Dreaming

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I wanted to start a “Hot Beverage Shop”
In Australia, just a dream I had seeing everyone
With a running nose or a bout of influenza
I did not want to stock up Tamiflu
Only to have a coffee shop
For the sickness prone.

And a dream is just that. It’s a thought spindle
You go around in. It’s the hula hoop circling around your temple.
It doesn’t have rocket boosters, nor sinews and wings, nor does
It give you a launching pad. It’s like dreams are meant
To be gimmicks. A label in an advertisement
Meant only for 1% of the population.

I look at all the dreams I’ve lost.
How my career in science or humanitarian agriculture
Was sabotaged by the devils in disguise
How my dream of marrying a virgin went up in thin smoke
And still my wife’s 10 times with another man
Sucks me up like a black hole.
I’m the poster child of lost dreams, a boy
Who had castles in the heart and draw bridges
Open, now looking at an empty fallow field
Where nothing grows.

And I only have my words now. A little dream
Of making it somewhere with crafted words.
After all everything else is a wreck on the ocean floor.
And words are the seaweed which floats
With the tide, and fluoresces with tiny dinoflagelletes
And I ask only for an island in the sun
With a little gold on the side.

I will never be Midas – I’m 40 years old now.
I just want to be a nugget collector
Scraping together little lumps of gold.
To coronate my own legacy.

Why I don’t goto Church anymore

church

My parents didn’t give me a Christian name
As if they knew I would leave my faith one day
– A faith that abandoned me completely –
I was meant to be the infidel, the pagan.
My life was not about a pseudo-faith. Like sinners
Flocking like birds to exalt the god of an aviary
Where birdseed is given bathed in ruby-red birdwater
And the birds make chat after mass
Wearing the most colorful of plumage.

Sin, was the binding glue. The mortar of flesh bricks.
Sin was as much about absolution and not about sinning again.
It was a commodity with a shelf life. I was not going to be part
Of that. I hated sin, the idea of sin. Sin was like ploughing
The earth to plant some weeds. And God it seems
Pours weedicide inside the confessional.
And I will not part of a church that venerates sinners
And throws our good men and women. I will not be part
Of robed chieftains, who teach sin is a primal need, a vocation.

I used to love the church. Like it made me feel belonged
And kept an eye for a lass who hadn’t strayed. A unicorness
With beautiful hair, only I, the virgin could embrace.
She never came by. It was like fornication that united
Every youth at church and not righteousness.
I could feel my outsider’s skin, my outlandishness to
Everything the church stood for.

Now I’m with a perennial aethist. A woman who believes
In equal rights for animals and gays. An angel of outer beauty
And inner peace. It seems the best thing about love was, it took
Me away of the church. It took me away from flocked birds
Chirping away script without meaning. Love it seems was my absolution
For my brainwashed idolatry of Catholicism.

And I now walk through life knowing
I’m not after birdfeed. The manna was in me.
God will stand by me in thickness and thin.
Just like the woman who bathes, not just my feet,
But my whole body, with a flow of love.
And love is much bigger than a fishermen’s institution
Or a fishermens’s code, or the catch
Love is the religion of two hearts, bonded in the sacred
Ritual of unconditionality. Rituals are not just mainstays.
They are the foundations of far bigger things.

It seems our love is holier than the church.

Meta Physics

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I couldn’t date any Buddhist girls, there was
No clause on fornication saying it was a sin.
And I knew sex would be on the table at some point.
I could see nipples clutching onto cotton frocks
In the monsoon rain, but just like a Buddha statue in the temple
I had to worship her with flowers and patience
Until she was in full bloom on the marriage bed.

And dating a catholic girl was the easier option
I could always cling onto the commandments
It was like sex was found on a shrine, a little kiln
With a flame underneath evaporating all the moisture
It seemed a fireplay of matches, like ignition without a flame
It was smolder, pyromania, a firebird
A pyrrhic victory of a long and lengthy
Courtship, of my commandment-driven life.

And finally I suckled her breast, the tip of the iceberg
The small pink patch stitched on to a pillow
To make it more attractive and grip-prone, and I made love
And it was easy as a baby taking the first steps
It was as if I was meant to be monopedal, standing on
A small organ with a brain of its own.
I stood up, just like a baby and took my first steps
I didn’t fall, nor wobble, I stood firm like an arrow
Bisecting the apple of my eye with force
And I cried a little inside, like a baby who didn’t want
To look too ethereal, too wispy inside.

