The poem reblogged from Groundviews
Come soon. The sepalika
are growing wild and high.
You must see them before
you die, before I die. Come
soon. The book is finished.
The war is done. Yes, I know,
I know, boys appear still
in dreams and disappear
in dribs and drabs, and islanders,
who left for foreign lands,
must be interviewed by
the Minister of Defense himself
to recover citizenship. But come.
Come. Don’t leave me alone
for the rest of time. Give me
a hug, I have a garland for you.
The trees are waiting for
their prodigal sons. We will
be happy, make merry, until
the Minister sends his messenger.
Then just call your embassy. You
have free passage. You are American,
and He loves your democracy,
all democracies. Come soon. Come now.
A collection of the poems by Indran Amirthanayagam, Uncivil War has just been published by Tsar Books in Canada.
Indran Amirthanayagam is a poet, essayist and translator in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. His first book The Elephants of Reckoning won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States. His poem Juarez won the Juegos Florales of Guaymas, Mexico in 2006. Amirthanayagam has published six books thus far: Sol Camuflado (Lustra Editores, Lima, 2011), The Splintered Face Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press, March 2008), Ceylon R.I.P. (The International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2001), El Hombre Que Recoge Nidos (Resistencia/CONARTE, Mexico, 2005) El Infierno de los Pajaros (Resistencia, Mexico, 2001), The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press, 1993).
Amirthanayagam’s essays and op-eds have appeared in the Hindu, the New York Times, El Norte, Reforma, New York/Newsday, The Daily News, The Island, The Daily Mirror, Groundviews (Sri Lanka).
Amirthanayagam has played with Non Jazz at various concerts where his poems were set to music by Omar Tamez. He directed Mexico’s first ever program dedicated to conversations with poets “Palabras En Vuelo: Poesia en Conversacion” which appeared on cable television in Northern Mexico in 2006. Amirthanayagam is a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow and a past recipient of an award from the US/Mexico Fund for Culture for his translations of Mexican poet Manuel Ulacia. Amirthanayagam has also translated Jose Eugenio Sanchez, Julian Herbert and Jose Emilio Pacheco.