Monday, October 1, 2012

Happiness Blues, Sri Lanka, A Poem

            Happiness Blues, Sri Lanka

I don’t know what to say, my friend,
I have some blues that don’t seem right,
too light and fancy free, happiness
and all that putty you poke and pat,

grinning silly, but love is the matter
with me, I have plenty and I want
to start sharing the bounty. How lucky
can a man be, used to melancholy

and raving at the Moon about family
buried by the lagoon, who will
catch the drift along with snowflakes
in this far Northern and European town

that tried to make peace back
in the viper-ridden Vanni and failed;
yet somehow, miraculously, cousins
survived and are making their way
out of the jungle, heads held high;

and throughout the planet
family is saying this effort
to settle foundation stones
of our piece of earth will continue

until the end of time; so nobody
should rest on laurels, or dream
of bitter death, happiness
has me up tonight, generous

and lively. Are you ready
for a roll? A reading
about uncivil fools who think
blood can be washed away,

bones buried in the sand,
that everybody will forget
how one hand clapped
and white vans set off

to prowl? No, my friends,
this happiness will not
be shovelled into the back
seat or stuffed with cloth

down its throat or peppered
in the eyeballs. It will not expire
before midnight. We are
about to play--the crowd

is eager and shouting—
a post-midnight set, happiness
blues, after the reckoning,
the counting of the dead.

            Indran Amirthanayagam, October 1, 2012

1 comment:

Green Eliza said...

Nice poem... There is a great Sri Lankan Poems website... Maybe you would like to check it out, and maybe contribute.. :)
Sri Lanka Poems