Photo courtesy of Anita’s Feast

It means we must harden into granite and diamond,
On the inside, where it really counts

It means each of us determining ourselves, by taking prompt, external
action instead of caving in, within

And as the country around us spins into irredeemable chaos
And there is a shortage of essential everything –
It means not cowering or raging, but making sure
Everything goes as far as it can.

Recycling, mending, reupholstering, repurposing.
Not only making do, but making more
Adapting from one form of energy to another:
From electricity to firewood, like our ancestors did.
Grinding spices by hand in a machine made bowl.
In Jerusalem, they say every pot has its lid.

Each day, we improvise:
Making a ritual which confers meaning and even joy
– if not actual illumination –
On what has to be done.

And if this all fails to sustain our lives,
We must treat the whole place like a corridor to where we really want to
Not allowing ourselves to engage too fully,
Moving fast,
And touching no surface
on either side.

The poem was conceived for the Brilliant Resilient, Sri Lanka’s first NFT exhibition, curated by Kesara Ratnavibhushana for The Upside Space, an international, curator-led platform co-founded by Lisa Ray and Ayesha Khan.