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Daily News Poetry

DN Tue Aug 7 2007


When I was growing up
Amidst unfairness and less help,
My education was halted;
Progress hampered;
By tale-bearing associates,
Relatives, acquaintances;
My good life snapped,
Changed and was stunted.

Do I see pre destining?
Was it payback for exercising
My free will previously?
See myself a winner finally?
Did I mention self?
Either thinking I have one, or, have no self,
Both are wrong, as both are fetters
From the false idea, "I am", they arise.

Objectively viewed, it seems
A combination of aggregates,
Mental and physical, working sort of
Independently, within a law of
Cause and effect - it has
As in all manifested things;
Upon analysis, no form continuous,
Of unchanging substance.

If there is no self, on whom
Do results evolve, to doom?
Who gets the results of actions?
To see conditionality, one trains;
When understood,
All false antitheses are destroyed,
Everywhere in all things
Speculation and conceptual belief are worthless.

"Pull out the arrow",
Said the Teacher,
"Its length, provenance and
The man who shot are unimportant,
And worrying causes delay.
There are beings with only a
Little dust in their eyes
Unless heard and understood, lost they will be"

Punya Abeyasekera

The three golden eggs

Once there were three golden eggs
Lying on the streets
Somebody saw it
He looked for the owner
But there was nobody
So he took it to his house
And kept them as ornaments

One day the three golden eggs were hatched and
three baby dragons came out
the owner was frightened and
did not know what to do with the three babies.
He thought they might set fire to the house!

Suddenly one baby dragon
coughed so hard that fire came out
the owner wondered what to do.
Suddenly the dragon mother
came and took the three
babies and went away.
The owner fainted then and there.

Dunithra De Silva

To the child sentenced to death

I pray for you, dear
Money is not important,
Human lives are more important
We don't take an eye for an eye,
Or a tooth for a tooth
Lord Buddha never said so.
To err is human,
To forgive is divine, said Jesus
Every Muslim is a child of God,
Said Allah.
Not only every Muslim,
Everyone is a beloved child.
Of the universe.
Fear not, little child,
All our prayers are
With you
We grieve for,
The baby who died,
But we are compassionate enough,
To forgive you.
Soon you will be free.

Chandrasriya de Silva


When will the white ant the ascent of Everest count?
Even if it crawls up the cragged mount
Only an ant's length of treasure
Will it ever measure
Still on that inexorable height,
The world's small termite.

Patrick Jayasuriya

The night of the Scorpion

I can still remember the night
when a tiny scorpion fell right
on to my sleeping mother's eye
from a wooden rafter high

In a flash he stung his venom
ere she woke up and struck him benumb.
Smarting with pain she put me up from the cot
where I was sleeping as a tiny tot

She bade the servant to carry
me away to my grandma's home and there to tarry
so that I would not see her plight
of groaning in pain with no relief in sight

I can still remember how I perched
on the tall man's shoulders and clutched
his head nodding in sleep and in fright,
as he waded thro' the rainy night

Soon I fell asleep again and knew not
what had befallen my mother in her lot
It was only years later that I learnt
that a faith-healer had relieved her of distress by his chant

C. Rudra

Give me back my pen

Untie my hands
give me back my pen
My bubbling thoughts struggle
I cannot let them turn fossil
Leave me alone with my pen
To expose the dark recesses of corruption
The rotting corruptions, odour
Emanating from the whited-sepulchres
of those parading paragons of 'goodness'

Give me back my pen
To write in bold letters
The charity that in fullness abide
In those who help the needy
Not permitting the left hand know
What the right hand does.
The sincerity and truthfulness of those
Whose actions rhyme with their words
And the loving humanity of those
That try to understand man
To help man
Because he is man.

Victor Peries

Paean of love

What is love....
My vision is,

The strong feeling I have mere for ye
Which could never be faded
Which could never be kept aside
Which is always in my soul,

The first day our eyes met
The first day you asked "hows: of fine
The first day we hiked together,
Are the sweetest memories of my life,

Your tender love made me bloom,
Have enlighted my entire life.
And filled my heart utmost
No other else get any room.

You are the pulse of my heart
Who made me living
I will always be with you
Eventhough I miss you,

The love of my life is you
and you're all I ever will wish
Darling, be with me in the road of life
And let's not let, even the fiery death
Do us apart...!

Sugath Sandun Pathirana

The meeting of merchants

I walked through the dusty market streets
In the blazing mid day heat
Seeking that which I needed most
Three merchants I did meet.

"Far sale, I have prosperity"
Said the plump and merry one
"Riches and comforts stretching
Far beyond the sun!"

Said the next "I deal in wisdom
And knowledge of all unknown
Use my wave ever wisely,
Then you may reap what you have sown."

The third said "My offer is immortality,
To spend all eternity at ease,
Knowing that time and death never will
You of your precious moments cheat"

I told them they had not what I came for
And preceded to the vendors above
But each of them just shook their heads
And said "None can purchase love"

Nivanka Fernando


Peace as we know it is the absence, of strife,
The sole ingredient in mankind's life.

Deep in the heart of every human soul,
The search for happiness is manifold.

Yet desire for good things at another man's cost
Often leads to good friendships lost.

When peace and quiet is ruffled and torn,
A fire of disquiet is indubitably born.

The links of brotherhood ripped asunder,
Anger and revenge rumble and thunder.

Often times displays shameful attitudes
Unmindful of others, have no latitudes.

The misconception that happiness brings peace,
Is soon lost when the newness cease.

Contentment is believed to be the periphery of peace
The absence of desire the core of peace.

If peace to avail then sacrifices must
On the altar of patience shall nerve be lost.

George Eddie

DN Tuesday, Dec 19 2006

The child in the manger

On that cold winter night in December
I passed by an inn in Bethlehem
And in that inn there was merry-making
Dancing and prancing
Music and laughter
But I passed by; but I passed by

And then I heard a baby cry
A little child crying in a manger
Of a stable
But I passed by; but I passed by

Not knowing that that little child
Crying in the manger
Would one day be
A man of men
A saviour of mankind
Jesus to the world
But I passed by; but I passed by.

Tissa Dias Jayasinha


A vacuity - a sense of purposelessness,
A vision that does not evoke any significance
And a head that feels pressure all round,
Are bearable - but painfully tedious
And are productive of an impatience
That ruins the beauties of ordinary living.
(What I want is, ordinary living).
This is how I now feel
Whilst my days pass on, one by one
On their inevitable march to eternity.
Every day meets me briefly
For a mere twenty four hours
(That is, if I am awake)
Only to leave me forever.
The day, I know, wouldn't miss me
But I miss each such day,
If I did not spend it with you;
And now I miss it more -
More than I ever thought it possible.
Better the migrainous aches of a painful head
Than this empty feel of a hat-stand, I have.

P. L. N. de Silva

In the end

We smile in the darkness
Knowing things will come right
We pray in the darkness,
to lead us from the shadows to light.
We stand in the tumult,
with faith keen and clear
never retreating with patience
in the dark world, undaunted by seeming loss.
if we are fair in our dealings,
with foe and friend,
our hearts whisper,
right side will win
and reach our goal in the End.

Rohan Jayetilleke

A crisis of civilization

True sometimes I lose my cool
And become mad with uncontrollable fury
Of those privileged scoundrels
Who never get tired of
Having a rollicking party
To pulsating sound of music
Drinking and gobbling
Hard spirits and sumptuous feast
Pampered by rich and eccentric patrons
At prestigious five-star hotels

And that is why I am puzzled
When even my intelligent wife
Adores them claiming that they
Immortalise the natural beauty of nature's marvels,
And make sacrifices and face privations
Such as doing odd jobs
Like giving tuition to wealthy students
Trudging along the cobbled highway
Immune to treacherous ways
Of scorching sun and monsoon rain
Which idiotic claim I denounce vehemently
As a misleading canard

For those so-called bloody poets
Excel in uttering obscenities
Even in the company of
Well-groomed and decent ladies,
Corrupting and challenging
The well-established norms of
Morality with devilish impunity
Spreading menacingly
Inflammable disorder and unpardonable, immorality
Throughout the world
Which abominable cult
Should be halted
Bestowing the culprits their just rewards
By imposing them the ignominy
Of summarily execution
For otherwise they are capable
Of creating chaos and even a minor scandal
Tarnishing invariably
Our unblemished reputation
As all of us are supposed to play
Our chosen parts to perfection
Secretly hiding the skeletons of the cupboard
Air-tight and out of bound
Preventing the mortal danger
Of the stench emitting out
Quit unexpectedly
Encapsulated in shocking display
Of vivid images of snap-shots
Causing ripples of discomfort in our placid minds

Still the show must go on
Parading in a masquerade
Captivating the animated audience
With its finery of pomp and pageantry
Ensuring law and order is maintained
With a modicum of changes
To suit the occasion
Like finding new heroes
To replace former idols
Who are left alone
To smack their wounds in disgrace
As we cannot give up
Our noble mission of
Maintaining a strict code of discipline
And that is exactly why
We must eliminate
Even dogs and bitches
Who perform the vile act on the road

For they too must adhere to
The strict concept of morality
Without polluting the environment
Or not to mention inquisitive minds
Of our growing children
Though admittedly
We have nothing against multiplying
Or for that matter subtracting
As far as you do not
Create trouble
As a consequence of your idiotic deeds

For we too are not devoid
Of human feelings
Or to be more precise "passions"
Whatever way you like it
As we who are privileged
To live in a perfect democracy
Have to respect your right to privacy
Provided you pay
Due respect to
The all encompassing concept
Of morality
In which hinges
The well being of
Our whole civilization
And more importantly
Our own survival

Ranjan Amarasinghe

Remembering tsunami

(After viewing childrens' drawings and paintings)

Bad dreams, nightmares, children have them,
I have them still. Have always had them.

Being pursued and hunted down, a recurring dream.
Think of the dying stag in the Bellagio tapestry,
the hot, steaming freshly killed game reflected
in the Renaissance carving of the seventeenth century
food server in an old country house in Exeter.
Pursuit. Escape.

Childrens' paintings, drawings, sketches.
Witnesses of horror.
Children drawning in the wave. Being submerged.
Swept away. Houses toppling over.
Dark swirling clouds of fear, horror suffocating
breath. Trees uprooted. The sea a vast fish that
swallows them, children.

If the body is not found,
if the bodies are not found,
they are missing.
They will not return.
Perhaps stranded an islands of illusion.
Sucked in by mirages.

Missing as in World Wars.
War office records say
"Missing in Action. Presumed killed".
Action? Missing? Empty spaces.
Death missions. Holocausts of Nature?
Voices silenced.

Jean Arasanayagam

One night in the heaven

In the dead night secretly
I flew to the heaven
After a long hard journey
The angelic fragrant was smelt.

I entered to the heaven
Without any noice as a robber
Nymphs and angels floated
Whispering to each other.

A very brightful light was
Spread all over the heaven
By whom was it created, lovely world
I thought for a moment.

One by one the angelic palaces
were passed by me
"Kapruka" I saw pregnant with fruits
The angelic tree.

Heart filled with greediness
I picked up two.
One to eat and one for mother
I thought once more

An angel floated to me and
Tried to snatch them away,
It's for my loving mother.
Can't give them go away.

"What is the fruit my dear?"
Asked my loving mother.
Ah! I was on my bed
In my heaven "My Home"

W. Udara Bihari Chandrasheela

Woes of the turkeys

(During this festive season particularly Turkeys are slaughtered throughout the world).

