25/ 2017: Missing Pieces

It is in my greatest joys,
that I miss your presence
Those moments of chaotic noise
When I can sense your laughter’s absence.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: Whenever I get great news or am happy, I have a moment – just a moment, where my heart twinges and I miss the people who made me who I am but are no longer with me. 



Day 320: Hey, White Person

I refuse to let the politics of fear,
begin to divide the love between us.
So much has happened this past year,
I get the sway of a blank canvas.

Sometimes the choices may seem unclear,
but really what’s left of justice?
Is your view from my shoes, sincere?
Or is it easy to pretend to be blameless?

I choose to think this is a smear,
a move to spin the emotional axis,
until we believe things so severe,
that all people are only their bias.

I know you are more than fear,
and not some words that are faceless.
Because you also have a conversation to steer,
in unmasking the myth of progress.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: A response to these posters that have started showing up across East York part of the City of Toronto.  

Also on another note – sometimes it takes a community to write a poem:) Thank you to Janny, Jenn, Manimolie, Sandra and Wendy, for always having insight and answering my many many many questions! 


Day 298: Lost Brothers (Manimaran)

You would have been fifty this year,
Blowing out candles on a giant cake,
Surrounded by all near and dear
Instead, this year’s gift is heartache.

Empty party halls and wishes,
imagining age on your face
is it lined with deep creases
but still full of grace?

Would time have cooled that temper,
or would it still spark but burn quickly?
Could you have learned to speak gentler
or continued, to tell the truth bluntly?

I wish you left us with a daughter or son,
someone who would carry pieces of you,
so instead, I search for you in everyone,
looking for the next incarnation of you.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: My younger (elder) brother would have been fifty this year. 

We lost him in 1999, on his 33rd birthday. It’s one of those things where he remains perpetually frozen at that age, but it hit me this year, as we attended one of our (and his close) friend’s 50th birthday party. I know he hasn’t aged because I miss him every day and every second it feels like I (we) just lost him yesterday.  

I only got to (really) know him after I turned 9, he and my older brother had lived in Sri Lanka and India, where they were finishing hight school and going to University. So sometimes, I get petty, and I get mad because I knew him for such a very short time – 10 odd years.  Twenty lifetimes is never enough with someone you love. 


My Brother, Manimaran, on (I believe) my 10th Birthday Party

Day 222: King Sisyphus

I think I understand how King Sisyphus felt,
every time he almost conquered that damn rock.
It just rolled back down to where he had first knelt
and prayed this was the last time he took this walk.

Struggling to the end, only to see it all come undone.
Clawing back your need for a fruitless grab,
starting to question if you were the smartest one,
this woeful punishment, that was Zeus’ lasting jab.

Dear King Sisyphus, a deceitful path you created,
a karmic route that rock did follow,
but  what I want to know is where I courted,
a dance with this unforgiving shadow.

If you did not mind these words that I spoke,
and if the task is not too herculean,
can the universe stop playing this joke,
where moving on is simply Sisyphean.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy