Poet, Author, Speaker and Social Entrepreneur

 

Greetings! I am a writer, speaker and social entrepreneur. I grew up across the rich and diverse cultural landscapes of Botswana, Malawi, my native Sri Lanka and Malaysia, before settling in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Ever since my teenage years, I have  gravitated towards poetry as a medium to heal my soul, unravel existential questions and strike at the heart of a more compassionate world.
In the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka, I discovered a calling to live a life dedicated to contribution, and after several years of involvement in a range of aid and development projects, I founded Empower Projects in 2009. A grassroot, for purpose organisation that enables community self-reliance by supporting rural cooperatives in Malawi and Sri Lanka.
I  has published 4 poetry compilations, several short stories and am currently writing my first novel, “The Ocean Beneath the Waves”. Thank you for stopping by! You will find a collection of poetry, prose, speeches and events. You can also join my fortnightly poetry digest so we can exchange thoughts and experiences across a myriad of topics that affect our lives.

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Latest Writing

Resurrections

Resurrections

What do I do?

When the sweet nectar

of your memory dissolves?




Between Hope and Despair

Between Hope and Despair

2016 was bittersweet. It is a sentiment I have heard and read many people express over the last few days. I am admittedly not one that indulges in new year celebrations and resolutions, but I have felt a pull to reflect on what has been a defining year. For me, there was the joy of marrying my beautiful partner Sophie and being able to celebrate our union with family and friends. It was without question  the pinnacle of the year. Furthermore,  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching, writing and playing an active part in supporting a range of community initiatives.  I feel I am acutely aware of how privleged I am and I hope I never lose sight of the responsibility that comes with it. However there’s no denying that events (and non-events) across the year have cast a long shadow across my heart. Between the dire lack of action on climate change, the growing tenctacles of trickle-down economics, the heinous violence in the Middle East,  the resurgence of overtly  racist politics and the debacle that was the U.S. Presidential Election (I felt the Bern), I was emotionally spent by the end of the year. I must admit that I underestimated the toll all of this had on my wellbeing. For the first time in years, I reached a point where I detected a sense of dread as I contemplated what was in store across 2017. Not simply because of the likes of Trump taking office, but because of the apparent trajetory humanity is charting. Perhaps this was punctuated as I watched ‘Planet Earth II’ towards the end of the year, soaking...
Kintsugi

Kintsugi

Could there be beauty in catastrophe?




Downtown

Downtown

A collision of wind and rain weaving through the air tonight. Our star fueled ambitions teasing through a neon haze.




Glimmer

Glimmer

Some nights I distill the foundations of my will,
Tracing the depths of this yearning to be of use.




10 Years On

10 Years On

A poem commemorating ten years since my father passed away.




Paris – Our selective outage

Paris – Our selective outage

What happened in Paris is absolutely horrendous. I will not pretend that I can fathom the horror experienced in those final moments or the grief that families are experiencing. Yet let us not forget the obvious asymmetries in the valuation of human life on our planet. The stark reality is that we are not equal. As such the tragedies that erupt and befall us do not register the same response. Be it coverage, hash tags, safe buttons or swift condemnation by leaders. A very selective consciousness results. With news at our finger tips, we are exposed to the impacts of brutality within minutes of an event. I can empathise with the scope and scale being overwhelming for an individual to process. There is untold violence and injustice that is juxtaposed against our noble ideals. There is a climate of fear and despondence that can prevail over us like a looming shadow. One might even suggest that this is precisely the intent of such attacks – to preserve a paradigm. In contrast, there can also be great solidarity that is formed as a courageous response to violence. Perhaps it is the skeptic in me that seeks to pick at the seams. That seeks to test the true strength of our commitment to peace and compassion. For it is increasingly common for us to condemn the heinous acts of terror , at least those that are brought to our attention. Understandably, the intensity of our emotions wither in the ensuing days, weeks and months. For to even entertain the scale of the violence we inflict upon each other, both physical and...
The Examined Life

The Examined Life

There is a claim that is attributed to Plato- “the unexamined life is not worth living”. While one might argue that this claim is laden with rhetorical flair, it is a nonetheless one that resonates with me in that I feel that it stresses on the importance of making conscious, value-based decisions in our lives. This is without doubt an life-long process, one in which we have to consistently check in to gauge whether we are leading lives in alignment with our values. Where we may have to shift our stances and practices in light of new knowledge and/or shifting circumstances. As a leader of a sustainable development organisation and an academic involved in furthering ethics and sustainability education, I’d be amiss if I did not scrutinise my own actions (or inaction) as an individual. What I intend to share with you through this post, is a window into some of the key ethical choices I have made and some of my (many) failings. I would like to state from the onset that these choices are ones I have made in accordance with my values, my lived experience, conversations with others and secondary research. As described earlier, this has been an incremental process,  layers built over several years of self-examination. I do not intend to contend that these are THE ethical choices that individuals need to make. Rather, I am more interested in a genuine  exploration of the alignment between ones espoused values and the actions we do or do not take part in. It is my hope that this window, admittedly focused on the practicalities of daily living, provides...
Boundless Plains

Boundless Plains

Drowned.

All sparks extinguished.

Swallowed by brutal oceans.

Corpses by the shoreline.

A few of many.




Cradle

Cradle

A poem about loss, despair and healing




Deliberate Words

Deliberate Words

Give me deliberate words,

not the hollow repetitions of the day,

abound with vacuous sentiment

and odious platitudes.




Answering the Call

Answering the Call

We are still processing what has happened. To many, the previously inconceivable has become a reality. Donald Trump is the next POTUS. I’ve been an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders  since he first announced his candidacy in May2015, all the way from Australia. Like millions in the U.S. and beyond, he filled me with a great deal of hope. Not only because he is clearly a man of passion and integrity, but because he is a proponent of the bold the systems change that his country and indeed, the world, needs. This is a sad day for many reasons. I personally feel that the Democratic Party and Hilary Clinton have a lot to answer for. Their rigging of the primaries (startng from 2014) and their general misreading of  the pulse of the people has often beggared belief. It could be strongly argued that we  would not be in this predicament if the Democratic Party had truly understood that this was an anti-establishment election. If both Clinton and the Democratic Party could see past their obsession with an #iamwithher apparatus and sense the mood on the streets and in people’s homes.  I don’t say this rub salt in wounds or fan flames of hatred. I only stress the above because I feel that there’s an inclination to squarely blame mysoginy for the result.  I think, as often is the case, that there is a lot more complexity to the situation than that. In the final assesment, I believe that Democrats were too blinkered and arrogant to recognise that they sent forward a deeply flawed candidate that largely represented what people are...
The Tightrope

The Tightrope

A reflection on the struggles of an activist.




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