Once again it's X'mas and New Year
Filled with happiness and seasonal cheer,
And the vile hands of a man very cruel
Snatched us away from our associates real
And imprisoned us in an iron cage
Where we've to spend our time in solitary rage.
Our human captor feeds us well
With the choicest food
To make our bodies plump and good,
To slice us up and place us on their festive table.
Dear God, to whom can we complain,
To whom can we appeal
About our sorry plight, to repeal
This sentence of painful death,
Before expelling our last breath
Under the brute force
Of a sharp and glittering knife
That will instantly destroy our innocent life
No sooner we are plump and suitable
For this wealthy man's high table.
As prisoners in this haunted cage.
We cannot see the outer world
As we did when free.
But, we see you talk,
We see you walk,
And we hear you preach religion.
Though man believes in compassion
And kindness to animals is his fashion,
Who'll dare to let us free
To join our loving kith and kin
To live a full life
Without fear or harm of any kind
From the hands of all mankind.

Andrew Scott

Clothes pegs

Freshly washed clothes
fragrance of comfort
abundantly rich
Make merry in the sun
Dance with the wind
keeping to tempo.
Soak in the rain
frank and lavish
Never get soiled
torn or tattered
The pegs hold them
in fact
on to the line
where they belong
Skilfully aimed
for all well being
A higher inspiration.

Devi Singam

Come back dear Sir

The flowers do bloom
But, they shed no scent,
The leaves do rustle
Expressing a sad tone,
The lecture rooms at Meepe
Remain silent and gloomy
Because, because of your long absence.

The commitment you made,
The devotion you showed,
The altruism you exhibited
Should come as a blessing
To fight against the cause
To bring you back
To the healthiest position
To enable the flowers
To shed their scent,
To let the leaves
Sing a welcome song
And to light the PGDEM classes
With the light of your presence!

A. Jayalath Basnagoda


Sitting under the shadows of the moon
I looked around the lagoon.
Through the mist I saw a cocoon
It was hanging like a tiny balloon
One day it will blast at noon
And the pretty butterfly will fly soon.

N. Sanjeewani

DN Tuesday Dec 12 2006


Just when I think
We're all done
You keep
Coming back
And all those resolutions I make
And I lose myself
In your kisses

We'e all wrong
And we know it
There are moments
Tangled in each others arms
When we are perfect
Without a word being spoken
We are of one thought

How I wish
Your touch on my skin
Wouldn't cling
Long days after
These stolen moments
Are gone and we have parted
And said farewell
And turned away
And resolved
Not to love
Over and over again ....

Sashikala Premawardhane

The Monster

It came in a flash
The monster,
With its clawing hands
Grabbing whatever it could.

The innocent souls,
Running for their lives,
To escape the advancing monster,
Some praying some cursing,
Yet some dumbfounded.

It's been two years,
To be exact
Since the disaster struck

Loved ones lost
But still searching
For the stories untold
Buried deep within the ocean.

Wathsala Weeraratne

Warm wishes

Loads of blessings may the Good Lord bestow on you
As you light twenty one candles on your birthday cake today
Count your life by smiles not tears
Hopes and dreams may bring you lots of cheer
Emeralds and Rubies we value no more
Let you be loved and cherished on each day you grow
Little baby girl you've grown to be a beautiful woman
Ever be stars shining over you and flowers bloom

Amma and Thaththa

Mother sings to a baby

You little baby in my arms,
Nothing in the world
More precious than you
To me
In human family.

Little baby in my arms,
This world is not ours
The grownups,
It's your's baby,
Your's to live,
And continue the human family

Little baby in my arms
But sadly,
What are we, the adults
Doing today,
In wars and armed conflicts,
With nuclear weapons
And suicide bombers
Killing each other
Man becoming his own enemy
Destroying the world
And the human family
Your future blasting

Little baby in my arms,
Adults have lost the reality
That you are a creation
Of united action,
Union of a man and a woman

Little baby in my arms
Life depends on,
Unity and love
Man has to unite,
To save the world for you
Save humanity from destruction
This cardinal reality
I hope man will realise
And act upon,
You are not born
To a lost humanity
A lost world.

Edward Arambewala

I beheld the azure

There were no stars I was sure
The moon had hidden somewhere
Storm clouds had scattered here and there

Nimbi had skittered throughout the sky
Vulture flew with its fiancee
Wind listened to a secret clandestinely
Between a flower and a hornet

Hornet uttered a secret and
wanted the flower to comply

Albeit, the moon was never so sad
About the love of flower she ever had
Thought she, the love of harnet

made the flower so mad

She never implied lamenting
though the love of flower, was unbridled

She offered to the flower
her love, unblemished.

Sky cried on behalf of her
Clouds cried on behalf of her
Stars cried on behalf of her

She might have cried,
She might have cried so heavily,

Tear drops might have fallen down
into oceans sheerly

She stopped worrying
as she met another lover newly

But she never loved him so strongly
As she loved the flower meekly

Saara Panchamee Hewavissenti


She dips the paint brush
In a pool of colour
Twirling the instrument
Till it's soaked completely....
She loves this medium
She dips the brush in
Yet another colour
Two colours merge
On paper....

After some time,
A fusion of a mind state
Is clearly visible....
She completes her painting
And wonders at her creation.
The creation which created itself
Abstract in form.... she leaves
The viewer to interpret it all....

Namali Fernando

The Poppy

Thriving in friendly mild lush
On caring trees or in the wild bush
Thousands of buds daily blush
Away from conditions tough and harsh

Obsessed with their own softness and beauty
Holding onto fragrance within tightly
These buds strive to stay afresh
Serving a cause, mainly selfish?

Yet a few buds stand up tall
To be mutilated and let their petals fall
To wither away, not afraid at all
Sending fragrance of love to one and all!

Defying the concept of mortality
Garnishing a fragrance lasting to eternity
They again, and again, and again, blossom
In ordinary peoples minds and bosoms!

Gratian A. Peiris

The woes of the Bovines

As cows and bulls, miserable we are
Victims to man's misdemeanours.
Maltreated we are by the civilized man,
Whom no animals help as much as we do
But suffer his cruelty resignedly.
Subsists the selfish man on our milk
On which he makes a living.
On meadows we graze for fodder
To fill our belly, sans any cost to him;
Draw loaded carts at his beck and call
Foaming in our mouth without water;
For this arduous task a bonus we get -
Beating and prodding to move faster;
Toil and moil in his field for his gain
And our dung used to knead his house floor.
But man still ungrateful, savage and cruel
And reciprocates not our selfless service.

Segregates the calf from the mother
For he needs our milk for pecuniary gain;
In our old age freedom of life denied to us
Drives us to the slaughter house, the man of stony heart
To make money from our meat and hyde.
Without compunction sees us in the abattoir
Where our brothers and sisters, limbs tethered, beheaded;
At their anguished cries and blood bath abattoir
Shudder we and await our turn,
Shedding useless tears to avoid this tortuous destiny.

A. F. Dawood

Daily News Tuesday Dec 5 2006

The Light

When the star of Bethlehem
Gave forth its light
From furtherest outer space
Millions of light years
It had traversed bright
To alight on that holy place

The Christ child's birthday
Would thus here begun
E'en before this Earth was born!
Illuminating the universe
Through galaxies run
Starry light that turns night into moon

This birth of the blessed
Sign of all good
Is for the living mind and soul,
Enjoining humans
With the Universe's brood
In pure truth that makes whole

- Rohan Jayawardana

Wasted talents

Full many gems are born and bred
To fade away in the still air,
Possessing talents of innumerable value,
Unable to display their thoughts so dear.

Craving for a helping hand
But who cares to make them stand,
Selfishness always withhold
To gear and help a poor soul.

It's nature's mighty turn,
Gods were rivals against one another,
So are humans on earth
Resulting talents to wane away.

Unknown, unseen and unheard
Die away the precious knowledge
Due to the rivalry of man.

- N.R. Majeed

Love and cough

I hid it
At the top of
Himalayan mountain,
I did so
In the deepest point
Of the sea too
For our safety.
Then little by little
I started building
The nest of love.
The whole world was
Nothing but a paradise

As my heart leapt
With endless rejoice
But, alas! when
The revelation came,
They stormed the sea
And flattened the mountain
And smashed the nest
To tiny pieces.
The whole world
Is nothing but a hell
As my heart cries
With endless pain!

- A. Jayalath Basnagoda

Baby's smile

For the first time in life
You saw me only yesterday
Today you smile with me
As if you knew me all your life.
Your toothless sincere smile
Is as bright as the morning sun.

If one has enough to spend,
Fake smiles with a hidden agenda
Are aplenty and cheap.
But your innocent and pure smile
Begins from the bottom of your heart
and is not a part of a sales gimmick.

At times I wonder,
As to what makes you smile with me
I carry no sweets or presents
Yet, you are pleased to see me.
Your unfathomable smile
Is an invaluable gift to mankind.
It adds a momentary cool breeze
To demanding roles of your parents.

- K.M. Gunaratne

A soldier's lament

The rustic damsel's once enchanting love
Like the ever waning moon did change
When I lost a leg and an eye's sight
In a battle fought in a terrorists' site.
Now a hapless cripple I lie
With shattered hopes
Confined to a glittering wheel-chair
Given to those like me in despair
After their brave stint in the Northern war.
How much we once merrily tread far and wide
Along the rosy path of love
Then strewn with floral petals soft.
But now bereft of all that enchanting beauty
As one by one silvery tears drop
Moistening my hanky soft
Whenever I think I should have died in battle
Than endure a life-long suffering
Cribbed and confined to a mute chair
My ruffled mind and battered body
Do not blame my love
For changing her path like an aimless dove
Treading on the path of a new found love
As love seems to exist
Only where the loved
Could care for the lover
Like how a sensitive gardener
Would a strange flower

- Andrew Scott

To Imoshika

You are cute and intelligent,
A lovable child
Talented dancer
And fond of music
You'll grow up to be
A fine young lady guite soon.
I hope i'll be able someday
To describe you thus, if I may.
She is unobtrusive,
Soft-spoken, sincere,
Natural and down-to earth,
Oozing with charm
No airs, no axes to grind,
Never envious - no craving for things
Minus complexes
Just content with her lot
Dresses simply and neatly
Modest and truthful
Efficient, considerate
Has a heart-warming smile
A woman par excellence
Worth her weight - and more, in gold"
Need I ask for more!

- Ranee Ranatunge


Fill the skies in July,
Soaring free
Like birds of the air,
Gliding smooth,
Riding the wind,
Sometimes tossed and buffeted
By the strong 'South and buffeted
By the strong 'South Westers'
Sweeping the land
In this sweltering
"Summer time"

In green, open places,
Down by the sea
Up in the blue sky
Are everywhere.
Splashes of colour
Cruising in the azure heavens
Playing hide and seek
Amidst floating clouds.

Long sinuous snakes,
Clever box kites
Poised high,
Black bats, bright birds,
And graceful ladies
Twirling their streaming skirts
Lovely, airy things
Buoyed up with hope and joy.

