Search billions of records on

Poems by Charmaine Candappa


The Grinding Stone


I return to remembered places
Seeing the ancient timbers of the storage racks
Where mother stored lime jars and heavy pots
The firewood hearth that smoked night and day
The grinding stone
Heavy and flat
Grinding onions chili coconut and ginger
To a smooth paste
To flavor every curry
Remembered for a lifetime.


Charmaine Candappa


This is a poem I wrote after the Tsunami of 2005. I wrote many poems
about the tragedy as I lost friends who were on holiday in Srilanka. This
poem is based upon a true story of a little girl who lived in the North.

The Longing

Where is my mother my sisters and my little brother
I can hear their voices beyond the sea, yet it does not bring them back to
I wish the sea would return them soon
So that I can watch mother cooking food at noon
Where have all the pots and pans gone
All I see are broken bricks no hearth no home
There is nobody to help me find them for all are gone
Only my father whose tears are frozen and whose heart is torn
How can the sea that I loved do this to me
For once I picked smooth pebbles and pretty shells with my sisters
Sorting them under the palm tree
O sea O sea you who lulled me to sleep at night
Bring back my loved ones even in my dreams
So that I can touch them and hold them tight.

Charmaine Candappa