It shines bright,
Look how it delights,
It showers and ignites.
In the blink of coming night
The bright light
And we fade from life's sight.
He flew to our shores on the back of a black iron bird,
Immigration stamped him through on a student visa,
His mother’s kiss still lingered upon the lips of memory,
To Sheffield he came waving away Sri Lankan tears.
Life was hard, life was sleepless, life was unrelenting,
To eat his daily bread he worked long into the dread night,
By day he studied English knowledge inked in books old,
And by the arrival of twilight he delivered steaming dreams.
Every day, every single day, by the light of day, he spoke,
He spoke to his beloved mother so far away across oceans,
They had a bond true and deep, a mother and her beloved son,
But wings wet with evil were flapping closer and closer…
On the night before the Eve of All Hallows the darkness came,
As he drove through a wet night on the last shift of his job,
As he went to deliver his final aromatic pizza of the evening,
That’s when the demons of ignorance stabbed away his hopes.
They came from an infernal zone and they sliced through him,
The silent angels watched with horror stitched in their sockets,
His liquid life ebbed away at the coffin wheel of his delivery car,
The cold October moon wept milky light upon the warm blood.
The media ravens will label him ‘this’ and ‘that’ and the ‘other’,
And soon, all too soon, his name will melt into memory’s mist,
His name was Thavisha Lakindu Peiris and his life sings no more,
Under Halloween’s one eyed moon a soul kneels for justice.
You see me,
You judge me,
You pity me,
You forsake me.
You burgled me,
You marked me,
You left me,
You forgot me.
I stand alone no more…
I stand tall,
I stand high,
I stand silent,
I stand still.
I walk with friends,
I walk with truth,
I walk past the lies,
I walk to freedom.
We are the weeping children of far distant desert lands,
We are the daughters nourished upon the ink of olive branches,
The stubble of our village was shaved off without news or trace,
Life’s bittersweet aftershave of memory still stings to this day.
We are the children with forlorn hands and forgotten faces,
We are those who have suckled the milk of honey and grief,
Our school is entombed beneath an avalanche of oppressive lies,
Our tongues string and weave the haunting tunes of broken trust.
We are the girls dressed in rags caressed by death’s pernicious smile,
We are the orphans who shelter in cemeteries dug by men of war,
Our eyes sparkle and glow with a kaleidoscopic firework of fear,
The carnation of our youth will be stitched into dry dead wreaths.
We are the sisters who buried the flowers that were our brothers,
We have frolicked under the barbed shadow of death’s high wall,
Our toys are plucked from the palm of dates sweet with our hopes,
The fresh fragrance of deliverance shall one day perfume our nation.
Art painted, art confined, art denied,
The skin of the canvas cages and congeals the art,
Colours more plumbed than the peacock of paradise,
Yet trapped and tossed about in stormy framed emotions.
In the end it all bleeds away,
The paint dries, decays, and dies,
Faint leaky lines leave behind faded memories,
Life’s canvas rusts on the ground in solemn silence.
Hark now! Unhinge your ears!
Hear now music flowing from elegant veins,
Listen to how the strings pulse and weave the notes,
Watch how the music flies free and completely unconfined,
Those butterfly melodies entwine and in the air flutter and swirl.
Their dance is the ecstasy of a nightingale’s song,
They sprinkle and circle round and round, up and down,
The music of the cello is love’s supple spine, smooth and sensual,
Hear it, inhale it, caress it, sway with it, and be at ease and free with it.
I sit in a world with crucified colours,
But O my people,
I have a rainbow gleaming in my heart,
The wind shrieks and scratches at my hopes,
But O my people,
I keep alive the flame of my dreams,
Death combs cold air through my hair,
But O my people,
I am content and nourish my fears with Life,
War has stormed through my house and lands,
But O my people,
In my arms I cuddle the seeds of a new day.