And I was no longer the bubble boy.
Nor was I the alter boy looking at a wine cabinet
Of perfectly-curved bottles of aged-wine
Too scared of taking a sip. I had dived into the marriage bed
And I had learnt to swim. Swimming I learnt
Didn’t need trunks, or breathing in too heavily
It was keeping your head above water
And your eyes open, to take in all the beauty
Of the ocean. The ocean will always be deep, will whisper
Sweet nothings, make mermaid sounds, and graft, even plunder
In waves, break your body to soar, only to crumble to sore.

I swam until I reached the other side.
If dawn was beautiful, the sunset was spectacular.
Like rays refracted from so many surfaces
Converging through your irises
And you’re blinded by the sense of percussion
And the insensibility of everything else.

And swimming was beautiful. Like my body was
Born to be one. And I look at her now sprawled on the bed cloth.
I knew I had a beautiful ocean on my bed.
And love was our brine, salting and preserving
Rot-prone flesh into a perennial sanctum.
A sanctuary as endearing as the soft fibers of
A palpitating heart, or the breast that insulates her.

And love was ours. The ocean and the swimmer. The sunrise
And the sunset. The stroke and the distance. Foreplay
And afterglow. The flow and the ebb. The percussion and the bliss.

And our two worlds becoming perfectly transmundane
As indescribable as true beauty.

Old York, New York

Window Woman

I wake up in the morning, The dawn
Tells me it’s a bright new day, and I drive away

Thinking it will be the day, I can do a perfect lecture
And come home to my wife, and stay up

Talking how her newest drawing looks like a new art movement
So unique around the edges and sparkling

At the center. Or how my new poem is avant-garde.
Like love is French and a love poem is a French kiss.

Frenching in verses, smothering on heart waves
And floating a strain of beauty, like paper boats on a water puddle.

I think of all the French influences in my wretched life.
My e-mail cluttered Hotmail account

All from one woman from my past. Spending a few hours
At Charles De Gaulle Airport, not having the guts

To see her. Too scared of being a fool. Going to NY
With a reverie painted in my heart. And I do come across

As a prize idiot, who waited 37 years to meet a woman
Who loved me back. And now at the end of the day

I come back to my wife, making love is neither too French nor Swiss.
Just a baila, local music that befriends your flesh

And turns it into a rhapsody. And I find love transcends making love
To my wife. It is more fiber, more palpitation, more flow.

It is as simple as when the body is done for the day
And the heart isn’t.

Circus 2

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I look at the caterpillars and millipedes
Industrious and graceful, in perfect synchrony

Like a ballet with 100 people and all
The little ballerinas are flawless in execution.

And fate, who like a circus master
Has so many whips, and you’re whipped at home

In the office, driving in the car and life
Is a cracked mirror and every one of the broken faces

Stare at you, at your many pieces, that are
Clear as glass yet as opaque as doubt

It seems the caterpillars and the millipedes
Have perfect synchrony in them and fate doesn’t

Otherwise life would be perfect. Wild animals making
Jumps through hoops, trapeze artists dancing in the air

And clowns doing handstands. Still my circus
Is not like that, it’s far from perfection and the whip

Marks have become tattoos with time, inescapable
Marks of endurance. So I try like an elephant

Riding a monocycle, cycle the only toy I call my own.
A woman, my wife, who takes me from the cruel circus

From the cages of my minds. Taking me to a perfect wilderness
A flawless place only we know. To graze some desire grass.

To bathe in lusted water holes. To make love.

The Male Nude

AIDS

I didn’t know whether I was a muse
Or a model, I only knew I was the reclining man

And you, were the stroke-maker. You stroked
Your elbow with a musical bow, only to flow back up

Your elbows were like strings on a weaving machine
Going and to and fro, muling together

The pieces of honey brown rusty skin
Golden at places and patchwork groves on others

She took her time, and I like a naked child
Going out of an open door, could feel ice crystals

On my flat bottom and the snowy wind was
Caressing the small under-growths on the chest

And I looked at her, her eyes like Aurora borealis
Perhaps even more erotic when you consider

She only had something stringed together on her back
Perfect symmetry elaborating her sugar loaves

And I could see her nakedness, flicker against
The scented candle on the table and the brush head swiveling

Like a wandering butterfly, not knowing which color
Hid the sweetest nectar. And my wife made love

On the canvas, and I could see the hemp rustle
In soft spasms, a little whisper creeping through

The cleft under the cloth. It was as if the canvas was
Calling her name, louder than I could ever scream.

