Brisbane 2010 – 2013


Northeast breezes rustle paperbark leaves, pass through lattice screens and carved wooden
gables. Wrap around decks, sun-baked and peeling, cradle red gum VJs and bullnose rooves.
Jacaranda blossoms trampled underfoot spatter pavements and pathways with lilac blue
inkdrops. Heatshimmer rises from vertiginous streets which cut lung-burning trails to cathedrals
of shopping. Gladwrap dressings, flapping in the wind, bandage stinging thighs and red raw
tattoos. A grey haired woman stoops and murmurs Turrbal to a child with lollies on her mind.
Radio presenters discussing taxis colour the airwaves with mock Indian accents. Traditional
owners perform Welcome to Country for suited City men on a cropped Southbank lawn. Asian
pedestrians on busy city streets are greeted with a monotone “Currycurrycurrycurrycurrycurry.”
Licence plate stickers on a dirt-crusted ute proclaim “100% Aussie” and “Fuck Off, We’re Full.”

Janaka Malwatta

Author: Janaka Malwatta

Janaka Malwatta was born in Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka, grew up in London, and moved to Brisbane in 2010. He has been writing poetry and fiction for the last fifteen years. The driver for his writing is to delve into Sri Lankan culture, which is multi-layered and complex. He regularly performs poetry in Brisbane, including at the Queensland Poetry Festival and the Riverbend Poetry Series. He writes about Sri Lankan cricket for He has been published in a collection of Hint Fiction stories entitled “Short and Sweet”, in the QPF anthology “spoken in one strange word”, and in Peril Magazine. He is one half of the poetry and tabla collective Dubla. More details about his writing can be found at