But the wind blows
Strong sometimes,
Then kites break away,
And are gone
The wind sometimes drops
And the kites come down,
So brief a day
Like life itself,
Fleeting, Impermanent,
Bringing sorrow,
And disappointment
To the hand that grasps,
Unless it can 'let go'

- Wishwaranee Nagahawatte


From the hills of Central Lanka,
Boume out to the foaming sea,
Are all the rumbling rivers
Of this beautiful country.

They flow in the dense wilderness,
And quench the thirsty fauna,
Out to the light through the darkness,
Among the blossoming flora.

The cub, the calf, the loveable fawn,
Drink out of them heartily,
Then down a mighty fall it's gone,
And they look down quizzically.

Along and long the waters ramble on,
And then a sudden obstruction,
Their sprays shoot high to the leafy lawns,
And gush with a resounding ovation.

Then whirls and twirls and their ripples grow,
With a sparkling unceasing motion,
And gushing through a-racing they go,
To form the mighty ocean.

- George Eddie


There is no fire
Like lust
Says Dhammapada
The fire of lust
Is raging on
All over the world
And the people
Who have to put it out
Are also in the rage
When will this fire
Be put out
Who will
Put it out

- Arul

Daily News Tue Nov 28 2006

Soul to soul

Have you looked at our sky,
Looked at its million hues,
And felt it was a reflection of
Who you are? At times...

Have you looked at a flower's colours,
And at the way trees and their leaves,
At times sway and dance in the air....
And felt, they were reflecting your moods?

Have you watched a storm and felt,
That the gods and goddesses,
Up in the heavens were expressing
Their concern at what you have gone through?

Have you observed Nature and felt,
It was mirroring you?
And felt connected to such an extent where,
You felt you are not so alone?

- Namali Fernando


Am I a sinner....?
Is she not....? Is he not....?
Why me?

We're all sinners.
Lotuses springing proudly on the surface of the blue,
But its foot firm in the muck of the deep, concealed
'Neath the glass of blue water, mirroring
Only a face of purity.

I'm not cunning, not astute.
I am more straightforward (stupid, maybe),
A frog,
That sings to the deaf lotuses
That look to the sky
In shame.

- Svetlana Abeysekara

Is it invincible?

Beware of the Demon.

Many fall prey,
But not everybody.

You might, I might,
He, she and they might,
Can anyone tell ....?

Do beware, please do,
If you love your life,
As we all do.

Once fallen prey,
Easily prone again.
The danger you see,
Is there immunity ....?

He might be with you,
You may not know,
Until he becomes matured
And ready to attack.

Then is there a cure ....?
It's a challenge .....?

Why not try to drive him away;
It's simple; have clean environs:
Do away with water holes, he lives.

I do my duty; if so does everybody,
God cleanliness will reign around,
The Demon Dengue will not, then respond.

- P.N.P. Deraniyagala

Dawn before the battle

A horse neighs
Nervous tension in its blood shot eyes
A gush of vapoury breath
It smells blood
As it waits to greet the coming sun

A muttered curse
The unwitting clatter of armour
The last embers of last night's fire
As the men stir
They will remember this day

Feet shuffle
Bodies begin to rise
Sinewy arms and furrowed faces
They will do what they have to do
As destiny waits

Somewhere a lover sighs
Her man still sleeps
In her comforting embrace
The lines of a sleepless night
Etched in her eyes.

A tear forms
And slides down her cheek
Touches her soldier's shoulder
Before dripping slowly
To the ground

A thousand tears
A thousand times
For a thousand years
Have likewise dripped
On this soil

He will go this morn
As his forefathers did
To give his life
For the land on which they lay
Her tear drop sinks in the sand

He will not come back
To that warm embrace
But she will know
Why he went
Her sigh tells it all

The bugle sounds
Men rise and and move away
Horses nervously balance their mounts
Armour clanks
Anticipation is in the air

The sun comes up
Lighting their determined faces
The young and the mature
Many will not see the sun go down
But she will still have her land

- Diyasena

Oh! Great Zeus

The greatest God.
The father of gods and humans,
Father in the sense of being the protector.
You're the lord of the sky,
Who wielded the terrible thunderbolt.
You're the agent of justice and mercy.
Protector of the weak.
Punisher of the wicked.
Husband to own sister.
But many affairs with the mortals.
Resorted to all kinds of tricks.
To hide your infidelity from your wife.
Many of your offspring were a result of this.
What ever it is, you're the great and the greatest.
The earth is to be ruled by you.

- Hasini Weragama

A Vision from the past

Out of the empty blankness of a vacant mood
As I lie, desiring naught but a sense
Of ease-peace and well being,
Out of the depths of such silent reverie
When my mind is in harmony with the world,
Emerges your resplendent face, smiling,
Afloat in the horizon of my dreams.
I knew you only from what I'd heard
And I hadn't heard very much;
But enough to dream of you as the girl
Who'd light the house of my heart.
So I thought, day by day
And you came nearer and clearer
As you become dearer and dearer.
The affection I had developed for you
Made me tongue-tied and shy.
Oh! It's too late now.

- PLN de Silva

A Mother' s Prayer

The young mother remains sombre,
The ruins outside remind her
Of all the destruction being caused
By this futile war.
A gentle breeze blows
As if trying to smoothen the frown on her brows
She glances at her slumbering newborn.
And closes her eyes in anguish.
'Oh my little one,
What does the future hold for you?'
She reaches out for his plump hand.
'Will you survive this harsh world,
So full of cruelty and pain?
Will you be honest and truthful
Amidst all those who are cold and harsh?
Will you retain your purity and innocence,
Right throughout your childhood?
Will you stand up for what you believe is true?
Instead of blindly following the herd?
Will you learn to appreciate the wonders of nature,
So beautiful and so amazing?
So many questions and yet so little answers...'
The little boy opens his eyes,
Catches sight of his mother,
And lets out a joyful chuckle,
Waving his chubby hands in the air.
She picks him up,
And places his soft, smooth cheek next to hers.
He lets out a long satisfied gurgle.
She smiles.
Suddenly the future doesn't seem so bleak anymore.

- Adilah Ismail

Visiting card

a box full of
visiting cards
I found it

Must thank him
for what he'd done
Such a nice man
in his youth

dialled with
trembling hands
"Numbers changed"
A sweet voice
hummed in

This time I'm lucky
Somebody picks up the phone
Waited with bated breath

"Hi can I help you?"
A silken voice asked
"Mr. Saundiris...?
Is he there....?"

"I'm his granddaughter
Who's calling?"
"I'm his buddy
In school and office"

"Oh my gosh
He's no more
my grandpa died
many moons ago"

- R.S. Karunaratne


When the earth

turns its back to the Sun,

dusk descends,


dreaming begins,

leaving behind

the business,


another day

- arjuna

Daily News - Tuesday Nov 21 2006

Poppy is just not a flower





It is a symbol
A memorial
A tribute
To the fearless sons of our soil
Who laid down their lives
For the Motherland and you

It is also a ray of hope
A bright light
In the darkness of those survived
For the ones whose futures are marked

Give back to those gave
To the wounded, the disabled and the desperate
Give of your time and money
They need you now as we needed them
To protect us.

Give this remembrance week real meaning
Give until you have no more to give
To the forgotten heroes of our time
Purchase a wreath in expression of remembrance
Wear a poppy with pride

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
Sri Lanka mourns of her dead
Flesh of her flesh they were spirit of her spirit
Fallen in the cause of war
They went with song to battle
They were young
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted

They fell with their faces to the foe

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
Lest we forget

With appreciation to Laurence Binyon

- The General Ranjan Wijeratne Foundation

All I need

Just a smile from you
Expands my heart with joy.
Endless thoughts I have
Verify my love for you
Above and over the sky
Narrows my love for thee.
If you're genuine and true
Express your love for me.

All I need is love
Now and forever from you.
No one can make us part
Especially when you're mine

- S. Raymond SILVA.

Two dead soldiers

A sculpture by Erzabet Schaar

Two dead soldiers in bronze
Lying flat on a battlefield, anywhere.

Dismembered trunks and heads,
Severed membranes, nerves,
Are tangled threads wrapped in blood,
freezing in ice or clotted with mud.

They have no eyes,
They have no tongues,
Sightless and blind and speechless.

Shreds of rags
flutter in the miserable wind
to cover corpses.

The cloth, the flesh, the skin
are of one colour and one texture.

Outflung and still the cracked bone
of the broken arm, its crooked wing, unpinioned.
Unweaponed, the slack fingers of those
useless hands.

Two dead soldiers
are a whole battlefield
two faces, a million.

- Jean Arasanayagam


Seated cosily on the sofa
I pick up the tangled
She ends of my past
One by one
Here I see a vivid blue
of the Lake where?
Paddled as a child
The flamboyant led
Remirds me of my
Going away saree
The pastel shades
Of pink and blue
Of the tiny baby sheets
Of my children as babes
A riot of colours red
Blue, pink, mauve
In the cushion cover
I earnestly embroidered
To the admiration of
All and sundry
I walk down memory
Lane setting free the
Tangled threads
Of my life.

- Indranee Karandawala Wijesinghe.

Dead Rose

I bought you in haste of fantasy,
Hoped you would stay longer,
And calm my soul soothe my nerve
Give me love and show me beauty,
How I envy your charm
Your innocent skill to steal my heart
Now you're gone
I must say 'After a rather short stay'
Nothing remains but your memories of charm

- Vidarshi


I'm still clutching
At the last straw,
Clinging desperately
To a thin thread of hope,
Too fragile
To rely on, though.

I still believe,
That someday
Things would right themselves,
And that she'd return to my life
in the nick of time,
And remain a shadow-like friend.

Yet, I sometimes wonder
If I am deluding myself,
Relying on
A feeble, fragile
Rope of false hope!

- Jayashantha Jayawardhana.

Freedom flight

It's time
A few clothes, pair of shoes and some money
Packed in an old travelling bag,
Taking it softly down the stair case,
Staring into the empty rooms,
Hurried through the hall into the empty garden
And before others returned she ran, ran and ran
Passing unknown people, over the bridges, across the fields,
Looking around stealthily, not caring the hunger and sweat running
down her body
She ran for freedom....
Now eighteen
It's time to be free
From mother's persuasions, father's careful eyes,
Many hours passed, she came into a small town
At last freedom!
Darkness had fallen unnoticed,
Men stared, women ignored
She fell on her knees and screamed
Please take me home, take me home,'

- Ruwanthi Abeyakoon

The Castle of illusion

I revisit a castle,
that holds my already medieval memories
a pinnacle of vain hopes and
ambitions, now lost its

The air seems changed,
or was it just a passing
view made by a visitor
reading the muted weathering
of branches and autumnal shades
of cottonwood branches
so distant in the hills.

'In the past, the hills had
cascaded into burnished hues of
gold and flame, till they
were consumed by the fires that
raged across the countryside
engulfing its hidden aura of
iconish gold.

You glanced at those dream-like
visions across the desolate hills,
impressionistic illusions of peace
and calm, a mysterious wall into
another realm that spoke of the
divine, the toll of temple bells and
A deserted landscape
meets my gaze,
as I walk in a post
disaster age
and see the casualties
of that violent age.

- Parvathi Solomans Arasanayagan

A glittering star

In the eve of my life
I stay relaxed, on my chair
With aching bones and muscles
Wondering of the years gone by
I see in the distant sky
One glittering star,
Shining with all its splendour
Reminding me of the eyes of love
Love that was given with all its heart
Never asking for anything in return
I see stretched arms in the star
Inviting me to its blossom
To feed me with the nectar of love
Which I longed to drink from my dear amma,
The dearest of all !

