Reservations in Space

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I

True — that this sweet koha cries ripe in the season.
But, of such uncritical birds
Who comes for the right season only,
History will reserve them a few seats. That’s nature.
That’s history.

Re-born faith is the triumph of the mission:
Converts from unp-ism, ltte-ism, jvp-ism
And those who memorize the catechism.
I saw an English scholar ask Indran Amirthanay what is history?
It’s all about staying ahead. It’s about hanging your name on a road.


II

I watched Troy again last week,
Brad Pitt starring as Achilles.
In Agamemnon’s hut
Ulysses tells Achilles: “war is where
The soldiers die and kings talk”.

Soldiers are not recorded in history,
Says Agamemnon. Kings’ names get carved
On mementos put on territory gained
Where the hapless were halved.
And there — Agamemnon is king.

Life doesn’t end that way.
Be it a whimper, or a bang.
Either way there’ll be no sufficient clue
To satisfy me or you.
The people would rather save themselves the transfer.

III

An unknown Basil six years ago
Has polled 400-thousand in Gampaha.
Where was Upeksha when she was 24?
One is defined by one’s climate.
I see a boat:

Liyanage, Damma, several intelligent few,
Victor Ivan and the like sitting on its floor.
The Ferryman row where the coiled river flow.
They wave at the Sirens who watch them go.
They’re studying Darwin, now.

Be broadminded, really: Karuna-Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan,
Gamlath-Weerawansa and his house
Are all dependents of time; dependents of space.
Some hold back till the last to play their ace.
Many suppress desire. Wear a common face.

When she was 24, Karu had 100,000 votes,
Crossed over for a while; then, undid that crossing.
When she was 26, Karu still got 60,000 running.
She had 80,000, you see: all we do we do for a noble cause.
We begin, we suffer and put an end to wars.

It takes guts to accept you have basic drives.
It takes courage to set out
On the path to make history. To make history,
In a way it takes you; so, that it submits to your force
And makes love to you.

2010-04-20

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