The night air mists the window panes,
But we two hold warm in the embrace of love,
Our room holds no bounds nor shame,
I caress your cheeks with my fingertips,
The sound of your breathing strokes up my hunger,
You arch back and the light glints off your lips,
My tongue parts the petals of your lips,
There is the fragrance of a wild wet summer,
I slide through and you sigh with bliss,
"Petal by petal,
step by step,
breath by breath,
Her dreams flutter away...
Even though the mist curls
and the cold air caresses her,
In her heart
that's where the rose still grows."
He was born under sun soaked skies,
In the land of dawn’s rolling mountains,
But this was home here and now,
He was British,
He loved the flavours of his community,
And he inhaled the scent of this multi-coloured nation.
For over seventy years he walked from home to work,
And from work to home, a stone’s throw from a school,
He walked through these happy and silent streets,
He walked that same journey five times each day
To offer up his love and his prayers,
And to give thanks for the daily bread he baked.
One dark night of the soul,
As he left his local mosque,
And as he neared the safety of his home,
Three infernal stabs came from the back,
Deep, the blade slashed hard and it slashed deep,
Grandfather, father, husband… no more.
He was buried under sun soaked skies,
In the land of green lilting hills,
This was home here and now,
Every speck on the crowded horizon is a human,
The sun’s heat incinerates their hopes and tears,
And the soil wept for justice of a gentle soul.
The kingdom of my life is no more,
My hopes are cobwebbed with silence,
My life frozen between worlds,
Solace long ago abandoned me.
The birds of desolation now flock to me,
They peck my mind with beaks wet with lies,
And they scratch into my heart
And build nests of needles and despair.
My eyes see the orbs of dead dreams
And shards of paranoia wrinkle my face,
Madness twists and wriggles into my mouth,
It ripples with emotions etched by infernal ink.
I rage with the hunger without reason,
My sons nourish the fire in my stomach,
My daughters I have bargained to fill my drink,
My soul... I know not where it has escaped.
As Nelson Mandela fights for his life,
Our TV screens are smeared with Prince Philips' ill health.
Tell me true,
Of the two who has done more for world peace
And for his fellow travellers who journey through this life?
One rich and royal and stained with bullet powder
And the other poor yet rich with the jewels of integrity.
There was no dragon
And there was no girl with hands bound with pearls,
There was blood
And there was mass murder littered all over the land and rivers.
There was no saint
And there were no hymns or marching pipes led by earls,
There were lies
And there were bones inked to write and slaughter was delivered.
There was no lance
And there was no horse or swords drawn to help curvaceous girls,
There was a red cross
And there was blood smeared on a pure white flag which flapped and curled.
There was no gallantry
And there was no dignity or pride nor was there justice delivered,
There was a pale man
And he rode a pale horse and he rode from a land called Palestine.
And darkness rained down at noon,
On the hill the sun drowned in the darkness,
The shadows of three crosses fluttered on the blood scarred sand,
Guards kept watch with eyes laced with the poison of ignorance,
The anvils of grief hammered in the hearts of the believers,
Their day of deliverance lay shrouded in lamentations for their Savior,
The wind wiped the blood and caressed the foot of the King of Kings,
High on the hills of the valley the noon skies shuddered,
And from the clouds at the gates of heaven a raindrop fell,
Death died on that day,
Life immortal was born on that day,
Love and peace were blessed on that day.
They tried to bury the King who lived amongst beggars,
His was the Kingdom where the throne shimmered with prayers,
He had no need for the bloodstained seat of man-made power,
His crown was studded with the rapturous light of truth,
They came to carve out the heart of mercy at the break of dawn,
Their swords and spears twinkled under the newly born sunlight,
Wood, nails, hammers and spears, daggers too,
They wished to silence one who walked in the valley of the lepers,
In the court of snakes and vipers they scorned his words of hope,
They could not extinguish the message of the Beloved,
His words were written at the very first light of the first day,
Their eternal beauty has seduced and melted mountains into rivers.
Spring still lies buried in the memory of ice,
The flowers of the season are curled in slumber,
Warmer days seem so distant and fragile,
In her sad heart the seeds of Spring slowly germinate.
