshit
snooker the rest

games played
only one
what is left
is the noonday sun.
drunken glasses
evening’s come
forget the masses
where is the fun?

sleepless nights
naked in bed
tossing and turning
politics unfed
desire vanishes
struggles to remain
what once was
is no one’s gain

Dream House

She worked with architects and saw many houses. First, it was in the looking and in the answering of a question thrown here or there by the lead architect of the group. She wasn’t quite taken with the houses she saw- and once in a while she was stumped by a question asked of her. “What makes the acoustics so good in this house?’? Why don’t the stairs have a bannister to hold onto? She thought she knew the answers to the questions, but wasn’t ready to answer—there was something in each question that she questioned. For instance; “why wasn’t there a bannister for the stairs? She could not (yet) understand why an architect would forego practicality and safety for beauty of line and aesthetics. She mentioned that to the head architect, who erroneously told her she was stupid and if she was going to question a left out bannister, she was nowhere ready to become an architect! She took umbrage to that and decided to leave his apprentice and apply to join another. He was angry, or rather his ego was hurt, that he let her go without writing a recommendation. She left, and in a week, she was snapped up by her former bosses rival architectural practice. That very day after a breakfast meeting of coffee (delivered from Kopi Kade) and donuts: glazed, sugared and in a multitude of colours) he told his students that he was taking them to visit some houses that he had designed along with his partner. Standard practice she thought and on her very first day as well. They drove down the streets of Colombo, until they were in Colombo 3. The driver turned right on Damien place and pulled over to the right halfway down the street. That was the defining moment when Julie saw her dream house. She could tell by the quake in her knees, the butterflies at the pit of her stomach and the goose pimples all over her body. She got out of the car and closed the door and walked slowly to the front door.



The Vagaries of Time

Time can be anywhere from an
Instant to a lifetime.
There are lessons to be learned
In this; the privilege that is existence.

Do we understand, then, that journey?
Is important? We continue till we know how, and
Are able to handle the stresses that set in
And the pain takes off like a rocket

In space, the pins and needles in your body dance
In time in place. We love our mentors, our parents,
Our friends—we lose them to death these solid men and women
Conquerors. Strong. Resilient.

Pearls before swine they say. There are plenty of both
In this gem of an island. Time does not differentiate-
Between the lives of the ordinary man and woman. New
technologies have bought space to our homes. Other places

The house, the mortgage, the kids. The wife. the husband.
Take your pick. It’s claustrophobic if your stop to think.
East west where would you rather be? In the city where
Time travels fast or up a mango tree… reading a book.

What’s that? It’s made of paper
And can be thick and fat. A book, of course. These were popular once.
Knowledge was acquired after the reading was done. Today

We skim and grasp at straws. Paper, never plastic, time shows
The scars on the environment, that’s eroding faster than
We care or is fair.

So, we sip on our paper straws and feel worthy
Meanwhile time slips and the earth slips. We all slip.
Slip for not being true. There is no telling what to do?
We are in a mess, parts of which are scary
Where is god, our mother, a disciple, a fairy?

Time is short to live a life
That is exemplary and worthwhile.
I abhor the posing that
We cultivate to get along

Adapting actions to suit the politics of the time.
The zeitgeist is not cool. Kings that rule are fools
it’s time to vote another one in.
One that has vision for country,
women and sin.

Time is of no consequence if the record keeps getting stuck.

Respect for the youth. They sing their original tune.
The young have got it right– they will see us through…
Time is valued. They have things to do.


asphalt blur car city

Photo by Pixabay on


Nazreen Sansoni September 20 2018.

colombo is changing

cement mixers drive down
narrow roads, manoeuvring
so as not to kill off
the last of the bird life-
the crows will remain
they are our survivors-
as are the people left
in the north and
from the south.
colombo changes
google maps  (have yet) to show
a change in the shape
of our pearl island
physically we are redrawing
ourselves—the new multicultural
restaurants abound
serving fusion meat and veg
who knows what the unidentified
cutlets are. The dog has stopped barking
the vomit from my stomach
convinces me to become vegetarian
chemical greens disguised
as organic
there is a big country that
looks like a continent–
and,has insidious control
over our city
The car had turned off
on Mary’s street
to be stopped by the
cement mixer, reversing
yet, another building
as we get swallowed up
by outside influences
we want our sovereignty
instead, we have the
hambantota port.

NS June 18 2018


NS June 18 2018

Isabella at 21


Isabella at 21
Is very beautiful
kind and all woman
she nurtures she cares
for everyone.
Her nature from birth

Has been one of
A sunny disposition.
She is also very smart
(she doesn’t think so)
But, we know so.

Her self-depreciating characteristic
Is typical of a Ceylonese
Especially from an Anglican
Such as Ladies College.

Isabella is a bella
The belle of the ball
In my book for sure
I would cast her
As the central character
She is unique

Extremely likeable
And resourceful.
21 years old.  I’ve had the
pleasure of spending
quality time
with her in Melbourne
for a week.

I note that she is interested in most things
Especially the arts
After we shopped we sat down and listened
To a musician busking
She then pointed out the MOMA exhibit
And there is one in Brunswick.

She has left me now in Melbourne.
She has gone back to Brisbane
I’ll be leaving on a plane
This Friday. Back to where I came from
Where Isabella was born

Dig deep when you write

Go deep, deep or deeper as you ever imagined the rawness of you bursting as from a ripe open mangosteen. Truth lies there. And Lies. But lies does not stay for long. Truth always has the wherewith-all to come out and play. Sometimes it’s so painful you can’t go on. It breaks up at its freshest—quickly, uninterrupted and after a long time. The pain is so clear at least you think it is, at least you think it is. You are in love and lost him.