Lester James Peries


How some are called to be special,
How one man picked what,

Scripts to be immortalized in film,
How what takes over the genius moment,

Of scripted dialogue, sunlight intensifying
Two people inside a quaint garden,

Where a man shouts “shoot”
And then “Cut”. How some,

Straws are taller than the rest,
Just like the tallest poppy,

How this man beautified life
In a nation, that was not short of real beauty.

How stories were pealed like onions,
Or picked like threads of saffron,

How a new dimension groomed
The thespians, how he crafted

A woman’s physiognomy, to the perfect
Level of sunlight, to maroon man,

And what else but this Vesak day, to bid farewell,
To a giant who embraced a beautiful strain of humility,

And now we look at a broken life line,
A burnt filament of a bulb,

A wilted flower on the tallest stem,
The lion who earned his mane

In Canners, in the French Riviera,
A man who rolled the camera,

Like clay on the potter’s wheel,
Until perfection was palpable,

Like the glitter of a beautiful seashell,
On a Cannes beach, what

Witnessed the applause of the noisy waves,
The roar of hundreds of palms,

How, just like that sequel, “Kaliyugaya”,
He will now embrace the perennial sequel, death.

A burial spot, where in time,
Lichens will grow, in a symbiosis,

Of fungi and algae, just like that man Lester,
The mortal and the immortal,

In a tapestry of organs. The truly immortal
For a whole nation, yet a mortal

To one woman, who will gaze from
The banks of a river, “ganga addara”.

Knowing that some river beds are perpetual.
They will never run dry.

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