Sri Lanka Snapshot, 2010

For residents and visitors

The giant leafy mango
tree in the back garden
has been cut down
screamed the poet,

Scar and the hyenas
are in charge, the stomach
queasy, revolted,
Il Duce megaphoned

War is Peace;
in the exhaust fumes
of a white van a soul
flits about then vanishes,

betrayal on 4 million
tongues, the State is Me
yet some of me is afraid
to return, to stay, paralysed

while State police black shirts
twirling clubs pulp Lasantha
to welcome in the year
that ends with Sarath abducted,

the State afraid will cover
all tracks, Defense is Offense,
Minister draws sap
at Duttu’s right hand,

while his boys play cricket
for the nation and liberals
cower before the impressive
exertion of force and law

to suppress dissent, under
the ever-present pings
of execution on camera phone,
cerebral matter splattered

to disco beats, while
new-born howls alleviate
the gloom, breathing air
in the bloody morning room.