- Ananda Amaratunga

DN - Tue Nov 14 2006

You ebb the waves of despair

When cold disappointing frustrations
Focus my vision on horizons
Of almost infinite arctic sameness
Whilst the winds of searing cold
Blow in storms to inscrutable heavens,
Relieved, perhaps, by a forlorn seal
Or a pathetically inadequate camp
(In which some explorer had once had tea),
When depression strikes my soul
And makes it slink to depth
Of abysmal despair,
Making me ego-centered to shun
With suspicion social contact,
Regardless of the efforts of friends
To draw me from the quick-sands of misery,
When despair harrows my mind.
To picture the arid burning sands
Of a monstrous treacherous expanse,
Relieved by a pre-historic rock
Or a courageous yet futile cactus,
Or else the delusive beckoning of a mirage
Sans an oasis within possible reach,
You, my love, find the formulae
(Encrusted, perhaps, in a Pharaoh's prophecy
A thousand years before Christ
Intuitively grasped but functionally perfect)
To alleviate frustrations and relieve depression,
To ebb the waves of despair to tolerance levels,

To cultivate the arctic and irrigate the desert
And thus transform the receding mirage
To a soothing reality of solace
With a steaming cup of golden tea
And the warm glow of silent presence
Or with quiet words of unhurried wisdom
And unobtrusive understanding affection.
O! My Love!
You revitalise my soul
And fine-comb my mind
To normal rational thought
And make me enjoy once again
Decent humane aspirations
And find my joy in simple things:
Like that wondrous taste of cold water
Only a thirst-ridden camel can know.
I visualise then that innocent freshness
Of the mildest showers of a timely spring
Or the arresting welcome of a blossoming rose.
Yet again, I feel that soothing joy
Of the softest rays of a morning sun
Or the purest notes of the song of a bird.
My tensions ease and happiness flows
Through the micro-grooves of my sensitive nerves
To smooth down the lines of a furrowed brow.
In humble mien I yet realise.
That under these deserts both ice and sandy,
The sustaining wealth of consequence may lie.

PLN de Silva

The world of my own

I waved at the train.
It marked the departure of the world I knew.
Then I was in a strange world.............on my own.
This is life. I sighed........

I carried my bags and turned around to start my journey.
And of course it was my turning point.
I saw them. I met their innocent eyes.
They were full of hope.
I smiled. They laughed.
could a smile be so comic? I wondered.
I stepped forward, they came running towards me.
The next moment I was on my knees.
I could still recall the sheer joy I experienced.

When I first stepped on the land of sorrow I had my doubts.
I was different then.
But now I'm content. I enjoy.
I swore never to return to the world "I knew"
Until I change this land.

But why?
Because a few pairs of sparkling eyes changed my world for me.
This is the land which "knew me"

Niroshi Jayasekera


To the fire flies the moth
Knowing not it will die.
Little fish bite the hook
Knowing not, danger lies there
But knowing very well the danger
Of the ruinous worldly pleasures,
Anticipating momentary happiness
We cling to them so firmly.
Oh, how glorious is our folly!

Malini De Soyza

Lonely hearts

Cold clouds are falling down
On the lonely streets
Whom shall I call
To sing the heart-breaking song....

The stars which showed us the way
No more with us they're hiding away
Has he heard my heart crying
Are the angels awake today....

I hear in the lonely streets
The birds are humming silently
Have they been singing for me
The heart-breaking song meant for you and me.

Anushka Nanayakkara

A tribute to the nuns of yesteryear

Sri Lankan girls, when education was
denied to you in the past;
Clad in robes in modesty and dignity:
Arrived your rescue at last.
Holy Family, Good Shepherd under
various orders they came
To enlighten our dear native isle and
bring much fame.
Opening schools for girls was their
aim that day;
By hook or by crook they managed
it I say.
Let's ponder: The greatest task they
had to face
To bring girls out of homes and
in schools place.
Canvassing they trudged from door to door
And soon won the hearts of parents more and more
Girls of all nationalities, cast and creeds - whoever they be?
Filled the schools: There was no restriction then you see?
Free education, meals to the needy they rendered
In secret: Unknown to those that finance lendered
No difference was made to the poor or rich
All were served with the same spoon-No hitch
Down memory lane let us tread
To the convents of the past era gone ahead
Sinhala, Tamils, Burghers, Muslims, Chinese, Eurashians all
Side by side did study in one great hall
Peacefully, happily the days sped away
Leaving memories: To ponder later some day
Let's go down the corridors of time
And recall our doings within those walls so fine
Grandmothers of today nurtured in convents big or small
Harken, harken to my clarion call
Let's join hands and a tribute pay
To those great mothers who paved our way.
A century and more did they toil;
In the blazing heat of Lanka's soil
To give to us of all their best,
But now alas are gone to
Eternal Rest

Norma Perera

An experience of an opening bat

I walk nonchalantly,
into the middle,
to face an enemy of eleven men,
and take first strike, bravely.

The new ball hurtles at me
with terrific pace,
I swing the willow,
only to miss and wonder why ?
the next comes high, I crouch,
the missile passes overhead,
I breathe a sigh of relief.

The third I watch with care,
and caress it so gently with the willow,
It hurtles past the eager crouching men,
and hits the distant rope behind.

I breathe a sigh of relief,
and think of my loved one,
beyond the ropes,
amongst the faceless crowd
of noisy men and women.



Sharp, luminous jets of white,
Pierce the sky. Lashing out,
Against the lush landscape.
Full of black silhouettes.
Of innumerable trees,
With their leaves and branches.
The Earth dances.
Throbbing with life, absorbing the rain.
A treat for my eyes.
I am watching the beauty.
Of it all. Transfixed.
The thunder crashes.
Trying its best to frighten me.
It is night time. I am not afraid.
White light with its intermittent spells of dark.
I observe. trapped.
The rainfall continues to sigh in my ears.
A strong mesmeric sound.
Intense by nature,
An ecstasy to my senses,
And the storm rages on.

Namali Fernando

Notes of a writer

Accumulated over many years
I have stocked my sorrows
I think they are safely hidden
Only known to myself
Through passing time they enlarge
In silence I bear in fortitude
At times they hurt me badly
I often becomes dejected
Depressed, alone, and cornered
I must write, to write in verse perfect
To let go my emotions before it bursts
I should write lines of poetry.
In perfect harmony with the mind
I must make others read
Letting others know through verse
Rythm and Rhyme in attempt
To blend and make perfect reading
I must write to express
For others to enjoy in empathy
To make others feel in unity
Making realise the success
of expression with felt emotion
Let others find in my writing
What they look for and search
To enjoy good writing and reading
Let the writing of others influence
People like me and fellow writers
To make perfect our choice poems

Miran Perera

DN - Nov 5 2006


Every morning, I see you,
I see you do your hair.
A few yards separate us
from each other,
I am in my room,
You do not see me.

You are with your child,
Who makes a noise,
That attracts me to my window.
You are so patient
with your hair
but not with your child

You spend a lot of time
removing all the knots
in your long hair,
you straighten your hair,
with the centre parting.

Your hair is waist long,
black and curly.
Ultimately you walk away,
with your hair done.
I may see you again.

Sydney Knight


History has it
That kings of yore
Did not wait for calamities
To build tanks and conserve forests
For posterity.
During their reign
There was no waiting for subsidies
And no waiting for food
During their reign
They did not go with begging bowls
To neighbouring countries
For loans.
They tilled the land
Alongside the common man
And showed them
What dignity of labour was
The coffers were full
And there was plenty for all
Sri Lanka earned the sobriquet
'Grannery of the East'
Don't wait till problems
Stare you in the face
Please do something about it
Before it is too late

Khahila Lebbe

Interpretation of love

Approached a junction
One direction was
spread in two parallel lines....
While toiling....
having the life on the shoulders
saw you on the other line
"Hi!" waved, I.
"Are you also tired?
"Yeah", you waved back.
"Oh, my dear -
Shall we join hands,
though we go on different routes?"
I asked.
"Why not?-
we are heading the same direction, however".
was the reply.
Sun smiled at me.
Heart filled with joy.
We travelled; there were ups and downs.
One fine day,
I didn't feel your hand...
Looked back...looked for you around...
My shadow stayed back for loneliness.
Ha, ha, ha.
One in thousand?
Or - is it,
Thousand out of thousand?

Priyadarshinie Madawala

The Florist in the Hills

On a winding road to a hill resort
Braving the cold and constant showers
You'll find this enterprising man
Who makes a living selling flowers

He owns no cart or stall for his work
By running behind vehicles he does business
Up and down the hill he toils
A sale or two would bring some happiness

We saw him waving a bunch of blooms
At us and smiling as if to say
Please buy these and help me out
It will surely make my day

In a moment he disappeared from view
And we thought about him no further
But at the next bend he was seen again
Or was it his twin brother ?

As we traveled to higher elevations
He was seen always ahead of us
Climbing the hill through his own path ways
He kept following our bus

If only we had stopped to buy his flowers
How good it would have made us feel
For I'm sure he had a family waiting
Till he brought home the evening meal

The next time when we go that way
We hope to find you there
You'll never guess that one family
Is still talking about you elsewhere

Udaya Perera

The Arival

Eagerly waiting
To be fed
With love, care
And fertiliser
Of knowledge
To see the world
Out there.

A shower;
They were waiting for,
To grow well,
To show their beauty
And to shed
The sweetest scent
To all passers by.

Your arrival;
Did bring the buds
Happiness and joy.

The flowers now wait
With the sweetest scent
To garland you
For your worthiest
And invaluable
Service !

A. Jayalath Basnagoda

To my grandson

The plane glided along the tarmac,
Then zoomed into the air,
Yonder through eastern clouds
Whisked to western skies out there.
You flew with them away
Leaving us all behind,
You-my only grandson
Gone to a far off clime.
I long to see your winsome smile,
Feel you near me for a while,
See you near me for a while,
See you swing and throw the ball
Then run swiftly to catch it.
But destiny took you, from me
You'll do well whatever you be,
I bless you with all my love.
God will guide you all life's way,
Till you come home to stay
In your Motherland, Sri Lanka.

Sylvia Hettiarachchi


I have been trying to understand
this whole business of living,
because from birth to death we are in conflict.
There is this struggle - a constant struggle -
within ourselves, and outwardly,
in our relationship with others;
such strain and strife, and such divisions
as we try to uphold a sense of an individual existence.

However much our relationships be close and intimate,
each of us need to seek
our own pleasures, pursue our own ambitions,
and tied to it all is frustration.
What is the end result but turmoil?

But out of this turmoil there also rises the need
to be creative-
to write, to paint, to compose a sonata...
Does all this carry reflections
of our grief, our strife and our despair?

Whether we travel to the moon-
or wage our wars, or cruise the oceans,
there always rises such bitter strife:
man against man and this is our life.
I see Hantane from my window-
see the little streams that feeds the rice-
no conflict - they are so beautiful.

Beauty has no room for striving or conflict,
and there is little beauty in our lives
because of the turmoil in us.
We are beset by contradictions
that are the root of all strife.
We are divided - we are conditioned to uphold
our conclusions, oppose the wills of others;
be prejudiced.

