The Killing of Shambukas*

Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms.
Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the books
and blood on the papers,

Black body swinging in mute silence,
Strange fruit hanging from tridents.


Rajans’ little boy
Every evening
Grasping the sky with his naked eyes
Calling the moon
Waving his tiny hands
"Nilaa Nilaa oodi waa


Night’s darkness surfs - sleepless
A star’s brightness breaks darkness
Singing fish - your name they sing
Tarakie, it’s your voice pleasing

No, no, they aren’t sweet
those songs make ears bleed

Last Station

Does someone
turn back time from 9.25 am
bidding the enraged
dark waves to return to
some unseen abyss,
long away from the shore,
as a telephone rings ceaselessly,

The Small Cell

His silver and gold are corroded.
His lungs beget a fungus .

I was a neglected sperm; this Small Cell, already a cell
which makes his alveoli become the galls in a dried leaf,

The Black January

That day, the house where his body was lying,
was abandoned like a graveyard
The last sip of the tea served for a sleepless sigh,
had also gone cold.
An ant that was behind time


Once uprooted
Sprouts wings ...
Flame lily
Sheds petals
With the fleeting red.....
Sorrow itself


Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.