Sri Lanka Holiday
It was a luxury resort, our first,
About an hour’s slow driving south of hot
Colombo. Meals were huge and very good,
The hotel more a palace, rates were cheap,
All based on wages way too low, I’d say.
The Singhalese are Buddhists, friendly folk,
And animals are treated with respect.
So many little squirrels , lizards too,
Of mighty size, patrol the grounds. We saw
Sea turtles, porcupines, mongooses free
To roam around the feet of huge statues
Of Buddha, fifty metres high, no less.
On tour amid the central mountains, saw
A country full of soldiers though the war
Against the Tamil Tigers is long past.
Are Tamils still oppressed? It’s hard to know
But many still are refugees, and flee
To other lands. Saw Kandy, mountain girt,
The last Sri Lankan kingdom; Temple of
The Sacred Tooth, which stayed beside the seat
Of power. Saw Ayurvedic potions sourced
From green spice gardens; climbed thousand steps
To mountain temples deep in caves just stuffed
With statues of the Buddha, gory and
Erotic frescoes, sacred spots beyond
Belief like Sigiriya, “Lion Rock”.
Up many many steps, no hats or shoes
Allowed, so ran at speed to shady spots,
Amid the searing heat. Saw stupas by
The score, among the ruins of ancient towns
And capitals, then back to fine hotels
Before the long flights home to Melbourne, Oz.