We hold our beliefs, our way of thought,
we hold to the 'me' in us, and throw open
the gates of conflict.
Is all this turmoil our battle for survival?
We are typhooned by the problems of the world around us;
and turmoil comes with the divisions it brings-

No, We do not lie in beds of roses.
Turmoil is the true bed of life.

Carl Muller


Vintner waits for the new stuff.
Vineyard girls in bloom
And their rouge on cheeks like wine.
He who repents as his youth is gone.
Not like earlier
With a glass or two
He will be knockout.
But he likes vine
To forget the knotty life!
His dignity is going for a song.
And the soulless man who idles
At tavern doors dreaming
An old friend will offer him a drop.

Nimal Dunuhinga

The break-away

I soar above the restless night,
Above the rock and sand
I break away from right and wrong,
From good and bad and cruel
I fly beyond the ties of my life,
Away from the cold of the world

Here I am free, here I am pure
Held back by not heaven nor hell
Here I can feel, here I can dream,
Here I can finally live

Yet still do I hear the call of the world,
Calling me back to her grasp
Still I can feel a cold iron hand,
Pulling me back to cruel life

For still I can see your face in the sky,
Hear your name across the cool breeze
Still I can feel the touch of your hand.
Hear your call across the sea

And still I can never quite break free,
Never leave the prison of life,
For after all this time, after all these years,
Still I am,

Dilan Ashok Sellahewa

Protect the gift of nature

Mountains high winding rivers
Run smoothly forever.
A gift of nature from Mother Earth,
Green trees spread in thickets
Steals its way into ruthless pockets,

Selfish men walk his way
Into the thicket all the way
To hue and cut the thicket gay,
Sell the products to accomplish the day.

Erosion, drought, landslides,
Are the result of his might.
Senseless thought and selfish mind,
Must stop to save our nature kind.

N.R. Majeed

DN Tue Oct 31 2006

Peace-time poems

I have to learn to write peace-time poems,
capture the natural colours of earth, grass, trees
and leaves, re-interpret the expression on human
faces once ravaged by flight and departure,
returning from the exile of their lost lives,
no longer to tattoo the burnt sienna flesh
stripped and denuded by war with the spectral
images that always haunted my dreams.

The thin tissue grows over the healing wounds.
of memory, as fine as gossamer and yet
tougher, the blue vein running beneath its
surface, protected, a narrow conduit of blood
flowing into larger arteries.

My mind recollects the poisonous thorn-prick
of childhood from the Eden rose garden,
the festering wound repeatedly swabbed out
and cleansed till it healed, the pain diminishing
yet never leaving me, remembered even to this day.

The scar has not vanished either but is a
reminder of that exploratory childhood,
a map, miniscule of those days
a medallion of hurt unwittingly caused
not by any human hand but by nature's
poisonous yet protective barb that went
deep into the flesh. Remains.

These scars are necessary reminders
we rehearse pain from that past
prepare for the future.

The wounds have healed
unlike the wounds of war,
the scars, emblems of courage,
visible or invisible.

I no longer landscape my mind
with limpid streams and flowering,
fruiting trees.

Are there peace-time poems
Buried in my mind?
Are they retrievable or lost in time?

Jean Arasanayagam

Namo Namo Matha

Majority hail a gesture patriotic
The MoU in politic
Let's hope this would be historic
Making Sri Lanka truly democratic
Leaders should in ruling
Not cause others to suffering
But view with concern and feeling
People's share of enduring
In this game of politics
Diverse are the flare-outs and rhetoric
So be not too optimistic
As Sri Lanka does not lack fanatics

We wish our Motherland proud
A future bringing us round
To a country war-free and sound
To show our true colours around

Let's rally round our noble flag in unison
Show the meaning of it to the world,
Revive our traditions and the Buddha's word
Of kindness, love and compassion.

Neetha Sirimanne

Let's not

Let's not talk
Let's not
The more we speak
The more you make me think of you
If there is silence
And if no words are spoken
May be... I'll let thoughts of you go
And I can breathe
Without taking you in
Every time I do

Let's not meet
Let's not
The more we meet
The more you make me think of you
If you stop gazing
And I stop smiling
May be... I'll let feelings of you go
And I can breathe
Without taking you in
Every time I do

Let's not love
Let's not
The more we love
The more you make me think of you
If you stop standing so close
And I stop sighing as you reach out
Maybe... just maybe... I'll let feelings of you go
And I can breathe
Without taking you in
Every time I do

Let's not.

Sashikala Premawardhane

Man and Creation

The glittering stars
The moonlit nights
The sunrise and the sunset
The birds and the trees
The flowers and the colours
The oceans blue
Nature and its beauty
The streams and the rivers
The blue mountains
The breeze and the air
Are but a few
Of the awesome creation
And man was created plain and simple
To enjoy all such?
all for free
Alas! Yet?
has made himself
so very complicated
Shunning away all his blessings
He seems oblivious that life is too short
And tomorrow can be too late!
Past is done and the future is yet to come
So, 'as you journey through life
make the maximum use
Of the gift of the?

Arundathy Gunawardena

Daddy with love

Silently you were searching for help
Without showing how painful it was...
All I could see was you fighting for life
Without running away from it...
I looked into your eyes
And saw you're almost there to reach for it
But has forgotten the right way...

Secretly our hearts were bleeding for you
Without showing how painful it was
All our hands were tied together
So we would not let you fall again...

Please believe in us daddy
And help us to take you in the right way,
Cause nothing more is important to us
Than you recovering from this massive pain...

Hold our hands and come out of it
And let the devil be the loser
Open your heart for patience and kindness
And let the Lord of all bless inside of you...

Trust in Lord
Trust in your doctor
Trust in your family
Trust in yourself
And let everything fall back to the right place.

Anushka Nanayakkara

Summer vacation - Going back in time

Every year when the
Sun decides to
Show his might
I take a detour back in time

This year too
Without exception
I started running away from
Present time

Modern airports
Latest airplanes
Started taking me
Back to where I belong

Flew through the
Million years-old sky
Laden with ever changing clouds
And ever present blue emptiness

Clumsy and rough touchdown
Was loud enough a harbinger of
Things to come
For the ensuing two months

We went past cities and towns
Smooth blacktops changed
Gradually to macadamized surface
And then to bumpy auburn rural roads

Trees, leaves and grass
Imitate the colour of
The gravel that made
The "road" barely motorable
Battered bus travelled with pauses as if to
Let me view the changing landscape of
Partially complete masonry houses
By the side of dilapidating mud houses

Sun has been showing its might
Here too, to my people, to my land
As it has been for thousands of years.
I can't escape sun, its might rather

Old faces wrinkled with a sunburn
Young folks putting up
A brave fight to deny the dry air
The pleasure of robbing their youth

Landscape changed to show me
A snapshot of my past,
Children barefoot
Playing with improvised toys

Kakulu rice with pol sambal breakfast
Wew malu, pala and rice for lunch
Hour-long dip in the village tank
While chatting with my own villagers

Is what I come back for
Again and again every summer
to refresh my memory
to relive my roots

I will live this familiarity
For the coming two months
When I have to return back
I will go forward in time, reluctantly

Ranjith Wijekoon


He has seen the nakedness of the palpable death.
How many times he has walked to the cemetery
behind the innocent coffins from a child to the elder.
His tearful eyes lament but tears almost dried.
He always thinks the auspicious day will come
and who goes with him.?
He lives in his entire life with
the cenotaphs of different souls.
Though he is an adolescent
who loves the friendship
but he never catches a girl's true smile
as he may be smell of death?

Nimal Dunuhinga

To Palestine

Dear people of Gaza,
Please listen to me,
Every person is a child of God,
Whether you call your God,
Allah, Buddha, or Bhgavan is irrelevant,
The crux of the matter,
Is to love each other,
Whether you are Muslim,
Hindu, Christian or Buddhist.
God does not discriminate His children,
As Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Buddhist.
Everybody is equal in God's eyes.
Love your neighbour,
That's God's word.
Accept Israel as your loving neighbour,
And they will love you back.
Oh! What a wonderful place,
This world would be then,
Thank you, and may,
Love and Peace be yours.


DN Tue Oct 24 2006

Gleeful: 'Eid Ul Fitr'

We're hesitant and sad to say,
'Goodbye' to Holy Ramazan.
Because, it was a month of happiness,
Free from worries, relief, charity and good deed.
Bidding farewell to Ramazan,
Welcome ye 'Eid Ul Fitr' the day of charity,
To bind the 'Ummah' in fraternity.
During the sacred Ramazan,
The rich gave the poor with generosity from their riches,
To suffice their wishes.
Even the poorest is full of gifts and charities on this day.

Wearing new and elegant clothes,
And trek to mosques, following breakfast
Which is a 'Sunnah' of the Holy Prophet.
Praying and prostrating the Creator, Almighty Allah,
We exchange greetings 'Eid Mubarak' with all,
After prayers, we never fail to visit our relatives and friends,
In order to make good mends and bonds.
'Dodal', 'Wattalappam', sweetmeats and sweets are
Special delicacies on this wonderful day.
Oh, 'Eid Ul Fitr'
Wish you many many happy returns,
Wish you always with us.

M. S. Abdul Hai

A stranger in Paris

A muddy rainy day, hence it was wet,
Yet, this is 'Paris, high, frenzy, gay spirited.
Cruise along "fairy River-Seine", extended,
Voyage satiating, dreamy, smooth like velvet.

Island canal of glamorous "Paris city",
Passing, imposing "Cathedral Notre Dame",
Of course, more historical buildings of fame,
Impressed me to go wide eyed, it was infinity.

Among the vast dazzling bustling glory,
You looked forlorn, on a bench by the bank,
You waved, waved joyously, my heart sank,
Your eager smiling face, made me feel sorry.

I recall your expression; scowling, gloomy, drab,
Lonely reparian, isolated; unbelievably in "Paris"
Seated by yourself, where life, in full swing terries,
I melted, my best smile clutched you like a crab.

You glowed, responded crept off the shell,
Flying kisses floated in abundance, as I'm life,
For you to go on breathing, living, ending strife,
Seeing your ecstasy, in the moving ferry, my tears fell.

Radha Ranjani Jayawardena.

A tribute

Lessons taught to many
In every discipline,
Over the years, will
Never fade away. However, teaching
English has been your forte, imparting to the
Learner, the much needed knowledge and methodology. Your

Students both young and old are doing well in life,
Abiding by what had been taught with
Meticulous care. Even though, you lost your life partner
At an early age of married life, you have honoured your
Responsibilities of bringing up the children adoringly and
Appropriately. Sacrificing your entire life for their sake,
Reveals how duty conscious and generous you are.
Accolades are many, though you're not interested in any.
Today is a very special day.
Not only for you, but for all of us. We are
Edified. Wish you long life, peace and tranquillity!

W. Lionel Sirimanne


The butterfly lies wrapped up
In his cocoon of silk,
Still an ugly chrysalis,
Lost to the world.

But soon to sweep up skywards,
Clad in robes of shimmering blue or gold,
To flit from flower to flower
In search of nectar,
Pollinating his benefactors,
And at the same time
Giving so much joy to us...

But will it be, will it be?
Will the chrysalis be placed
Within the confines of a jam jar,
A child's experiment in nature?

Or be devoured alive,
By a hungry little bird?
Or taken to fledglings,
Waiting with open beaks,
Till Papa comes,
Inside their nest?

Or be thrown into a vat
Of boiling water,
And then lifeless,
Spun into soft silk,
And then woven into
A saree of the purest
Gossamer-like silk?

