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.

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.

 

 

Komari Beach with Tash and friends

The ocean: vast, blue inaccessible
Cliffs stand tall form a barricade to the beach
My brain won’t let me walk
Boys use arms to fashion a seat
Helicopter blades circle,
the clouds help lift
My form—in its infancy of weight—
I am whizzed by, the lads and I
Hot sand beneath our feet

They lay me on the pristine beach
Friends prance, waves dance in the sea.
Overhead; high clouds, shape into shells
Heat, sun, air & salt water combine to bliss.
Crystal clear clarity mimics a winter night:
The moon, full, the trees barren.
A branch cracks and falls.
Except it’s the tropics. The height of summer.
High noon. Remind me of my first kiss.
Surrender to this.

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.