Blog 5 Arugam to Cochin Elephants & Airplanes:

Blog 5

Arugam to Cochin

Elephants & Airplanes:

Indian elephants are gorgeous, their small freckled ears, long curling eyelashes and small yet appropriate whisking tails imbue them with the qualities of a ballerina carting a trunk. To watch them stepping down through the jungle on to the beach, youngsters and babies entangled between their legs was hilarious. To my unexpected delight the Kumana National Elephant Park boarders Arugam Bay. Here I watched those grand and gentle creatures splashing around in the wild salty sea, while waiting in the water for swells to arrive.

Up the beach, Singales fishermen pulled their ancient trade on outrigger canoes hewn from a single enormous trunk. The rigging, simple yet effective, a great triangular dart of white canvas tethered for & aft would carry them across the early evening horizon. Each ploughing white creamy furrows of froth and bubbles into the turquoise ocean as they raced home to sell the catch.

Fresh fish was our staple diet. The Ranjit brothers who operated the Suria Beach Hut Accommodation were culinary magicians who, cooking on an open fire, inspired 5star meals day after paradisiacal day. Water was drawn by bucket from a well, while the huts simple construction of tied palm leaves protected one from the sun at day, yet let in the star twinkle between the leaves at night.

“Quick Liam, you’ve got to see this!”

Distracted from my bedtime read, I quickly swatted a blood bloated mosquito on my arm then together with Reiner I raced down between the dark palms to the beach.

A bioluminescent tide had washed up against the shore, it’s invisible microscopic creatures unconcerned with my wonder.

Dear reader, this is truely wonderful experience, so exotic it’s a challenge to describe.

Darkness hides, but the wet becomes a living thing creating glowing shapes as your legs wade in the molten blue.

That to which the wet clings to emanates a ghostly light, imbuing my lower calf with its transient radiant profile.

Gleefully i threw handfuls of wet stars to the night, each a momentary glowing drop of mystery. Splashing back into the water each drop recreating an incandescent ripple, not of fire but of my amazement.

The Fokker F27 Friendship is a turboprop airliner developed and manufactured by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker. It has the distinction of being the most numerous post-war aircraft to have been manufactured in the Netherlands and also one of the most successful European airliners of its era.

Mine stood baking on the soft tarmac at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. The flight was a mere hop across the Gulf of Mannar to Trivandrum in Kerala and to customs inspector Sri Lakshmi Sangahr, but that’s the next story.

I buckled down for the takeoff and with a roar we took to the blue.

Liam May 2018

Poem: Troubled

Poem: Troubled

You leave me again tumbling,

Stumbling across your shadow.

Our thoughts and laughter like too…. perfume me.

yet still

I hear heart ache tangled in my hair

I feel & feel & freeze.

The play set act scene,

You moved in me again.

Touché

The game set match,

You won in me again.

It’s all in

I’ll give in

You take my heart

Cake and eat it too.

You

Away

I stay, steam rising from my troubled art.

I may still, yet it’s you who that’s gone astray.

This day

Liam

Poem: On the Beach

Poem: On the Beach

As I lie here weak not strong,

My head rings clear and full with song,

Of deeds and places friends long gone.

The splash of ripple on the beach.

Warm soft sand within my reach.

Sweet high clouds in a cobalt sky.

Floating on this moment free,

Its you who moves in me the how.

Whose reach touches the me the now.

I am in me and you are she.

We communicate our intimacies,

We communicate our intrinsic feelings.

We communicate the idiosyncrasies of togetherness.

Unknown to those other mortals on the beach.

Each captivated in their own exploratory world of now.

I let the ripples relax and cleanse,

Sand washes deep,

This cleans the lens of thoughts, creative and benign.

Its here we meet and share,

The simplicity of Profound.

The exact’ty of the boundless found.

The joy is not being held in the identity of me,

I’m experiencing the freedom of the we.

As I lie here weak not strong,

My head rings clear and firm and strong.

The splash the ripples on the beach,

Soft the sand within my reach.

The warmth that holds and sets me free,

The cobalt blue in the sky I see.

Liam May 2018

Poem: The Lovers

Poem: The Lovers

Like heavy clouds on a sleepless night.

Mist still covers the eyes that might.

Reveal those thoughts in a tangle entwined.

What did happen?

Were you mine?

They could burn, deep in my brain.

Combustible particles.

Tinder awaiting flame.

Hot licentious fragments of imagination.

Fragrant as incense, smoke coils from my thinking.

Your curls in brunette cascade,

Playfully around those red puckered lips.

The slim silky covered hips.

Once shared, we enjoyed the plain. Played the game

Of you and me.

Our rough,

Our storm,

Our sea,

Our iniquity.

Who knows when we again might sail.

When we again might sprinkle light. When we again might…

Thunder clouds on a stormy night.