What will be, what will be?

Will the butterfly live and fly?
Or will he dream and die?

Only time will tell!

Priyanthi Wickramasuriya

The Moon and I

I sit in solitude
On this moonlit night,
At peace with the world....
See a dusting of gold
Like a myriad fire flies
On quivering leaves.

The moon is full today
A glittering orb of gold.
It's soothing radiance
Bathes me as I dream,
And my thoughts fly back
To happy times of yore.

To childhood days
In a sprawling home of love
Like the home I share with you.
The moon ablaze
To gilt the jasmine bowers
Whose wafting scents,
Lulled me to my sleep,
As I dreamed my dreams'
Of a night like this?

The moon and I,
And you by my side,
In the serene autumn
Of our long shared lives,
My heart at peace,
My yearnings satisfied.

Verna L. de Silva

To my Sudu Akki

I was literally bursting with joy,
To give you the happy news,
To tell you soonest,
That I had a poem of mine,
In the newspaper.
As soon as I broke the news,
You beamed,
With undisguised delight.
Great! Do bring it tomorrow, will you?
I was literally amazed,
At your child-like impatience,
At that wonderful fusion,
Of insistence and affection.
'If only you were my own Sudu Akki!'
I made the same wish,
That I had made many times before.

When I handed over it you the next day,
You gave me a triumphant grin,
And took it home to show your mom.
I deeply marvelled,
At the vicarious pleasure,
That you were enjoying.

Today while I look back,
On this little but beautiful incident,
I feel immensely grateful to you,
For your boundless affection,
And doubt, If I will ever meet a better friend than you,
For I always think,
You are the dearest of all my friends.

Jayashantha Jayawardhana

Fighters march on

On soldiers of our cause
Set out march on
Be not confused
Thinking that our enemies have won
When he stills my voice with his bullets

Forget not
Only then the rays of the winning sun
Penetrated the dark caves of our struggle

Nothing has happened to your Leader
Never forget this in your life
Leaders never die
Haven't I told you this?
Pardon me if I haven't

We have walked
Along the path of God.
Now you too have to go
On the same route

In this struggle
Whether we are burnt or cut to death
The joy is the same

None of our fighters will ever die
March forward oh' fighters
There is no time to rest and watch
Waste no time
In washing this corpse
Neither water nor rose water is needed

Has your leader's body been
Coated with the sandalwood of blood
Should the smell of the same fragrance
Smell in the womb of his tomb as well
Then take this body away
Pray and bury without
Any further delay

By washing his body
At the last moment
Defy not the directives of your leadership

Enough of your homage
With tears
Forget your sorrows
And lift my body

Don't take away from me
The blood stained clothes
If you so wish
You may cover them with my "Ihram"
(white cloth) pieces

Every drop of blood
Oozing through the skin of my body
Is hungry to embrace
Those pieces of holy cloths

Sometimes I have stayed
Not breathing you
Sometimes I remained
Not hearing
Sometimes I remained
Silent, not speaking to you

Those who are blind
Those who are deaf
And those who are dumb
Cannot stand up to this cause
Let me breath freely
At least in my grave
And enjoy the music
Of the lasses of 'Hoorlins'

Take this body
Need not delay any longer
Pray and bury
Bring your quarrels to a halt
Which is full of daring talks

Beware of different opinions
Like a moth
It will destroy your understanding

Don't lessen your speed
March forward with victory
Like a banyan tree
Ours should live
With thousands of trunks

My tasks has come to an end
Go fast yours is ahead

The bullets of his rifle
Only obeyed the command of the master

Weep not the waste your time
Lift this body up
And pray and bury soon.

M. H. M. Ashraff

(The poem is taken from the poetry collection of the late SLMC Leader M. H. M. Ashraff to mark his 58th birth anniversary which fell on October 23.)

Sent by Ashraff A. Samad

The artist

Enthralled by the glory of dusk,
Sat an artist by the path,
Hurrying on to capture,
A scene that would not last.

Many feet pattered to and fro,
But he didn't seem to hear,
Until the chimes of the angelus,
Peeled out sweet and clear.

Rising from the makeshift chair,
He moved a little away,
And joining both his hands in prayer,
Recited the Evening 'Ave'.

He thanked the Lord for the talent bestowed,
On him a humble lad,
And coveting a replica of a time gone by,
A prize of nature he had

George Eddie

DN Tue Oct 17 2006

Remembering Damayanthi

A decade has glided by but memories stay
Strong and vibrant never fading away
I remember our times together you and I
Talking rationalising
The happenings of each day.
Pulsating waterfalls and terraced rice fields
The sweet and pungent smell of treacle and curd
Soft silken flowers that nod gently in the breeze
Golden trumpets you called them
Stir up memories constantly.
You were like a loose kite in the wind
Searching observing endlessly
I know your voice your face, your sparkling eyes
That communicate the sadness and yearnings
Only you and I understood.
Now that you are gone
Liberated from pain
You are free my friend
And here I am till we meet again.


Adult world

I remember, yes I recall immensely,
The days we spent together joyously
Studying, analysing, arguing even relaxing,
A happy, easy life for sure we're leading.

As friendly colleagues of the institute
Work load was shared enjoyed no hum.
We were together solid let anything go or come
Boquet's came way even brick bats, minute.

Time the restless runner ticked on and on,
Our shared loving moments too were gone.
We grew up, more experienced, learned,
Bitterness, frustration stress we earned.

It's not 'come September', but spent youth;
Which robbed innoncense, softness forcing an uncouth
Deluge. Its selfishness, hatred, our new sentries,
Sighing I interpolate them searching for old memories.

Radha Ranjani Jayawardena

To you

Evening has come with the darkness
Just to bloom Rekumari in black background
As it is the most beautiful scene,
To see me near the gate.
Like a long necked bird
She stays without hesitation
Wishpering not to face any danger
Her wishes always for me
My devoted Silmaniyo.
Escape from the office work
I hurry home to get fresh air
She stays like a blooming flower
As the full moon with laughter
Laughing like small bunch of bells
Winding like a creeper in my hand.
How can I let her down
As she cannot be a dearest mother
Who brings a son like me?

Sakunthala Malathi Munasinghe

The sentence that killed me

I tried and failed
And failed again
To stop the bleeding
From my wounded heart

My heart is wounded and bleeding, Beyond repair
Because of a sentence so serious
Which pierced my heart deeper
Like an arrow piecing an apple

Everyday I die little by little
As the sentence which hurt my heart
Makes my heart cry in pain
And bleed more and more in vain

The reason why I die every day
is because the sentence which damaged my heart
Came from my angel, who was in my heart
And never expected this to happen

Now because of this I hate this world
Hate myself and my angel too
And curse my angel who pierced my heart
Every time I remember the sentence that hurt

I tried and failed and failed again
To stop cursing my angel for the damage done
I failed because I am dead now
Heavens above only, can save my angel now

Now anyone can tell me anything
It will not bother me anymore
Because my heart has stopped bleeding
And I am dead to this world now


The wave

"Halt! Halt. Who goes there?"
Sentry shouts at the shadow that moves with care.
A fisherman in a dark black coat,
Staggers to the beach to push his boat.

I cannot explain the sorrow
That has fallen on my breast
The monstrous wave haunts me to the marrow
And never will that ever let me rest.

The boatman laments with an anguish voice
pushes to sea but blind to the rocks beyond the wave.
He sees a vision the fate of his sons
Dragged away to sea with no hand to save.

At last, the waves devoured
The boat and the boatman's cry
Boat with boatman already gone
Ghosts of the unburied will they ever mourn.

It's silence again
Which is louder than the pain
Of that poor man
who had gone insane.

A. V. Abeynaike

Robbed birthright

Sleepy eyed, saddening faces
Little lads and lasses,
Wrenched out of beds,
Before the Sun rises,
Pushed into a van
To go to school
Is a morning torture
Lashed upon them.

Lumbering to school,
With a bulging satchel.
Is the violence unlashed,
Under the guise of schooling,
Planned by the bureaucratic,
Planning elite.

Note-taking, rote learning.
The order of the day,
The bed-time stories,
The thing of the past,
Home work?
Then to dinner and to bed!
What wrong have the children done?
To earn this legacy of violence!

Richard Basnayake

Ramadhan fast

The Hallowed month-
That revives one's faith and 'Taqwa'
Has visited us again-
The Glorious Quran, a guide, a gift,
A revelation to mankind
In Ramadhan did descend
What does Ramadhan proclaim?
Observe the Fast and invoke Allah,
For self-control and spirituality;
To annihilate passion and evil deeds.
Thus severe fasting does generate
In you a very sublime soul,
Man who feeds his physical needs,
For ten and one long months,
Gets a chance to purify,
His heart, his life and wealth.
To elevate himself and contemplate.
Refraining from food, drink and avarice,
Is not what Allah expects - but,
Abstinence, from lying and evil deeds,
Allaah in His Mercy, decreed,
Not to fast at night,
A time for remembrance and rest.
For piety - it is a rigid test,
For man's endurance desires and drives,
To feel the destitute's pangs of hungers,
Awaken a consciousness of a lofty life.
The Quran reminds you thus:
"And that ye fast is better for you,
If you did know" (Q.2:184)"
The prophet said: "Fasting is a shield"
So forsake it, not, to please the Satan.
Weren't the great wars won
By the fasting faithfuls?
Lord! In His Mercy
Does not expect, a mother to be,
The ailing, and the very old
Those on long journeys too to fast.
It is a lesson in democracy,
A universal convenant,
Observed alike by rich and poor.
At end of Fourteen Hours, of rigorous fasting,
Comes the time to break the fast!
A time you realize the value of food.
Doesn't the water taste like nectar?
The thirst is gone the veins are soaked.
In all humility and gratitude,
You do thank the Merciful Lord!
Who made you too, fit to fast.

Nafeela Mukthar

'Cry for a world that's war-free'

Children of the World, Oh heed,
Your's is this wonderful Earth
Whether by Creation or Evolution
Matters nought for you to beam
The world is full of beauty and love
With ugliness and hatred thrown around
The human mind is large enough to drown
The Evil and Despair in search of Truth and Love
Cry for a world that's war free
Vie for Peace and Harmony
Say 'No' to Death and Destruction
But die for a cause supreme
Rely on your fair judgement
Make decisions bold and fair
Bend not to foul play and ill-gotten ways
But master knowledge - it pays
The Head and Heart form two unique Hs
That make or mar a man's fate
Use both well, courageously well
You'll be real Men and Women, Oh Kid

Neetha Sirimanne


Our eyes
Were locked
In a deep embrace
For a mere second
She and I.
And reached I
Her deepest recess
No word could
Express such depth.

Her kith and kin
Seldom made
The trip to her side
Not lack of love
But want of funds
Kept them away

Seated on a ward bed
And efforts so frail
She did take
The mug of tea
I offered
With willing hands
And gleaming eyes.

Jayanthi Kaththriarachchi

The honeysucker's dance

I watched the teeny-weeny honey sucker,
Perched on the guava tree; my wondering mind stopped for
A while,
Full of inquisitiveness.
The bird danced on its perch, up the bough,
Then down the bough,
And again up, it danced, twittering
The tail angled at a sixty degree,
The yellow green feathers tightened,
The stomach white and round:
A tiny beak of orange and pink,
As small as a long grain rice.
With a wondrous call, it chirped.
Intense, yet cryptic and eager,
The tiny eyes searching and roaming with the twitter
Of its song,
This honey sucker that stole my attention,
For a fleeting second,
Flew away, twittering bracingly,
Together with a teeny-weeny mate, similar,
Mingling with the morning sun rays
That filtered through the green guava leaves,
While a soft breeze blew pleasingly
Over the guava tree.

