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.

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.

Having too much or too little?

“Too much!” I say to my 16-year-old. We have too much.
Don’t waste your food, eat what’s on your plate, I reiterate. Not because I am necessarily super altruistic about food waste—to me, it’s the “principal of the thing” –it affects us all—When one is a parent-one tries to set an example, teach right from wrong, good from bad, waste from conservation. Principals are tricky to teach-It’s more about action—how parents behave and act. How your parents acted-How you set an example for your kids through your actions. Words are a waste, we use them meaninglessly and ceaselessly. Indiscriminately.

I wish for the day when I can implement one Day of Silence at our house. To do so everyone in the household has to be in on it. To not speak for a day, a week, a fortnight. I do it at a retreat I go to three times a year. One goes about their daily routine, food is eaten with relish. It is as if we are down to the bare essentials on how to live well. We chew food properly until it’s masticated in our mouth, then swallowed, Movement is measured, thought about.

Beds are made, dishes are washed. Baths are taken. All this is done with reverence, respect and sparingly. After the retreat do we continue the silence for a week at home? I’d like to, if the family is up for it. I go to work. At work, the noise of voices overwhelms me! It appears to me that I am listening to gibberish. If speaking is having too much, I’ll take too little.

At home, my daughter joins me for lunch. We don’t speak a word to each other. We finish what’s on our plates, blow flying kisses with a wave goodbye! The economy of restraint. Maybe this is the way to live. Maybe. I look down at the floor and notice a tiny morsel of food dropped from one of our plates, I pick it up and feed it to the cat.

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.