A Ditty

Hope is sometimes all we got
It’s important to hold onto-
So we don’t lose the Plot
The events unravel slowly
It’s quite a story
(hopefully with a happy ending).
4.4.2015

Naz walks gracefully.

Be an Observer
Don’t be an emotional beggar

Mission in life: Inner Peace

Ditty no 2
Neurological disasters are not
there is always a lemon there–
so count on that–
Don’t get fat contemplating your navel.

P1020639

Sebastian

You are born and,
Champagne is drunk in my room.
The only boy after a spate of girls—
the 4th child in a flock of five

Seb you are much
more than gender identity.
You are one of the most valuable people I have met
And, not because you are our son. In spite of it.

There is a grace about you that is unsurpassed.

Fun and playfulness become you,
you love a joke or two
I so enjoy our talks —
on books, film and music.

or whatever you put your mind to–

You have the best playlists— wink wink
Super driving skills, I’d drive anywhere with you.
I appreciate your vanity, after all,
who does not like to look good?

blame it on Venus in the 1st house

BUT, it’s your kindness and gentleness that I just adore
You are one in a million who could ask for more?
Today you are 21. A man, my son.
A party at Anderson road is what we’d done

To help celebrate your birthdate

The family is sorry that we are not there
you are in college and have plans in the make.
A celebration will happen when you are back home.
So cheers to you and all you do.

Your goodness is so profound it
makes me want to weep, my love for you,
eternal absolute and deep.

Happy Birthday Seb. Hope there is cake.

isaboo & sebastian 3.jpg

I was looking for a recent photo and believe it or not could not find one.
So here’s looking at you, Seb. Gosh you were cute. The girl next to you is pretty cute, too.

Melanie

Sessions with Melanie
consist of walks and talks and
serious physiotherapy

Put one foot in front of another
take long strides
now run, walk, run

Can we beat this?
we can, when joy abounds!
the body freezes
distress creeps in

Melanie is there
to pull one up
from impending despair

Box. mind your head
the upper cut,
from the side,
dive, baby dive.

Movement
helps most
train those glutes

What is this?
what are we training
For? Is the disorder out
of order?

Yes. We are ignoring it
out of the box thinking
and hard training will keep
symptoms at bay.

Physiotherapy with Melanie
Is an exercise in discipline.
Manipulation of body brings relief
Mostly, her encouragement brings

Freedom and Confidence.

Dean

You were my mentor and I appreciated you for your kindness and care.
You would sit with me every day coaching me in physics to make sure I would pass the exam. Boyles law, Charles Law, and more of that. The dive tables I got. But, it was your faith in me and perseverance that made me the diver I am. So, we dove, and someone died on that open water dive. His log book was filled with fear. It could have easily been me, if not for you, and your kindness shown to me. Thank you so very much.

Kasbewa Tank ii

Kesbawa Lake ii

The retreat is situated near a lake that is man made
We arrive in the evening, the sun softly shimmering
The crows take off from the trees
Surrounding us and baulk, screeching into the
twilight, the smaller ones are nervous
We can tell–can they tell–that we are nervous, too?

But not about the crows. About the retreat.
And the disorder that we have,
Although he is miles behind me as
He stays off the medication.
I have been on it since May 2015 and
it has changed me in subtle ways.

We are massaged daily. Then
Left to do as will, in our rooms,
the garden or a walk around the lake.
Oh, how small our world gets,
So small that I am compelled to
listen to pod-casts
From far away and hear
a friend been interviewed.

The lady of the retreat
Wears a redda and hatte
She is concerned about our food,
which is good enough
But much better when we order
Pol sambal, kade paan, dhal curry, marmite,
An omelet SRI LANKAN style.
We sigh in pleasure.