Diyamanthi Kohona Galpoththage

Daily News, Tuesday Oct 10, 2006

Beauties awhile

The wonders of nature behold ye awhile
And attune thine hearts to that style
If enraptured in gloom
And to go all gay soon
Oh! behold nature's beauties awhile.

Glance, glance at the Blues
Its bow, the clouds and its hues,
The trees clad all green
All around you are seen
Sweet flowers with fragrance'n Smile

The wanderers their way
And the lovers all gay
Dream'n gleam at the beauties awhile

The wonders of nature behold ye awhile
And attune your hearts to that style.

Don Peter Emmanuel


Oh; My friend,
I have searched you every where
After my childhood
you never meet me or
never seen you,
Why you chased from me
At the age of young
Sometimes you're with me
After that no long you were
signalled me again
You never came to me
Pleasure, you were gone away
never come again

K.D. Dumindusena

The good and the bad!

In this world of ours,
There is, both,
The good,
And the bad!

Therefore, my son,
Try and choose,
The good, instead,
Of the bad!

Many young lads,
May go astray,
If they go,
The prodigal's way!

Strive, to do,
All that is good,
And do not yearn,
For inequity !

We are tempted,
By the devil,
To do what's wrong,
And not, the right !

So, my son,
Resist the temptation,
Of the devil,
And do what's right!

Let us pray,
To god, almighty,
To show us the way,
To righteousness !

"Lead us, O' father,
We, thy servants,
Making allowance,
For our weakness" !

And, may we learn,
From our folly,
Not to yield, but,
Make god, be our shield!

C. Mohanlal de Mel

Death wish

I am stuck inside this body
Unable to break through
It's suffocating me bit by bit
I feel like
Unscrewing my head
And keeping it on the table
So that it can stop thinking
Waiting to die
I can feel the second hand of the clock
Ticking vociferously
The sound is slow
And laborious
One tick
And then a lifetime between the tock
Why are the days so long?
Why is it filled up with
Things that don't bring joy in doing?
Just dutifully breathing in and out
Pumping in blood
To keep alive a heart
That is already dead
It's like heaving an incurable disease
And no euthanasia
To end it all
Given no choice
In a body that isn't mine
Soul is struggling
For my freedom
But I have been condemned
To continue
The motions of life
The end could be tomorrow
So happily close
Or 50 years from now
Not knowing how long
Is just as painful as seeing you dead
Like wanting your head to explode and end it all
But knowing it just won't do that by itself
Stuck to your head
The body continues its weary existence
Slowly, trudging to meet an unknown deadline
This is my fear of the unknown
When will be it time for me to shake this case and
be free?

Sashikala Premawardhane

Dry Zone narratives

Childhood memories (Maho)

My uncle supped on a repast
Of rich rice-flour string hoppers
And red hot jungle fowl curry
Swirling in a thick gravy of spices,
Hand pounded, hand ground condiments
And coconut milk culled from the coconuts
Plucked on his fifteen acres of land
Purchased in the nineteen-thirties by
My Post Master grand uncle.

My uncle would sit at sunset
In the garden the fragrance of lime
Blossoms and ripe mangoes and guavas
Drifting through the air,
Gazing out over his acres of paddy fields
Harvested for him by Gillanhamy and his sons,
Sipping his sundowner.

Time passed, his glass grew empty,
He went away like a migratory bird
Which hopped from branch to branch
And then flew off on other journeys.

Silence emanated in that dry-zone landscape
When birds and breeze mingled
In the sun hot air,
Elephants, wild boar, thalagoya roaming
In search of food and we children,
Left with memories of well baths, thambili
To quench our thirst and nectar-filled
Ripe mangoes.

Parvathi Solomans Arasanayagam


Old that is what I am
Wrinkles spreading on
A once winsome face
Grey hair interspersing
Among the black
Pearly teeth becoming loose
And discoloured
The steady upright gait
That once was
Tottering and feeble
Senses of sight and hearing
Fast diminishing
To compensate for all this
There are my children
In-laws, grandchildren
And friends who care
And love me

Indranee Karandawala Wijesinghe


The sun has gone down to its rest
And darkness spreads across the sky
Slowly and silently the moon comes out
Bringing with it
A soft glow
A soothing light
A scene so serene and peaceful
The tired world is at rest.
Silence reigns
For the flap-flap of the bats
And the distant hooting of an owl
Their world awake.
I sit and watch
This wondrous world
Breathing in the sweet scent
Of flowers that bloom at night
And ponder
Upon man's unkindness to man
And then
I hear the sound
Of gunfire and explosions
Of wailing women and weeping kids
Dispelling the peace and serenity
That nature has bestowed on us.
But the golden moon
Shines on
Bathing us in its light
Giving us hope
Of a better tomorrow.

Mallika Sirisuriya

This special kind of courage

This special brand of courage
Which I guard inside myself
makes me sad sometimes
But I hope
It will be cleared in a while
like nimbus clouds
on a summer's day

This special brand of courage
Hard and bold and brave
It kicks inside me
To be on a steed
In order to carry me
This special brand of courage
Turns my sadness
Inside out
And it flows
like gutter water
clearing me
Raising me to heavens
to be among the stars

I look below
Sadness slithering around
Hunting the souls with guts!

Malini Govinnage

Daily News, Tuesday Oct 3, 2006

The Coconut Plucker

The coconut palm is a perennial tree,
Growing in abundance in our country,
It stands tall over twenty long feet,
Plucking the nuts, is a specialist feat,

William, our plucker, is very clever.
Is he in fright? O, never! never!
He has been climbing throughout his life,
To feed two children and his wife.

His arms are brawny with iron palms
And feet so curved to grasp the palms
Throughout the year he climbs to the top.
Though his life is a miserable flop!

He is poor, living 'hand to mouth',
The only plucker for a village in South
Every two months he visits each land,
And plucks the crop with dextrous hand.

He might one day, fall ill and die
But there isn't another to stand-by;
So one by one the nuts would fall
And express the importance of plucker's role.

Danister I. Fernando

The Acceptance

No pain, no gain, so they say in this world,
No pain, no palm, no thorn,
So, as they say no glory,
No man can take peace away
No one can steal that heavenly treasure,
The pain and hard work,
The struggle to go up the hill and not down the hill
And for the beautiful heaven,
There is no pain and no thorn,
No stuggle only an acceptance
The gift that is bestowed on us
The precious life day in and day out

Ruba Vivekananthan

Friend and I

My friend who returned
From abroad
With high
Scholastic attainment
And attendant
Had the magnanimity
To call on me
For old time's sake.

Having known
His abiding
Love for nature,
I conducted him
To the landscaped
Garden adjacent, expansive,
And poised upon
The garden bench,
Beside the pond
Beneath the canopied
Of the mango tree antique.

He remained sangfroid.
Seemingly engrossed
In the vibrance
Of bird songs.

I fielded questions
With intent
To draw him out,
Enabling me to gather
First hand information,
Pertaining to his scholarship
And achievements.
He remained
In polite inarticulation.

I then, started
Narrating to him,
About my achievements
In this country I live.

He seemed to listen to,
With silent concentration.
When I had concluded
My brief narration,
He gazed at
The shallow waters
Of the pond
Free from rippling beauty,
And smiled.

Kamal Premadasa

I continue to exist

Watched you in a coffin
Did I see you breathe just then?
Poked you so no one could see
I thought-If I saw you
dead- well.....
Even while you lay there-awfully
I couldn't be exactly sure-so
I poked-
You hands were warm when
I touched you
Dead hands are supposed to
be cold !!!
Waited through the night
Even now
So many days after they laid
you under
I worry when a bomb goes
off that something could happen
to you
I have to remind myself that
Nothing can touch you now
Even in my dreams you are
still alive
Walking the tight rope between
sanity and whatever lies beyond
I continue to exist

Sashikala Premawardhane

My best friend leaves me behind

Sun shines through
the mountains
Cool breeze blows away
Birds sing their songs
But something has lost

I tried to find it everywhere
Inside the house
Outside the house
During the day
Throughout the night

I asked the moon
Where lost that innocent face
I asked the stars
Where has my strength gone
Without leaving a trace

Everybody kept silent
My heart was so weakened
I couldn't stop my tears
But none to wipe my tears out
Because my best friend had left me behind

Nilupul Tennakoon

Traveler's Identity

Without a name I the
traveller came
From nowhere
Without a name I will go one day
Into thin air

You gave me a name
And a space to be
You told me what I am and
What I couldn't be

What is in my name is
What you want to say
Even if I know who I am
It won't change the way

I only want to travel with time
Not a name or a say
In travelling, I am someone
To someone in a way

In the little space given to me
I made a life
Of my own to heart's desire
And enjoyed time

One day I the traveller must leave
The space free
And unnamed for the others'
Mind and heart to be

P.M. Fernando


Our eyes
Were locked
In a deep embrace
For a mere second
She and I.
And reached I
Her deepest recess
No word could
Express such depth.

Her kith and kin
Seldom made
The trip to her side
Not lack of love
But want of funds
Kept them away

Seated on a ward bed
And efforts so frail
She did take
The mug of tea
I offered
With willing hands
And gleaming eyes.

Jayanthi Kaththriarachchi

The quotation

I stare down at the forlorn meadow,
Outside the lecture hall,
Wool gathering as usual,
Making little sense,
Of what the lecturer explains at length,
Startling now and then,
Coming back to the world of reality,
And feel embarrassed,
When my neighbour asks what I had been thinking of,
Looking blankly at the meadow.
Too ashamed to give him the right answer,
I often ask him to mind his own business,
But soon lose the thread of my attention,
As my mind wanders back,
To my fantasy world,
Where I pilgrimage between past and future,
Or across time,
Almost forgetting my present,
Or the most precious 'Now'.
Awakening from my dream,
With my silly neighbour nudging me,
I feel too ashamed to read,
An inspirational quotation,
I myself have written on my file,
"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is Mystery,
Today is a Gift, that's why it is called the Present".

Jayashantha Jayawardhana

The Mother

How could you the poet,
Accomplish the great task
Of writing on "The mother"
Tell me oh, writer how could you win
Writing on "the mother"
Come the brilliant painter of fame
Spell out what colour is thy mother
The cleverest singer do you trust
Your voice could bring in the
feelings of "mother"

The depth and the breath of mother
What tool is there to satisfy and measure?
Her overflowing kindness is below no dam
A soft word spoken is the greatest
Its cool is unmatched and cooler than
the moon light
Her all pervading love fills every heart
It spills beyond the boundaries of the

There would be no life on earth or universe
The fragrance of milk and a lesson of love
No lullabies would be sung
No music would be born
The universe would be barren if not for
your "Love"

Nimal Sedera

Go back to your temples, golden robes

Go back to your temples, golden robes
And let your mellifluous voices
Sing the song of Universal love*
Taught by your guide and leader
The sublime Buddha.
May the cooling streams of mettha
Wash away old hatreds and mistrusts
From our war torn land.
Go back to your temples, golden robes
The streets are burning with hate and strife.
Give your blessings with compassion
So peace and harmony
May reign supreme;
Lest war drums beat again,
And charred youth lies
Burning on grissly fires,
The young and brave
Go maimed and blinded
And there is blood on the streets
Yes, blood on the streets
Would you have it so?