The tides of Christmas brought a new song on the air,
The life of freedom was kissed and warmly blessed,
They called her the Mother of the eternal Saviour,
Her pure blood gave colour to the petals of her red rose.
The years hailed sharp and fast and the Lord of wisdom matured,
The soldiers sharpened their infernal spears and spikes,
The sands of time spat hot thorns through men’s minds,
She hugged her Son and crowned him with merciful sleep.
He caressed away the tears from eyes sad before their time,
They came in search of the Healer who washed away fear and pain,
He kissed his Mother’s palms and the scent of the rose was there,
She wrapped his aching pain in her tears and whispered peace in his ears.
Who will write our songs now?
Our children only know the sad chants of death.
Who will weep for our forgotten dead?
Our histories are buried under mountains of war.
Who will rock us to sleep now?
Our pillows are pockmarked with the roar of nightmares.
Who will sing and celebrate our days now?
Our skies are filled with the screams of death’s drones.
Who will feed us now?
Our hunger feeds our minds and sustains our souls.
Who will smile with us now?
Our families have been harvested into early earthen graves.
Who will remember us now?
Our haunted smiles are all that remain.
Will you also take that from us?
That first year in uncertain September,
She kissed you goodbye at the weeping gates,
School soon gave birth to new and exciting mates.
The perfumed sweat of that summer,
Cool was the shade she so breezily offered,
You screamed and thundered and all her hopes shattered.
The stainless snows of December,
Warm were the embers of the kitchen’s delicious fireplace,
Those well wrapped memories stay warm in the mind’s secure space.
The lost and lonely nights of November,
Gone was the warmth and safety of her love’s vast stream,
The nightmare days you feared now snuggle and drown your dreams.
There are angels buried in gravestones
And devils carved into human souls,
Under the marble crawls the tail of a serpent
And the death of life is scaled across its back.
There is a signature etched into her bones
And a stale message hums a storm in her veins,
At the dusk of another fast dying day she weeps
And grief scratches through the doors of her heart.
My sweet red rose,
The thorns of life’s wars have not yet marked their scars,
Snuggle next to me,
Be warm and let me tell you about a love deeper than time…
In the perfumed halls of Eternity,
Once, when Time was yet an infant,
The Eternal Beloved of all sprinkled Love,
And the purest glittering particles settled
Upon a Mother and her sleeping newly born Child.
And love there was,
True and pure.
My baby, rest easy,
My child, breathe easy,
My son, play easy,
My daughter, sleep easy,
The memory of love will light away any dark dreams.
I have loved life
And I have loved the seasons,
I have loved the scent of beauty
And I have loved God Eternal,
Remember well, my child, my love is always here for you.
The rains that once brought her the warmth of his gentle embrace,
Those rains have returned,
But now there is no more reassuring warmth
nor is there the scent of love,
His freshly splashed aftershave no longer mingles with the raindrops on her cheeks.
Under this lush greenwood avenue would she and he caress and talk,
Their shy miles spoke sweeter than words,
They had no need for long nightly chats,
Their love ran deeper and smoother than the reservoir
Where they used to sit in the days before the rains came.
In the field where he once played under the shade of the old oak tree,
Now there is only a burnt out stump,
Lightening struck there once and tore out the heart of the oak,
Softly falls the rain, deep it runs into the roots and veins,
Her sinking subconscious swims through the fragrance of the falling rain.
On the evening air there is a sigh of another dying day,
The pathway ahead of her shimmers with the wet memory pools of another dead day,
Somewhere along this now lonely road she lost something rare,
After the fall of love she found a way to live under the cold cloak of life,
Without him there by her side under the umbrella there is no reflection of joy.
Behind her, shadows of the past call after her, begging her to turn back,
Ahead of her, the path grows a little lighter,
Above her, the trees and clouds shift apart to shower light and hope,
Around her, the leaves glow green and red and yellow gold,
There was a storm once, and after the rains, came the silence of solitude.