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 http://shiranirajapakse.wordpress.com.
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
The sky’s a deep blue
like the skirt you bought from
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.