KESBEWA TANK i

We walk around the Kesbewa lake
The walk brings out the stories
In us. Two friends sharing anecdotes
and a disorder. The reason why
we are here: The Disorder.
My limbs are flying
The urge to express is drowned
By the bus that booms fast it’s horn
Hounding us

The lake is next to the retreat.
It’s peaceful. The walk at night takes
us to another place. 26 years of friendship
and here we are.
Who would have thought?
at the bandana party in Hikka
That we’d end up like this?
But we are blessed. So, blessed
We have the means, the will, and the way
To heal ourselves as best we can.

I walk alone around the lake
earlier in the afternoon and see
A mixture of rural and suburban.
A man and woman having a well bath
The white redde tied casually around the woman
 the man, his bare chest proudly erect
covered with white foam
his teeth gleaming, smiling big
They both look at me, curiously, then, lose interest.

Next, A businessman’s lunch — the boys
typically dressed in white shirt and ties—advertising types
sneaking a smoke in the back garden their story boards
left to lounge inside waiting for the client to appear
with the inevitable change that will bring to their art.

A tavern sits at the very corner of the lake, adjacent to
The road. I hear loud music and see the empty
Arrack bottles. Further, a café serving coke and chips
Reminds me of SE ASIA the Bamboo built contraption
Looks like so many seen in Manila, Bangkok.

At the bridge, Men fish. One of the men steps along beside
Me to walk… He wants to chat and I am amiable,
But a lack of a shared language prompts him to say bye
at the gate. I open and step in.

N.S. KESBEWA, PILYANDALA

Dedicated to Viren, fellow traveler on this path and, story teller.

 

An intimate memory of childhood

A rusty Humber rattled along
the gears designed on the steering wheel column.
The man driving the car was whistling,
tea bushes sweeping by the curvy roads
6 or 7 hours and they were still going.

The driver shifted gears,
the girl in the back seat kept staring at the steering wheel, and
wondered why the gears were designed to be there?
this detail was taking up her thought process.

The Stars had come out now.
5 degrees north of the equator
there was Venus, then the big dipper and little dipper
there were other forms she recognized
but could not recall their names. Polaris?

Still those tea bushes, still the gear shift
alongside the steering wheel.
Without warning a hedge appeared. Tall and dark
a row of them—and then: St Leonards Estate.

He stood tall, his beret cocked on his head
his long shorts grazing his knee. Waiting by the door
insouciantly leaning against the wall.
whiskey in hand. The kids stumble out
doors opening, spilling out biscuit crumbs,
cream soda bottles, specks of vomit, a pillow.

A bath!  The adults shot a cursory glance as the kids were
whisked away by their nannies.  mother barely acknowledging them,
father accepting a glass of drink from his host.
Clothes were peeled off bodies as they
got into their baths, two together. The water hot.
Soothing, the journey forgotten.