Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Before the Quarter Finals (World Cup Series)

Before the Quarter Finals

Bereft is the word, lost, niggling absence,
this break in daily unveiling of the World Cup

before quarter finals kick off, forty eight hours
of writhing and reliving the unfortunate business,

ball bouncing beyond German line by 32
centimeters to break England’s lion-heart, shot

from offside that jump-started Argentina’s ride
over Mexico, foot fault by a finger leading

still to Spain’s illegitimate goal that sent
Portugal home. Hard to digest that three matches

of the round of 16s were marred by goals allowed
in error, that the world is tuning still into football

despite football’s rejection of its good sense.
Breaking News: the head of FIFA apologizes

to English and Mexican federations. A small
step for FIFA, yes, to be celebrated, certainly;

but if Germany’s goalie, or an Argentine
player, preferably the scorer, had stepped up

in the moment of scandal to say no, no, no,
we do not deserve this point, that would

have been a story of saving grace in a world
gathering worth talking of to the grandchildren.

Indran Amirthanayagam, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mexico, Assassination

Mexico, Assassination

Political murder hurts not only surviving members of the family
but all supporters, the dead politician’s community. Remember

how many dreams and spirits fell with Colosio? Now this
recent Mexico has disposed of Cantu in Tamaulipas, candidate

for governor, kidnapped a former head of the PAN, Diego
Fernandez Cevallos. When will the crap shoot, breakdown of state,

impossible living under threat of traffickers with automatics, almost
daily mowing of ordinary Mexicans into bits in Ciudad Juarez,

escapism into narco ballads, easy circulation of weapons, fear,
when shall all this end--and not in statistics about untimely death ?

Indran Amirthanayagam, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup Fraud

World Cup Fraud

A poor call by the referee should not decide a game.
When a player strikes a goal he should have recourse
to a third eye in the stand, a camera, that can help
distinguish wrong from right, as in many other sports.

I don't understand why FIFA persists in celebrating
human folly and frailty, why millions of fans must go
to bed tonight feeling their teams have been robbed,
that blind officials and blind luck trump skilful play.

Surely. even winners must feel some remorse to have
benefited from the erroneous whistle. Their victories
have been diminished and they should call opponents
and say, let us play again, another 15 minutes

for the gaffe, or just have your goal back and let us
see where that leaves us. Old rules are rusting, rotted,
time to move the game to a more equitable plain,
to reduce even the appearance of untoward gain.

Indran Amirthanayagam c) June 27, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010


Séptimo Mañana, Mundial

Las Américas llevan la ventaja en este Mundial.
Cada día me despierta otro golazo argentino,
uruguayo, mexicano, y falta que Brasil comience
a revelar sus cartas. Hasta Estados Unidos
tiene oportunidad para llegar a octavos.

¿Y qué tal el más viejo continente?
Es triste; en este momento de su bautizo
como anfitrión, sus equipos juegan con el Diablo
y su lanza de fuego y han empezado
a quemarse. ¿Para dónde van las vuvuzelas?

¿Acompañaran a los jugadores en sus primeras
caminatas por los círculos más remotos
del Infierno? No me dejes escribir más,
mi Dios, tal vez los Elefantes de la Costa
de Marfil están a punto de lanzarse en estampida.

Indran Amirthanayagam, el 17 de junio, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mass Marriage, Vavuniya

I submitted the following to If you do not know the site, read what's published there. The writing offers lanterns to help illuminate the island's darkness.

Mass Marriage, Vavuniya

What a large and dramatic idea occurred to the brigadier in charge
of rehabilitation , to organize a mass wedding to spur former Tiger

troops into formation under a different philosophy and yet appeal
to their strengths to cohere as a group not any longer in waging war

against the State but to reveal their common humanity to agree
to a public celebration of private bonds, to ensure their co-habiting

led to proper inheritance for children, access to social welfare
payments when necessary, all to the good for these members

of a herd, now in white vershtis and magenta sarees eating cake
and chatting with relatives witnessed by the Bollywood actor

Vivek Oberoi, no less, before returning to detention camps,
now two by two, respectable members of the new unitary ark,

where domestic animals gather obediently while the brigadier
sheds a tear; he told the press, he was nervous, even more so

than before his own wedding, which did not take place thankfully
under public glare and was not diminished by the splendour

of mass marriage like mass production of poultry, efficiencies
of scale, government desire to move rehabilitation forward

in one swoop, a sort of dog training in a large group; anybody
realize that marriage among truly reborn takes place between

two people and the witnesses are God and invited guests? Here,
some exceptions were made to the usual practice, no consultation

with bride or groom, whether the actor was indeed an honoured
guest, or if the brigadier should cry like a mother, or if even

53 couples minded seeing their knots tied in the presence
of each other, or have Reverend Moon and other enlightened

priests of mass marriage, become advisers to Sri Lankan
military, spiritual guides to its standard operating procedure?

Indran Amirthanayagam, June 15, 2010