Seni Seneviratne is a poet and creative artist of English and Sri Lankan heritage. She has given readings, performances and workshops in UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Egypt.
Her poetry collection, Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin, (2007, Peepal Tree Press) was described as
“a virtual master class between covers” in which “the poet’s vision is given over with consistent generosity and empathy towards the human spirit..”
Her second collection, The Heart of It, (2012, Peepal Tree Press.) is praised as
“a tender, moving collection full of passionate intensity and an unswerving faith in the power of reconciliation and love.”
She currently works as a freelance writer and trainer and is particularly interested in the relationship between therapeutic healing and creative/expressive arts. Her paper, Speaking the Unspeakable through Poetry: The Search for a Place of Healing and Witness after Trauma has been presented at conferences in UK, South Africa and USA.
L’INCONNUE DE LA SEINE
There was a swell on the surface of the Seine that day
making faces at me. So I blew kisses at an open mouth
and whispered, ‘Drown me peaceful, drown me slow.’
I wanted the time, you see, to float undead through Paris.
I could have choked on a glass of milk as a child
and missed this opportunity. Don’t call it suicide
as if it’s a tragedy. This was the first time in my life
I had been in control of anything. Imagine, not dying
but dissolving, becoming a river. Was I afraid?
Not of the fall. I was afraid of the Water Police,
the way they walk along the river, any one of them
could have seen me floating, but nightfall saved me.
Before the river had me, I had one last look at the stars.
‘Just look at you,’ I said, ‘already dead and still shining.’
© Seni Seneviratne
Published in The Heart of It, Peepal Tree Press, 2012