I walk around the lake in the morning
There are a few walkers and joggers on the trail,
It’s clean and peaceful.
the light is crystal clear and soft.
the trees are plentiful:
Coconut, Palmyra, Jak, Mango
The incessant sounds of bird calls– a cacophony–
of which my uncle would be able to identify, I can’t,

I stare delightedly at a clothes line
Strung between two trees are the whitest clothes
I have ever seen. Waving slightly with the breeze.
A dress, 2 sarongs, a skirt, some dishtowels,
a pair of shorts. I am wishing I had my phone so
I could photograph it.

I break into a jog and look over
At the lake, the lotuses in full bloom.
I spot a man boating on a tire
He uses a short paddle and has a bunch of
rags tied on the tire which reminds me of the bundles
Dhobis used to carry.
He looks like he is about to light a pipe.

But he is boating so he can clean the lake.
I am hoping I’ll get clean, too.
At this gentle retreat where they
Look after you the traditional way
Using plants and herbs, oils and massage.
Softly coaxing, self – healing. I pray.

Road Trip

Road Trip

Short days in Michigan
the leaves turn
colours similar to the ones
in that far away island during the
dry season — the red earth
hot underfoot — crackles
as the leaves drop
making a mound
Smoothies drunk in a café
contain this richness of
colour.
The liquid slides down
the throat and a coat is buttoned
Outside the air freezes
Smoke blows from the mouth
Cigarette tossed on the ground

The old man mowing his lawn
Wearing his slate cashmere V-neck with
holes under the arms, has never bothered
to get the thing darned.
It is the season to shoot
Gun in hand, A-k47 in another
Looking for Rabbit, Deer, Bear.
Somewhere a man is shot
Billy wears a brown, round, wool neck sweater
that keeps him warm.
and camouflages him well.
No-one mentions the time he was at
The creek – a body floated up, face down –
bloated and gross from
being in the river for over a week.
The sheriff hushed It up,
Billy was his son, you see.

The man was someone’s son too.
remains cried over by mothers
Of son’s they can’t recognise
The Sheriff wore a red wool sweater
beautiful to look at; a man with manners
The County respected him.
The sole reason the body story was
Buried. His word was final.
The army commander’s word
Was final, too. No identification, woman.
We bury them all together

Autumn in Michigan, meant road trips—-a six pack of
Molson in the car– Ruben sandwiches, girlfriends.
We’d sing to Joni Mitchell and Carol King—
perfect tunes for a fall sunset
that seemed to last forever. At night, Deborah Harry
blasted from the CD deck the stars shining brightly.
Autumn in Sri Lanka meant the north east monsoon
We hit the road a case of Heineken in the jeep
Vernon driving east stopping at all the security
Check points. Men with guns probing
Ethnicity an issue and the case of beer slowly emptied
By us, thirst parched and scorched
The dry zone beckoned.
The landscape: endless, stark, beautiful,

Murugan’s country like no other.
the sun set’s in the west
stopping every 100 meters looking for
elephant, deer, bird life of all description
army blowing hot. ID, please
Red brown yellow orange
cocooned us as night fell
yet, the incessant stopping.
Petrol was running out
Finally, over the bridge to the Bay.
We drove right up to the the beach
Full moon directly above in the sky
We could almost smell it.
Off came our sticky clothes,
To dive into the warm Indian ocean
It was midnight 16 hours later
The seduction was dazzling
The salt water melted off our bodies
The beer, finished

We did not need the moon or headlights to show us the way.

she wore her purple sweater, made of Angora.
It smelled of perfume: Opium.
At Last, San Francisco
We drove to Full Moon Beach.
Threw our sweater’s off
And with it our youthful emotional angst
The water was cold.
We could very well had been swimming in
Lake Michigan—
Except for the unforgettable Road Trip.
2261 miles of it.

Being Brave

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 basic, 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 the same time that his buddy was hit. The firing stopped. He felt icy cold and the deafening silence was unreal. It was then he noticed that everyone around him had been shot and he was completely an utterly alone. The illumination in the sky was sufficient to show the carnage.

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 insignificant. 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.

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