Shirani Rajapakse

Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She won the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013 and is a finalist in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards 2013. Her collection of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work appears or is forthcoming in, Kitaab, Cyclamens & Swords, Channels, Linnet’s Wings, Spark, Berfrois, Counterpunch, Earthen Lamp Journal, Asian Cha, Dove Tales, Buddhist Poetry Review, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, The Occupy Poetry Project and anthologies, Flash Fiction International, Ballads, Short & Sweet, Poems for Freedom, Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace 2012 and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. She blogs rather infrequently at
Late Afternoon

The sun’s overhead, I’m melting
like chocolate oozing all
over. Clothes stuck to skin

waiting for rains
that refuse to fall. The grass
cracks underfoot, coarse like old coconut

leaves falling to pieces bruising
my soles. Hot winds hurry
through the garden howling in agony. The cat

looks up and shrugs it
off as crotons, red, orange and yellow
sway flirtatiously.

The sky’s a deep blue
like the skirt you bought from
some faraway

land. I wore it with pink, you
liked the effect, shocking like the sunset,
the colour of my tongue,

lipstick and something else.
There’s no respite today. The weather’s
being cruel again.

Games People Play

Staring at the kettle, steam rising to the
ceiling, she’s sitting in the kitchen in her little

house in London, wondering what he’s doing
so far away from home.

Sun’s setting; she lounges in the verandah in
Colombo, unsure when he’ll leave. Colours

change in the garden, mango
leaves turn golden. She looks at him.

Shadows fall, walls whisper secrets. “Doesn’t
know what he wants, doesn’t know

what he wants.” Pink oleander strains
over the wall from the neighbours garden. Nods

at him sitting silent wondering what to
do. Messages whispered over phone lines,

crumpled in colored papers thrown
into dustbins. Needs more time

to decide. Winter in London,
cold and chill like lilies

adorning a wreath. A strange look in her
eyes, questions demanding to tumble

out. She doesn’t say a word but comes to
him. Sweating it out in the late afternoon heat her

blouse sticking to her like a second skin
dark pink like oleander. Rising from her corner

she pours herself a coffee, staring at the rain
falling, falling through the trees. He pulls

her close to him, desires take over. The game
moves on, decisions fly in the winds.