Colombo, Peace and Conflict, Poetry, Post-War

The Emperor’s Clothes

Do not question
the numbers
when speaking of
your dead sons
in the field of war.
accept quietly
your death dues.
Hush! Don’t worry!
just in case
you trouble
Our Army Officers.

Gentlemen of the Black Robes,
you who were called traitors,
we know your Glory!
Hush! Shut your ears!
No Legal Action against
The Power Holders now
just in case
you distress
Their Leader.

A billion ends with nine zeros!
war is indeed costly
on what, pray, was it all spent?
Hush! No questions please!
Just in case
you embarrass
Our Rulers.

The liberated are free
in detention camps,
should another
Liberator descend to
free them.
Hush, Make no noise!
just is case
Our Sensitive Parliament
At such Heavy Questions.

Do not inquire
about the corpses
appearing here and there
of course, once in a way
Disappearances do Happen!
Hush! Don’t worry!
just in case
The Power and Glory
of our King
that rises by the day

Hungry? Just a little patience!
don’t you know?
this is only the effect
of a world wide crisis.
Hush! Shut the Door!
stay Indoors..
Just in case
You expose
Our apprehensive government
shying away
in Stage Fright
from The People

Hear nothing!
See nothing!
Say nothing.!
Until the little child
who saw through
the Emperor’s Clothes
…Into the Nakedness,
Awaken Us.

Poem by Mahesh Munasinghe, August 2009. Sinhala original can be read here.