A pod,

Two peas.

Lost on lovers breeze.

Our seas.

Liam 2017

Travel Blog 1984

Part : 3 Elephants and Surfing

Colombo was done in a day and in the early hours of the next morning I embarked on an odyssey which even Homer would have cringed at.

The initiative had come from Pundit, my host with the round brown face, flaring bushy nostrils and sparkling white teeth. He whispered to me about a famous and ancient tooth which could be visited in Kandy, up in the central highlands of Siri Lanka.

The tooth as legend had it, once belonged to no other than Buddha himself. I wondered enigmatically which tooth it might be, incisor or molar? Had it fallen out because of poor hygiene or was it a milk tooth from Buddha’s childhood. “Its simply a velly holey relict which followers of the Buddhist faith and others can visit in the temple” he chimed with a friendly head wag, answering the quizzical look on my face.

Disembarkation after the six hour journey was slow and painful. The hours of being pulverised on the wooden bench, at the back of the local bus had left my backside bloodless and numb. As I moved once again, blood flowed to those neither regions and I perceived a strange prickling sensation not unsimilar to that of the thrashings I’d occasionally received at school for minor misdemeanours.

The early Kandy’ian morning, still veiled in silky clouds of translucent smoke, shot through with the first golden rays of the morning, radiated the promise of adventure and exotic discovery. A great Banyan tree grew at the centre of the bus station, its dark humid leaves hiding all sorts of debris and filth in the emergent light.

Humming quietly, I stepped out into the day and onto an elephant turd, about the size of a 10L bucket, still steaming with digestive fumes, its owner brightly painted and tinkling with trinkets swayed comfortably down the road in front of me.

“Namaste, baba!” a salutation and valediction spoken with a slight bow hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest, “Can I be of helping you?” my new guide and friend asked.

“Yes please.” I head wagged him back smiling, as a deep sense of recognition and understanding washed across my soul; this was my déjà vu, my odyssey beginning, and my Parsifal journey to an unknown grail.

Later that day I met Buddha, his golden image illuminated by oil lamps and awash in swaths of sweet incensed smoke, his gaze fixed on the two thousand year old casket, containing his once living tooth.

The train down through the highlands wove in dizzy parabolic curves, all about the tea plantations synonymous with Ceylon. The hot British beverage which is known here as chai, yet had absolutely no similarities in taste, flavour or smell to its English counter part, was offered by small acrobatic women with wrinkled faces and gorgeously colourful saris.

“Chai, chai, chai.” they chanted, their busy eyes searching for your glimpse of thirst, while balancing a hot brass tea pot on their heads. In small gilded glasses the delicious brew of aromatic cardamom, cloves, tea and boiled sweet milk was passed up through the open window. Together with a last sip, the ancient colonial engine blew its whistle, steam and sound merging into one white cloud of impermanent thunder, the funnel belched, the carriages shook and we trundled off into the endless green undulating panorama.

Aragum Bay has no real geographical or even geological significance. It marks how ever the south eastern most corner of Sri Lanka with a rocky point. This point however is so exactly positioned that the Indian Ocean swell, after travelling freely thousands of sea miles, is tripped up and dissected, resulting in a perfect and pristine curving right wave. A Shangri-La, for surfers like me to enjoy in the solitude of a piece of paradise found.

“Guten Tag, wie heist du?” a foreign language but a friendly bearded face greeted me as I entered the palm hut just off the beach, “Welcome to Aragum Bay!”, here we surf with the elephants.

Liam 1984

Part 4. Aragum to Cochin

Poem: The Dance 💃

Poem: The Dance

Shall I take you by the hand to dance & sing.

Then wrap you round my heart in sound.

Where tinkling bells of Wisdom ring.

The thud, the heavy beat of my red blood.

Pulsate galore, the rhythm Dancing on the floor.

This symphony soars, it chimes & flies.

Violins ring, cellos roar, the oboe grunts, & horns galore.

Drum beat heaving through the floor.

We spin, we flow, we turn, we twist

once more,

once more,

once more.

In musical flight ,

harmony sound.

Abound the joyous sense of my love spinning.

Let me orchestrate and conduct,

Drive the flow of sound,

Set up my beat.

Where passion melts, in one become.

This dynamic moment of create.

This very start of feelings new.

Sound so liberatingly profound ensue, the you.

I take thee in a grasp,

Fold you round the music in my breast.

The resonating ring ,

Calling me you sing the song ,

My song of joy,

Becomes yours also to enjoy.

A chorus strong,

Wild flying through the night.

On wings we whirl, we twirl, we curl, we resonate with light.

Invisible we curve in rhythms flight.

Caught tight in magics weft & warp.

Stripped souls we liberate from earthly thought.

A night of dance, of sound, of joyful filled touch,

Eternal moments means so much.

Liam Kennedy