by Thavishi Dharmawimala
A Multicolored Fabric
The calendar of this paradise,
is etched in different hues.
January filled with the aroma
of the sweet delicacy of Pongal,
brightened by the meticulously patterned Kolams
gold bordered silk flowing sarees and
strings of milky jasmines to adorn
May showers light
with frilled lanterns of all shapes and sizes,
kaleidoscopic buckets hung in thousands
like the twinkling stars suspended and
lighting up the heavens above.
People dressed in white to
greet the sacred temple grounds.
July the month of sweet meats,
everyone clammering for
the brown plummed honeyed watalappan,
watering the mouths.
Fasting a shared ritual regardless of one’s faith,
a shared sacrifice made for friends.
December arrives with jingling bells,
reindeer, sleighs and the merry laughter
of a generous kind hearted being,
loved by young and old alike.
Trees clothed in endless streamers,
marbled ornaments and a glowing star,
plucked from the heavens,
emanating love and light.
These diverse countless faces are
the many threads,
the many colors,
woven into an exquisite fabric,
an amalgamation to produce
rich, rare and exquisite,
that adorn our little pearl.
Swaying in the slight breeze,
amidst the cooling winds,
carrying its supple soothing white fragrance,
stands the jasmine plant,
in a colored garden.
Many hands water it daily,
breathing into it the life,
they’ve molded and pruned.
In return it bears the flowers of purity,
to cleanse the many silted hands.
She must bear fragrant purity,
for that is what she ought
and meant to do.
It rises not high,
“Jasmines must decorate, be offered, give pleasure,
be looked at and plucked by gentle hands,
it’s soft delicate petals intact.
They are ornamental.”
Reiterates many distant voices in unison.
“It must not bear fruit
for that is against the natural laws,
it must fulfill its purpose,
else it’ll be discarded, an outcast,
for no one accepts a flowerless jasmine shrub in their colored gardens”.
Those who walk up the lane
Cannot miss the Buddha statue in meditative silence,
Encapsulated in shiny glass case,
so peaceful, so serene,
the silence a soothing concoction.
Hurrying feet, kerosene, stones, boards of protest.
screams pierce the silence.
buildings, shops, houses lit up in orange,
battered bodies around, some fleeing, some lying still,
a punishment for a racial identity.
Screams, Screams and more Screams.
The silence is shattered
but not the glass casing,
the statue is still contained, paralyzing its
eternal light, compassion, countless births of teaching.
Am I the only one who just saw tears rolling down that silent face?
To a Serial Killer of December, 2004
Twelve long years have dragged by and
I now watch you from a distance,
Your pretentious doe eyed innocence,
fashionably dressed in shimmering blues and greens,
when you should be embellished in red.
You chose to engulf many lives in darkness,
You consumed countless breaths,
Yet you flow so playfully,
for you can never be convicted nor avenged.
They adored you,
They worshipped you,
but you decided to cross boundaries
on that fateful day,
you decided to change history.
Sometimes I wonder whether you’re done
taking your revenge, your blood lust on
behalf of your friends?
was it really revenge?
or mere sport, mimicry of our actions?
We loved you,
but you deceived us,
flexing your power upon the helpless.
You took those who wanted to live
and spared those who wanted to embrace the stillness,
you chose blood over penance.
I see your frothing waves crash against
the giant rocks submerged in the sandy pebbles,
children embracing you in their naivety,
engrossed in your friendly countenance.
Men in colored sarongs throwing their tightly woven
nets into you.
They have forgotten your crimes,
have they forgiven?
or have you left them no choice?
will you continue to change face,
knowing that our survival depends on you?