Jumping the Crowd

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We won’t die
Unaccounted for.
Our dreams may lie
Lingering – painstaking lingering
Making peace; no war

Without guns, without powder
Our loss may speak louder

If it may lie, unconscious, unspeaking
In their now Sinhala hour
Of pleasure and nation-seeking
Reeking the wrongs that, later,
Were re-written as songs.

Ranil, Mangala, Civil Society
Out of piety
Hold hands, keep flowers at
Bandaranaike graves. Make speeches,
People hang on to their words like leeches

And drop on their knees when
Mahinda waves with both hands; smiles, bursts out
Laughing like he’s happy, all about.
That it’s Fonseka none of us fear; none doubt

But Dallas and Rajitha say ‘No”; say “Won’t”
And the bald headed monks clear their throats
And say “don’t”.

Without guns, without power
Our loss, lost like a lover
May seek, may not seek
Earnest desperate measures
In that hour. Of the owl.

Be it foul, fair, reasonable
Or unreadable –
There’s only a letter’s difference between
Malinda and Mahinda: it’s just a
Fucking ‘L’:

The movement of a knight
In the game of chess. But a
Different trajectory
When the knights undress

For the night, or the day
Cos there’s no night or day
In this strategic game of
Black and white: either you
Move from square to square

Or stay cut, out of sight.

“Good night” and the ITN
Newscaster goes, holds, throws
Her head in the washbasin sink:
“With what brand tonight
Did I make my viewers drink?”

Her tears wash down the pipe
Down behind the block
And to pick it up by the edge of their tongue
The Condemned flock by the pipe –
Sips on tears,

Elsewhere 108 pull out glaze-dripping beers:
Their last beers before the number
Is cut down to one and eight:
“We’ll all be reduced, mate:
Let’s drink to our fate”.

180 days since winning
Executive parts will bid us bye.
Anura leads the pack, tells Mahinda
“Ma Lord, why can’t you, why?”
Mahinda: “Perhaps – perhaps –, through the
Second shy”.

Second shy, third shy:
Third shy got ma cousin to campus.
Third shy, sixth shy:
We need mother-milk. Give us pampers.
No hampers, coming Christmas:
“I did it – now let’s bloody build the nation”.

In their now Sinhala hour
Of pleasure and nation-seeking,
Where we were born in 1984
And where Anarkalli’s peaking
In saree of pastel shades, or in bikini in In Vogue

Depending on reception
The toad will sing or croak.
Fonseka or Rajapaksha?
Anoma or Shiranthi?
A tournament without players.
A cabinet without chairs.



One thought on “Jumping the Crowd

    Bryanna said:
    December 30, 2009 at 4:31 am

    I really enjoyed this one. There is a lot going on in it, so it is a challenge to read, but well worth the effort.
    And making fun of Anarkalli? Oh c’mon! Don’t you know she is just trying to make sure we know that there are no minorities or ethnicity in Sri Lanka? 😉 She is like the Palin of SL….

    So what do you think now? Is the toad singing or croaking?

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