*Tears for my Roots : Four Poems*

Asoka Weerasinghe Ottawa, Canada


If I have taken the passion of a lion
into my heart with pithy anger,
it is because your grenade clutching fingers are entangled in my beard hurting me with the poison darts of half-truth and lies published in foreign newspapers.
And when the ketchup blood gushes out
from the thumb print on her forehead
severing life exposing the debt
of joy being a tenth generation native,
this is when my lion anger roars
a jungle war cry
propping a lifeless torso strung
onto a Jaffna lamppost.

*Dungaalpitiya Fisherfolk*
(19 September 1990)

Seeing the fisherfolk all Sinhalese
chopped to death by Northern separatists, the sea spray heaved up to me pungent with the taste of blood like a blood coated night song sung into the pale grey sobs of daylight.

Listening to the widowed
chest-thumping lamentations,
my anger is visceral
and is siphoned through the nostrils
like a puffing fire belching dragon.

Before I bury the assimilated
puzzle of hearts and limbs
and fingers and toes
I want to make a fire wreath
with Phoenician songs
to resurrect their snuffed spirits
to be echoed across the jungles of Jaffna as I want to win this war someday, I want to win this war.

*Gunned down at Midnight Mass*
(Sri Lanka MP Joseph Pararajasingham
shot dead at Christmas mass, 2005)

I have suspected the Norwegians
as culpable */Homo bastards/*
feeding the Tamil Tigers with funds
and guns helping to sap
the ceasefire peace with clay-
more mine ambushes. It is Christmas day
in the east, and hymns at midnight
filling St. Mary’s Cathedral and carried outside on war weary harried clouds asking for a sheet tailored with heartless Tamil Tiger tears to cover the bodies of navy sailors they had killed earlier, and suddenly a pistol lead shot pierce the harmony of the Bible singers chorus and an old man falls dead.
Outside the star twinkling night’s glow
reacting to this brutal slaughter
sickens to a dangerous tiger yellow
and the moon hanged low
with an angry blood shot eye.

*Child Soldiers*

This corpse speaks to me
still warm and the mouth foams
with his mother’s milk.
A medallion of a misplaced
courage of drying blood
is stuck to his chest
where a bullet had pierced
in the assault cracking dark.

I am tired carrying
around your mother’s tears
washed with her breast-milk
which was your afternoon feed,
and I see all around you others strewn
hastily like poppy-chested flowers
with eyes of executed children.

The naked truth is that you
are a Tamil Tiger terrorist
of a war of merciless adult hearts
all safe in jungle bunkers
marching out the Baby Brigade
to line up as cannon fodder.

The Ferris-wheel of my eyeballs
spit out fireworks to light
up the jungle of stacked match-box coffins to solicit a last embrace from your mother before you become another number in the catechism of our Jaffna children.

Asoka Weerasinghe
Ottawa, Canada

(Asoka Weerasinghe is an Ottawa based Award winning poet and the author of 14 books of poetry. His next volume of poetry, /Mayan Love Songs,/ will be published this December.)

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