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.

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.

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.

—————————————————–

Endless Preoccupation

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

Isabella at 21

IMG_9744

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

Has 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
School
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
CEYLON

BE HERE NOW

BE HERE NOW

 

BE HERE NOW

Be here now.
Said my father
How? I asked?
Puzzled by it’s
Seemingly simple
But complex notion
I am here
Isn’t it obvious?

No. My father, said
Your mind is all
Over the place
To be here now
One must truly
Be present.

In body mind and soul
At one with oneself
And the universe
Be here now ridicules
running away
From life experiences
And responsibilities

That’s when the anxiety
Sets in. the anxiety reminds
Me to feel
Really feel
The moment
Love truth anguish

Be here now
Is difficult
As the mind
Listens to the music
In the background
Be here now is interrupted
By Ashira walking in.

So all I can conclude
From this exercise
Is that to be here now
Is not easy.
It demands concentration.
A brain that focuses
Under different circumstances
I am all over the place
But here. Not here.

Usually , over there…

Heart heart

Heart heart

Deep in my heart a wedge does lie
I’m willing to throw a dart to hit it clean and fair
Instead I breathe, breathe deeply and sigh
The cause of the wedge is mine—let’s try.

Was it the afternoon I drove back from Galle?
Hail! Thunder and Lightning quite a scare
Voice on the radio warning us to go with care.
the highway is dangerous to drive anywhere.

Wait! is the wedge my children? My poor mother, too.
My husband, Dom, my in laws? ‘How do you do?’
A lost love, another life, what could have been?
it’s  bittersweet now, all that I have seen…

The wedge comes and goes.
Tears pour down my face, I am thankful for god’s grace.
To analyze the pain, sitting in the car in the rain
One goes back in time, breathes, the mind arace.

To gratitude: of course, I’m grateful! So what if I’m Fey?
The wedge is lodged, embedded deep. I long for the comfort of sleep
Not yet, not there, the exit is quite far. Stay awake!
Don’t fall asleep. Keep breathing the wedge out, however deep.

At last the exit, I take the turn, drive to the booth to stop.
Pay my toll and on my way, keep breathing the hardness away
And suddenly, I am aware, that this feeling of a wedge
has disappeared, is not there?  was it the stress of the drive?

Maybe. Could be, should be, yes! Driving is difficult
When one can barely see, the car in front, the road, a tree.
The rain is ceasing, the breathing is easy
At last: Home. the dog runs to greet me.

Unpack my bag get on the mat
Do a few yoga poses, here comes the cat!
5 kittens to feed all are shivering.
My body feels better, no more dithering

I draw a bath then into bed, take meds, then cover.
Dream of mayhem and accidents oh what a shower!
I suddenly wake up to another day. Stretch and yawn.
The wedge has gone, the sun shines bright. Oh how I love, love, love the light.

N.S.  APRIL 15, 2018