poem: Sri Lanka Holiday

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.

 

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