As the sun dives
into the mute Indian Ocean
across the western edge a dim rainbow fades
into a blue sky
turning rusty red
Sea waves carry their ivory froth to shore
another faded love
melting into memory
The evening breeze
whispers your sweet lullaby over the ocean
My heart aches
No song can stop those waves
Translated by the poet
Signals from the Navel
Were it not for
and her mother’s mother’s mother,
how would you
and your daughter’s daughter
and her great-grand daughter
have come to be?
Think about it sometime
Is there no connection
to trace between the repeated signals
from those umbilical cords
and the colours of the sky
so that you, a lone woman, can see
as you too live and learn?
Think about it, sometime
Perhaps you assume
you began it, were at the root of it,
that umbilical cord.
Or perhaps you wonder
why you need
all those forebears
just to register your face
Let me see
touch your inmost soul
with one hand,
and point with the other
to the tree
whose fruit you once tasted
Are you not Eve herself?
Translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom
ANGELA DE SILVA
On broken butterfly wing, your crippled mind
fluttered into my schoolroom. Failed. And died.
I couldn’t do a thing to stir its organs
of poor maimed sense to life again.
Only sensation. Reflex twitch
of feelers. And for me sentiment.
Occasional small rapture at your velvet
softness and smoothness. Soon the ants of time
carry you away from chalk and Chaucer
The heavy footed State, which made a mess
of your fragility, called this progress,
should pin you down on cardboard behind glass
specimen of the educated class.