Poetry Week welcomes Shirani Rajapakse

Saturday Afternoon

Webster perches on the table
by my side and waits

ever patient. Spell check is
sometimes negligent. I think he

gets into moods. He takes his own
version, tries to impress.

Tells me I am wrong and he’s
right. He never

admits he’s wrong. Not even
once. How like a man. Spell check’s

a young punk with his
pants hanging down to his knees.

“Wassup?” he calls to
the air as he struts around in designer

shoes. Not much help there. So
old Webster hangs out by my side in

dignity. Ever patient. Old is gold they say,
while the newness is oblivious to it all.


Inside the Old Room

What would the wallsDSC01711
say if only they
could speak? Would they

tell you of the dreams
I dream when I am
not with you, or my thoughts

that I speak out
for no one to hear
lest hearing

make real? What would they
say, those walls, if they
could converse with

you and me?
Would they ask me
to leave for daring to do that

which I should not. For
I am a mere thing to please.
Nothing more to you.


Late Evening

The wind rustled through
the trees, moving this
way and that
and the leaves began to
gossip. What did they speak
of I do not know. I wish
I knew as I sat in
my room
looking out of the window
at the trees bending
in agreement with the weight
of secrets that moved
through their being.


SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAShirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and a MA in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University India. Her book of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Dove Tales, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, and The Occupy Poetry Project. Anthologies featuring her work include Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace, and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. Her poetry was featured on Verses in Motion radio. Connect with Shirani at her blog.

Note: Shirani is in Sri Lanka and may not see comments until the next day. While it may be noon central time here in the U.S., it’s nearly midnight in Sri Lanka.

sri lanka


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Prose & Poetry, Special Events

17 responses to “Poetry Week welcomes Shirani Rajapakse

  1. Reblogged this on Shirani Rajapakse and commented:
    My poems are on today.

  2. How wonderful to discover Shirani’s beautiful poetry here, thank you! I will look for her new poems in the future.

  3. Lovely poetry Shirani and thanks for Poetry Week Karen! 🙂

  4. Beautiful Shirani; it’s our honor to read your work!

  5. Shirani, you’ve beautifully captured the whispers of those things around us…trees, walls, wind…that must surely have tales to tell, if only we could hear them. What a beautiful reminder to listen more carefully with more than just our ears.

  6. Shirani, you have such an easy way with words. I really loved your poem about the walls and the stories they must know! 😉
    Karen, what a great idea: poetry week!!

    • Thanks Denise, they say that walls have ears. I always wondered what it must be like to listen but never be able to speak. Just imagine if walls could really speak, we could listen to stories that happened centuries ago like it was happening right in front of us. And yes, I agree with you, Poetry Week – Karen’s brainwave – what a brilliant idea.

  7. My sentiments exactly on spellcheck! And “the leaves began to gossip”…I love it. I will never see leaves in the breeze again without assuming they are gossiping.

    • Hi Ester, I’m glad you think the same about spell check. That poem grew out of exasperation. I was writing a story and spell check annoyed me so much that I had Webster quite literally perched at my side. Later I thought, hey now isn’t that a funny situation that could turn into a poem and voila!
      Sometimes the leaves rustle so loud just before the rains that they really sound like a group of people gossiping. I’m sure if you listen closely you might even hear words!

  8. I’m writing this at about 6:10 central U.S. time. Shirani is in bed now, though she might be up in an hour or so. I’m sure she will check in when she gets up. Aren’t her poems wonderful? I love to think about objects whispering – isn’t that an inspiring thought?

    • Thanks Karen for your wonderful words. I’m up now. It’s 9 am over here. Isn’t it crazy that while some of us are fast asleep, some of us, across the world are wide awake? The world never sleeps. I bet there’s always someone going to sleep at the same time someone gets up.

  9. Yes, and I love a poet with a sense of humor. Webster (Saturday Afternoon) had me smiling word by word. Wonderful poems – thanks for sharing!

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