Snjezana Gnanaratnam

Snjezana Gligic

"Best Friend, Comrade, Fellow Explorer, Agent Provocateur, Creator, Critic, Instigator, Listener, Partner and Wife of 20 + years.... Thank you....
Not enough thoughts, word's or sounds to describe what you mean to me.........."


  Kirubasingam Gnanaratnam



  Rubawathy Gnanaratnam


"In recent years, indiscriminate felling of forests have been occurring faster than afforestation/reforestation, particularly in the tropics. Of all the damages caused by deforestation, the most serious appears to be the increase of the “greenhouse effect.” Despite warnings by meteorologists, deforestation continues, apparently without concern of a worldwide change in climatic conditions. Trees act as a vast storehouse of excess carbon dioxide. In the absence of forests, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere, forming a layer over the surface of the earth. The sun rays penetrate this cover but back radiation is prevented and this has led to a rise in the temperature of the earth. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned that a further rise in the temperature of about 1.5°C will melt the ice in the polar regions leading to a rise in sea levels. A rise in ocean levels can can flood low-lying areas resulting in human displacement. Thus there is a great need to conserve our forests rather than to eliminate them......."

Where Are the Jasmines ? Here lay the Jasmines nestled amongst the green morning air it raped wafting of sweet scents. Sun rose fiercely beating on jasmines white They clustered cuddled and gave up their scents. Heat and haze both devils danced. Dark stems glossy hard brown Shot the green expanse. Blossoms white nestled peeped white drops on green some Piously sheltered some callously not withered in abuse. Heavy orange heat weighted Boring down. Now majestically slowly receding. Shadows lengthened stealthily creeping cooling white and green   Pale blossoms withering softly spiraled to earth. Tender softness kicking last scents. In falling accomplished yet another spread of white. This time on mother earth on harsh dry brown carpet. New buds in virgin white soft petals unfurling in the cool Plundered the air in fragrances mingling the night air scents the maidens arose in early morning mist. Pale glow lighting the sky glory of white cool air scents beckoned the maidens fair. Soft sounds of bells around ankles fair and slim lilting melodies like humming birds circled the jasmines The maidens nimble fingers tenderly plucked the jasmine buds So nestled in beauty white. Cool banana leaves soon held mountain of white. Nimble fingers busy tenderly holding bud to stripped strands of dry banana skin. Each unfurling bud now delicately woven -with dry brown strings lay together entwined. Buds in pristine white garlands so daintily made Now lay wrapped in the cool of green banana leaves. Fresh as the morning dew arose the young maidens In finely clad silk skirts and saris Like colorful parrots and kingfishers Painted against the backdrop of bright blue and orange skies Now tenderly lifting for the last adornment of finery the white scented jasmine garlands.   From the cool bed of wrapped leaves Unfurling of soft petal scents trapped Now unwrapped nestles in soft dark tresses Adorns the fair maidens hair, silver streams of soft garlands Nestled and flowed down black silky tresses. Scattering their scents around the maiden’s fair face. Where are the maidens,maidens so fair Where are they, jasmines continued struggling Unfurling scents raping two devils dancing spiral to harsh brown earth gasping Giving up last scents ripping sounds of shells mortar fire zipping acrid smoke- burning Foul smells chasing the maidens tormenting lost souls Hair flying silver anklets streaking Silver bell’s sounds clashing sheltered in bunkers Fast skeltered into mother’s arms laying their heads on soft loving breasts. Shuddering tinkling sounds now smothered Tear drops on curly lashes - why? Dark green leaves and jasmines white Battered bruised lay curled and crushed. Shells ripping apart each effort to raise -a struggle. Buds bruised lay on hot sands. No cover Crushed trampled under heavy determined boots Fair maidens where are they ? Tinkling of silver bells on ankles seen no more. Hush of its soothing sounds now removed from ankles fair. Old boots and slippers clamping pretty ankles. Now huddled in bunkers in airless hot dark caves. Eyes piercing darkness wet long tresses wound up. Sweat like rivers streaming down faces heat stifling. Jasmines still they peeped struggling to beckon the maidens so fair they did not come. Their hearts were bruised. Heavy maddening boots pouncing stomping continued to crush the scents above. below the fair maidens lay in terror huddled Their eyes turning grim and determined The jasmines in feeble mind - I will rise up again and plunder my earth with my night air scents The damsels hearts hardened. Their steps awoke their senses Why am I here in this dark cavern? Continued struggling .Endless thoughts ran amock into endless hot steaming nights soaking eyes and bleeding hearts one day awoke In resounding crash and determination sound. Up rose the maidens from their mothers arms crept out of hot steamy dark bunkers. Eyes hollow lips clamped nimble fingers itching feet to take off meeting terror and destruction. In cropped halo of black silky hair stood the maidens. There were no silky tresses. There were no jasmines to behold. The eyes looked far and wide, swiveled around Darting fire and pain in the destruction their eyes beheld. Here we will stay, my ankles sans silver bells and tears no more my sister. Rise up we need freedom fear escapes Eyes beheld jasmines trampled and trodden Over and over the dark green leaves Struggled to breathe only to be trodden again and again when heavy boots fell upon them The maidens stood straight sans black silky tresses. We will save our land of numbing jasmine scents with or without boots with or without tresses. Mothers empty arms continued to ache. Where are our daughters so cherished and loved. Father’s tired chin sunk into weary chest The soft touch of his daughter’s hand no more to feel. Pretty feet and slim ankles skittered like rabbits Around and into thorny palms and shrubs in and around abandoned bomb shattered homes schools libraries temples huts markets and all. Nimble pretty fingers that picked the soft white buds twining the dry brown Stripped banana skin making soft white garlands Now trained to hold the ball of fire that ripped the air into heavy boots resting. Nimble fingers now trained to hold hard metal to the eye Eyes with curly lashes and black shiny pupils glinting diamond streaks darting hither and thither. Eyes trained to the far distant belt of stately Palmyra palms and luscious mango trees Eyes to the closest shrub alert and ready to pounce stomp creep or run dancing the war cry. Nimble fingers that held soft white jasmine buds Now holds the trigger in unshakable faith. I will over run those heavy boots That sent me flying in terror trampling my ankles ripping my sari Tearing my blouse apart. The boots that kicked my little brother’s Precious plate of rice. The gun that fired right into my friends heart. No more of tyranny will I see This is my land my birthright. Someday I will grow back my tresses. Silver anklets will adorn my ankles. you will hear the tinkle of bells -hush they will trod softly over my precious land Soothing healing gliding over the imprints of heavy boots erasing all Someday I will give life to the jasmines. I am the true faithful daughter Of this land I will guard it with my life. I will be the stalking beast when weary old heads will fear no evil and sleep in peace. I will stand fearlessly In life and in death to save this land’s Sweet scented Jasmines.   ------------------

Ruba Gnanaratnam- © 2002.

J.K Gnanaratnam- © 1993. USDA Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-140.

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