the magi moon


just before it left

like a camel on pilgrimage

to hide behind the tall building

across from here

the moon told me

there’ll be.


mass at midnight

just like then

in that warm december night music

rustle of  brocade saris and lace

under araliya branches

and slow dance of shiny new shoes

a pitter patter

as their pace hastens at staccato closer to XII

on dining room clocks.


everyone dressed to the nines

from days when days were longer

than mini skirts

and looser than tight dress shirts

they put on their christmas best

on kotahena street

to see or to be unseen

for mass at midnight at st. lucia’s

there’ll be.


except it’s cold here

with no reward of snow

a bargain broken

on the other side of christmas

in december

where araliya doesn’t stand a chance

but there’ll still be mass.



just like at st. lucia’s.

at some other cathedral.

and smell the kotahena night

when snow was unseen

except on cards drawn

and in a song

a mystery exotic unsnow.


no snow here

but araliya

on pleasant kotahena christmas nights

when it was cooler and there were fewer fights

and the moon gallivants tonight

a camel across the sky.


having forgotten



unlove left behind

hiding hiding behind

tall buildings

casting shadows

over christmas

and leafless twigs scrape at dusty panes

keeping time with the muddy wind

the lost rider, the magi moon

the street lamps, sentries

lining the wobbly street

with their imagined guns.


Renuka Mendis

Toronto, December 24, 2015


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