And I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to be the canvas
On which all her colors would make a rainbow appear

As if she had rained on me all night and I was soaked
As an umbrella under the monsoon. And she reclined

And I sank like a broken hull, floating a little. Dyspnea stood by me
Until ecstasy exiled me, as I looked at the painting before me.

I could see brown in all his splendor. Like Demerara sugar
Had caremalized on the tip of the brush and she had

Smudged sweet caramel all over my bronze. I was the ugliest man
I knew, but seeing myself on canvas was a beautiful epiphany.

I finally saw her vision lying naked on canvas. A trompe l’oeil
As slender as the rusty bristles that painted her.

And I knew she loved me – all of me. And her love was a male nude.
Too naked to be ever clothed by illusion.

Don’t make my life easy (Why I’m not Truman)

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Don’t give me a saddle to put on the horse
They are wild creatures. I will ride bareback

Like the American Indian does. Still I’m no Indian, but
Just like Sinhalese came out of Sanskrit’s womb

There will be some genes of mine in West Bengal
Where boats parted jetties and came south.

I’m “Lionese”, that’s what my nationality tells me
I should have an amber-rust mane, but I don’t.

And lions don’t just prowl for a little happy meal
They do that with precision, with mastery

And I too have mastered the hunt now. 37 years it took me.
I now know how to hold a woman’s hand

And not paddle her like a skipping rope. I know how to kiss
After rehearsing on the mirror manifold times.

And slowly it seems I became my own nationality.
And now I look in the mirror, I see a soft man who had a hard life.

I need no paws and manes to be me now. I just need
A forgiving heart that will see beyond my losses.

An endemic face that will smile for no reason. I will be
That Sri Lankan, a little man of a little island.

As little as a small pawn on a chess board played
As gambit on black and white squares of the world stage

And I still need the big ocean and bigger shoes to fill.
After all, I’m the perfect accident of fate

The poster boy for stolen years, for stolen lives
For stolen dreams, for stolen youth. And exiled from

Everything I knew, I found myself. Hauling fish
From the ocean, in a fishing expedition to survive.

And it seems, I accidently hauled in a blue whale
Leaking blue ink on the hull of history.

Love Again

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How do you grow a new life from the broken?
A heart refusing to believe that it is over

Can you transplant a new heart when the old
One is broken to pieces, mere porcelain

And you still need to make an investment on glass.
And that glass vase will hold one flower

And still be vulnerable of falling and breaking
From the pedestal she lifts you to.

Like a gecko’s tail grows back, will the anoxic
Places of the heart find some crimson blood

Will my hemoglobin carry a new oxygen
A new woman, beautiful inside and always imperfect

Around the edges. And that heart of mine
Just like a pomegranate with hundreds of arils

Will find small compartments of life. And you will
Carry the scabs and stitch back the scars

And paint over the wound until she is a masterpiece
Who will turn into your own magnum opus

On a bed of infinite possibilities.

Zoophile

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I met a woman
Who had spirits in her, wild and untamed
Who galloped like wild mares, with lips like piranhas
And I took her in, and she was only a hurricane
Storming past me without looking back
It seems the wilderness was calling her name.

Then I married a woman
Who was nearly a virgin, a woman of little experience
And on the wedding night, she made sounds only the jungle knew
It was as if there was a zoo inside her
So many caged animals, so many imprisoned beasts
Wanting to come out of their confinement
And pounce on the zoo-keeper
Holding his six-foot something flesh
As a piece of raw meat.

Narco

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Making one eye glint and the other sprinkle
Bipolar feelings of erasing your conscience

Holding a little spoon on a flame. Burning
To a wispy white smoke, sneaking through orifices

On the underside the nose. Sniff and inhale
A little crack, a little dirty, with a little baking soda

And the spoon is no big dipper, yet you
See her clearly like glowworms dappled on the sky

And fireflies with clipped wings falling in a pile. That spoon
Holds your fears on a pyre and immolates every

One of them. You feel your plumage brighten
And you dance like a bird of paradise, on a tight wire

Until your eyes are weary and a strange confusion
Saturates the meadows of your spacey sky

And all the stars have faded now. The sky seemingly
A graveyard of supernovas and you’re sucked through

The navel of an hour glass to become a memory.
A speckle too faint to call a star. What no astronomer

Will ever gaze at. I will only be a face on a high school yearbook
Of a boy who dreamt of going to space.

And he did, on top of a table spoon.