John 20: 6  Then Simon Peter..went in to the sepulchre and saw the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but rolled up in a place by itself.


On Sinhalese New Year’s Day – Avurudu to you!

The mountain came tumbling down; down upon the dolls’ houses

With people living in them, tucked into the foothills of Colombo’s

Municipal rubbish dump at Meethotamulla.


‘There is nothing to be done’, Vladimir declares to Estragon,

Waiting For Godot on the slag heap of everything-we-know.

(Or is it the other way around? Does it matter?)

At least those n’er-do-wells would have needed a tree to hang from;

For some, shifting ground is all it takes to make strange fruit.


Twenty-one dead in Meethotamulla, toll rising

Like black water coming up through the floorboards on Friday afternoon

And then the earth moved…..

Then a wave of people came to raise their fellows from the grave.


Of some houses the landslip had rolled away the front half,

Others were taken from behind: prised open to public gaze,

Delicacies of private life made even more delicate

The daily grind, ground down still further.


Open to failure, open to failing better.

In the suburbs and shanties of Sri Lanka

There are burial clothes neatly folded

And everything is still to be done.


  • With apologies to Basil Wright