Boating On The Lake, Kandy - Poem by Sheena Blackhall
It’s an October day. In Scotland, chilled by frost
The loyal robin shivers, others flee the coop.
Already Christmas tills ring up the cost
The boatman pushes the small craft off the mooring
We glide like ghosts into the man-made lake
100 chiefs who raised dissent at its building
Were killed by their last mad king
Each one impaled on a stake,
Driven into the bedrock of this place
Doubly killed by skewering and drowning.
No bubbles rise in wrathful lamentation
Under the dark umbrella of the trees
Fruit bats hang like flags of Dracula
We float past distant walls of sacred shrines
Where shoeless pilgrims shuffle past the relics
Blessed by the shaven monks in saffron robes
The engine stalls, boat anchors, monsoon spits
Stepping up to the shore we pass a speechless cripple
He smiles, shows off his leg
Elephantiasis. He lets his sickness beg.
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