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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Shirani Rajapakse

Tall Majesty
It got in the way,
that’s what they said. They
needed space for the road for
the big cars to move.
My coconut tree had to go – too soon
too young. It fell to the
ground, a majestic
tree that didn’t harm a soul.
One day it was no more.
They came to cut it down. I cried
with the tree as it groaned
softly. The leaves came
crashing to the ground to form
a wreath at the bottom. Then came
the trunk. It fell straight cutting the wall
next door in half and then
the tree was no more. Lying there flat on
the ground so helpless, sad.
The tree was planted on my fourth
birthday. A coconut tree. But that day
it was just an old coconut
with a leaf sticking out of it. A sprout;
a single leaf, folded and straining
to open out that shot
out of the coconut so old
and gnarled. I touched the little leaf
hidden inside,
shy of being seen.
Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She is the winner of the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013. Her collection of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work appears, or is forthcoming in, Earthen Lamp Journal, Dove Tales, Buddhist Poetry Review, Cha An Asian Literary Journal, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, The Occupy Poetry Project and anthologies Poems for Freedom, Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence. She blogs rather infrequently at


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