Colombo looks like a bride tonight

Colombo looks like a bride tonight;

lovely, wet,

born in the morning,

heart racing, jewels burning;

here for tomorrow,

sweet, gratifying—like fresh milk rolling down your throat.


Colombo looks like a bride tonight,

whose girlhood dreams were subject to the earth’s gravitational pull

—a practical brown, boxy and tied down.

A girl whose thoughts were borrowed from the eight-thirty show.

but perfectly nice and with a secret alleyway between her breasts.


She’ll cry on her wedding night.


Colombo looks like a bride tonight

—a woman who knows better than to question happiness.

She knows that the moment joy touches your fingers

is when you hear that distant thunder.

Her best secrets—like dirty, old men—

left homeless, roaming loose and unloved

like cheap asbestos roofs quietly disintegrating

poison-proofing hearts that sleep underneath them.


Colombo looks like a bride tonight.

A woman cut open and left awake at 2am

as the lonely train runs down Marine drive,

for nothing—driving no one.


Colombo looks like a bride tonight-

lovely, pious, shiny and alone,

because it’s a long weekend and

everyone left for home

—never more empty and never more beautiful.

Photograph: Max Murrell, 2017, ‘Trees in the dark’,, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Beast rally

We just want to rally,

to shout,

to hate,

to throw rocks.

Whether it’s for land, for thirst, for money, 

a man born on a shepard night’s silence

a prophet or a sage 

enlightened underneath a tree.

We just want to rally

to belong,

to break,

to feel higher

than them.

For books, for myths, for stories told

by long forgotten women and men.

We just want to rally,

to make ours

and not others’

to be known,

to be seen shining for fifteen minutes,

to be loved,

to be saved,

to be told that we are great.

To believe so deep

in our right to be,

to say it out loud, 

to live,

to kill,

to be beasts.



Photo by Aris Messinis


Human thing 

This human thing,

it cuts:

it heals, it hurts:

it is the thing that man’s god hates the most.

This human thing

is a thing of shame and miles and miles of sunshine.

This human thing,

is a thing that sang,

made breakfast,

watched Netflix

and at pictures of beautiful flats;

played Pokemon Go,

shopped for Christmas,




loved and


while cities of ants burnt

with their secret mines of gold.

Then everything

fell slowly

and bewilderingly apart

till humans things were dug open to find

a sun

that burns children, women and men

shooting air bombs.


The prophets are late,

or someone,




Sunlight catches traces of smoke from fighting in Aleppo’s ancient souq by Tom Westcott


Monsoon salt

It was in the heart of May

that the salt armies rose from the ocean

and marched in with quiet determination

– the kind of determination fraught in things

made to carry out the will of another being,

like machine guns or cities.

They crawled in through the slits of air underneath windows and doors

to take over, to tighten crystal saline around our throats,

to numb us all.

Perhaps out of kindness, in preparation

for the war.


Next came the most terrifying thing-

a lull;

a godforsaken, vast terrain where you shake from the panic of being alone

knowing that any minute now…

everything could change

into anything.


It must be true –

the old saying about the calm before the storm,

because then came the winds with

black sails tied to their song:

ominous and set to drop bombs

on Colombo.


In came the rain,

humbling away all the hard work of manmade days

down the rapids of muddy waterways.


The next morning,

mankind floated

on the glimmer of end-of-the-world rivers

and for an hour of crushed devastation,

in a small death of civilisation,

everything was innocent

and beautiful again.


Image by bhphotovideo


A Southern wedding: part 2

There’s an island lore, warning to never trust a word you hear

once you cross the Bentara river

beyond which,

the South begins

where witches were born and men cut up by beauty would go to live.


The strangers who flew in on a storm

took the Southern beauty home – their new bride delightful like a vulgar schoolboy song.

But, they don’t know

the reason she smiles more than she talks, or the men buried in her tomb.

Do they know that she only ever loved the ocean?

-the salt that ravages her

and leaves her with enough tears for another hundred years.

It’s one of those unhealthy addictions.


There she goes.

She made a beautiful bride for the seventeen thousandth time.


The radio said

there are more strangers

coming to see her from all over the world;

they can’t wait to get cut open.


Shining her gold, she’s ready to take them all.

The beauty of the South is sad no more.


Image –


A Southern wedding: part 1

Everything is ready for the wedding.

The papers, the witnesses, the drums, the walls whitewashed numb…

Check on her one last time?

She is supreme,

the sand is rich and a yellow heat is lingering lazy above the skin

Not a cloud in the sweet salt South.

It’s time.


Hush, the guests are coming.

They can’t believe their eyes.

Who made such beauty, just to shine on some forgotten beings?

What a face,

coconut palm lashes rise and fall sleepy, making them giddy.


They take her picture.

They couldn’t bear the thought of her face being forgotten.


They all want to marry her;

one said he will marry her arms,

the other her breasts,

a rich man her cunt,

another her hair…

a piece of her for everyone.

She is exquisite in red.


We gave her away

piece by piece. Bless her, she remained sweet.


As they drove her away, we heard the drums beat

against black brewing in the far cry.

We all looked towards the ocean, fearing if it knows

that the beauty of the South was married away.



Saranya & Vithya, they both got raped

Saranya & Vithya, they both got raped.

Vithya was at the height of her popularity,

Saranya already lay forgotten in the by the way,

After all, she got raped in February and this-

is already May.

“So, yes, what about rape? Tsk, tsk.”

“Yes, we’re very upset, why isn’t anybody else doing anything?”

“This is disgusting.”

Vithya too, starts to fade away.

Soon, both Vithya and Saranya will be blowing in the winds

of supposed change.