My poem titled “The Capital” is included in “Channels” Volume 19. Channels is an annual publication that features contemporary Sri Lankan Writing and is published by the English Writers’ Cooperative (EWC) Sri Lanka. It’s not available online and I’m posting the poem here.
Colombo clicks her heels
tonight as music throbs in hidden
spaces. Lights blink
as they guide the way along lush
avenues, winding, trees
bending in acknowledgement.
The breezes blow cool
and calm across waters cleared,
now winking as the lights reflections
spread out across the lakes, canals
and waterways free to flow
as they wish. Old world charm sprawls
while modernity rises
from the earth. Brick by brick
the future beckons. The city smiles
at the wonders ahead.
The avenue of independence
has lost her soul. Torn
down by the puppets of the people.
A debauched brain ordered the change.
The earth shudders as trees
crash to the ground,
the birds scatter, their nests
lost in the dust of development,
progress, the need to renew.
The dogs rounded up and sent off
to die. Boiled, gassed. That’s their fate.
There’s no place for the likes
of them in this city
brand spanking new. Not for the likes
of canine, avian; the crows
or strays. The beggars
they kill, their heads smashed with rocks
no better than dogs and left to rot
on pavements. The blood stains on
concrete blocks licked up by
scavengers. The city mourns
and wonders what lies ahead.
© 2013 Shirani Rajapakse