Go back to your temples, golden robes
And bless this land
With minds grown boundless
For all living beings,
So young hearts may fill
With loving kindness,
And they reach out
To say, "Brother, sister,
Let there peace between us."

Go back to your temple, golden robes
May the blessings of the Holy Triple Gem
Be with you.

Karaneeya Mettha Sutta

A blissful dawn

As the ripples of the cooling breeze
awakens me with a gentle caress
I cuddle my pillow,
feeling lazy to open my eyes
yet the sweet melody of the little sparrow
and the chirping of the mynahs
remind me it is time to get up.

As the glory of the morning sky
fills my heart with cheer and hope
I gaze at the morning sky
for the blessings of the heavenly hour.

Oh ! it's radiant
a lovely splash of pink mingled with
shades of orange
and floating lumps of white, gray clouds
with a touch of silver here and there
add a feeling of mystic beauty.

The crystal clear snow white beams
dilates one by one
forming like a halo - glittering and pure
heralding the arrival of the majestic sun
blessing the world with rays of hope

So cool, so calm, beautiful and serene
it's a moment of enchantment
in an ecstasy of delight.

I observe, I feel and I embrace
this splendour
to my heart's content
with hopes for a blissful day
before it vanishes in few seconds.

Metta Fernando

Wishwaranee Nagahawatte

Daily News, Tuesday Sep 26, 2006

Children are children

Children poor Children rich
Belong to the same hitch
The rich grow in prosperity
The poor in adversity

One enjoys rich food
The other whatever be binds
But, both have likes and dislikes
That are similar to each other

To watch children is a delight
To see them run cry and fight
In spite of their difference in society
Possess the same similarity



Among the memories dwell I helpless
Haunted tired and weary
Day in and day out behind me they chase
Like hounds wild and wicked

Sun up and sun down they stand at my doors
At the ingress and the exit, disguised.
Murmur secrets to my deaf ears
And feel the beat the poor heart renders

Heavenly lights in the celestial plain
Nature's joys of the valleys and terrain
Innocence of the days gone by
Memories talk with myriad tongues

With the head rest on my chest
Fingers running through thy hair soft and smooth
Secrets unfold with sincere sanity
They chase me like hounds, wild and wicked.

The pleasures and joys of life together
The sorrows and pains of leave and departure
The pleasant and bitter the dreams similar
Never miss my memories, the ferocious foes

R. H. M. Piyasena

An observation

He is not a son of Zeus
But has a divine appearance
He is not from a prestigious clan of Romans
But has the dogged perseverance
He did not have the strategic genius of Alexander, the great
But could shock the whole world
It was Chinthaka Vidanage
An imperialist in his physical skills

Hasini Weragama

The majestic calmness

The incredible ocean of peace within me,
The infinite calmness and tranquillity,
The majestic realm of eternal stillness.
Experience it and it is a home for me
Through troubles and calamities,
The infinite calmness,
Peace and tranquillity,
Saves me from troubles;

S. R. Vevekananthan

The Weed

When I weed my garden,
I ask myself,
A simple yet confusing question,
Just as I weed my garden,
So can't weed my life?
Can't I cut off,
This week-like relationship,
Sapping my precious energy?

I pluck the weeds,
Off the ground,
Without leaving the roots,
Under the soil,
And the garden becomes cleaner and better,
Once again

Now I ask myself,
Won't my life become more beautiful,
Like the weeded garden,
If I remove this gigantic weed,
From my life?

Jayashantha Jayawardhana

To a soldier brave

Shed a tear - for a life sacrificed - to save you and me
Let's remember - the courageous soldier - a true patriot he be.
Let's in our hearts - erect a monument - that's everlasting
Which ever speaks - of one no more - but yet living

Regardless of life - he fought for us - on the frontline
With a brave heart - of a soldier true - for this land of mine.
His name is ever engraved - in every heart - for generations to come
We all salute - that valiant soldier - a glorious son.

L.E.C. Salgado

I would like to be

If I'm to be the moon,
I would like to shine
Where the darkness entombed
Chasing away the darkness.
I spill my rays on waters
Making the world beautiful.

If I'm to be a river,
I would like to be
One that sparkles in blue
Conceiving precious stones.
I flow through the lands
Quenching the thirst.
I flow through the fields
Making the soil so rich.

If I'm to be the wind,
I would like to blow
Across the fields and flowers.
I wipe off all the tears,
Kissing the faces of the sad.

Ivan Kiriella

Ayesha, Lakshmie, Diana and You

You are 'Ayesha' the everlasting queen or Rider Hagard's 'She'
Or the mysterious and charming lady of W.A. Silva's 'Lakshmie'
Princess Diana and you look much alike as I always did see
A poet is born as a result of the divine beauty possessed by ye

The decay that comes with death can be overcome by some power
Of a poem wherein his sweetheart's beauty is averred by her lover
Your body and beauty are an artist's creation that'll never sever
The awesome fragrance you now possess will remain with you forever

Imprisoned in my heart is my love as a lion confined to his cave
Poets and lions are in the same creed who do not rave or crave
Hearing of my demise, I hope and wish that you would be brave
To be present in the churchyard and light a candle on my grave

S. Raymond Silva

A Forest consumed by drought

The forest gripped by a merciless drought
Faded day by day its natural beauty,
Vainly struggled life to survive the onslaught
But the jungle mauled by the monster of drought.
Fields and foliage withered and brown,
Trees like skeletons sans the boughs of green crown;
Garbed in the ghastly robe of death, the forest
Where not a leaf rustled, not a flower bloomed not a bud blossomed
Only the wind blustered away raising billows of brown dust;
Mother earth stubbornly banished growth
And consigned 'the kingdom of life' to sleep in the bowels of the forest
When the monster throttled the hapless forest
Vanished the beautiful rhythm of life pattern
And brought the concomitant evil - the annihilation of life;
Exposed cracked beds, the familiar water spots as dry as bones.
Rambled the animals to and fro frantically,
But not a drop in the jungle wide to slake their thirst.
So dropped dead they and decayed in the dying forest.
And could not fly the frazzled birds but flapped their fragile wings,
Squealed in pain and then lay motionless.
Defiantly, a lingering death stalked the land
And the voice of the jungle paralysed into silence;
Bellowing, chattering, trumpeting, howling-there was none
For not a monkey leapt, not a bull browsed and not a wolf preyed;
Melodious chirps of the feathered ones visibly absent
For not a bird perched on a branch, nor built a nest, nor sought a worm.
The jungle folks-herdsmen, hunters and tillers
Wrapped in misery, reduced to walking skeletons,
Ran helter-skelter, famished they are, in quest of water
But owns not a driblet of water, the sunken lakes;
So the doomed folks in anguish wept
For death and destruction was their determined lot.
Day by day, 'life and resource' sacrificed at the altar of drought
Which willy-nilly reduced the forest to naked brown earth.

A. F. Dawood

Dear Father wish you were here today-everyday

I was sitting and listening to,
How lawyers debate,
How much my father's life worth.
Counting his salary, his life expectancy,
I felt like I couldn't breathe,
Had to fight hard to stop tears popping out of my eyes,
My mind ran through the 21 years of my
life with him.
He was our best friend,
Our entertainer,
His never ending jokes made us laugh always,
Some were too dry that made us laugh too,
We saw the sunny side of life through him.
The smile on his face never faded, even
through hard times,
His good spirit was contageous,
It kept us going.
His huge heart gave us warmth,
His kindness to all made him a good friend.
With him, part of me died,
How tragic it is that I have to
Listen to them trying to give him
a fair value,
How could they,
To a father like him,
How could they value how much a
Father worth anyway.

Lalitha Manawasinghe


Daily News Tuesday Sep 19, 2006

At end, each day

The ebb and flow
of the tides of life
flames of pink dawn
grey of dark nights,
mine eye doth witness
red horrors that are rife
humanity truly does
put out its light!

Rohan Jayawardena.

The treasure trove

I have a treasure trove
In my pocket
Filled to the brim
With nature's heritage
A curly sea shell
That reminds you of a
caramel pudding
A shiny black beetle
That died the previous day
The seeds of an unknown tree
A sign of new life
A little green leaf
So cool to the touch
A tiny yellow blossom
Delicate as could be
A little bird's feather
So feathery as ever
And here are the keepings
of my treasure trove
so pleasing to look through!

Nillasi Liyanage

The pillar box

I am a hollow pillar,
with a slit for a mouth,
They feed me paper night and day,
Then they take them out.

I have a little hinged door,
That opens with a key,
Where the postman unlocks
To un-burden me.

I stand upon the pavement,
Immobile and exposed,
To all the dreary elements,
I am never indisposed.

Painted red from crown to toe,
Except my base that's black,
Though in silence I'm on show,
Many people I attract.

Oh! the many secrets
That I have now in store,
That came in through the slit,
And went out through the door.

George Eddie

The wise fool

Here I am well fortified
By the fools blind to my pretence
The sole redeemer of the race!
Red is my colour; violence pleasure.
I scheme with the friend whom
No heavenly power can dare.

My domain is not so big
As to make my work risky.
A blast will end both
The killer and the killed.
No trace is left
To make me sick of sin.

Whoever broke the racial amity
Has he done so for my boon
Until the fools emerge from mist
Or shake off the blinkers to see the light
Blood will flow for ever
No matter whose it is.

T. M. J. B. Tennakoon

Smile again, Sri Lanka

As I gaze from my window this morning
What a beautiful sight meets my view,
It is Autumn and the Oak leaves are falling ...
But my country I'm thinking of you

Where's peace and the friendship and laughter,
That once decked you my beautiful isle?
In the midst of such violence and slaughter,
How can there be a ghost of a smile?

The red maple trees in the distance
Bring a message that tears me apart,
Makes me think of the bleeding and sorrow
Of my beautiful Sri Lanka's heart.

Why Oh why can't we think of our country
Live together as kinsmen once more
Give our hands to each other in friendship
As our forefathers did long ago?

Now it's evening, a cold wind is blowing
It's the end of another short day
Though in Lanka a warm sun is shining
Will the chill in her heart melt away?

When the heartbreak is over for Lanka
Will she rise from the ashes and pain?
Will the dawn of a brighter tomorrow
Make you smile then my country again?

Sheila Gunasekera

The changing day

The day dawns in splendour
Silent, pure wonder.
Garbed in dew dropped cloths
To entertain the crowd of course.

In minutes the day turns busy
The streets with tooting horns.
Ten women and children hurrying about
To tackle the hassle of the morn
to find relief there out
In hours the long day ends
Everyone tired and forlorn
Returns home like fawns
To hear of bombs, blood shed around
Sweeping away the brilliant morn
With hours of grievances in return.


I think of you day and night

In the morning when I open my eyes in my room alone,
The wind comes to me with your smell,
At night I gaze at the sky, I see your smile, beyond the stars,
I was your whole life at one time, but not now why?
Now I am not special for you,
Your powerful rays of your four letter word (L.O.V.E.) protected me.
I was everything to you,
I knew I meant the world to you and you were the world to me to
Until someone snatched you away from my hands.
You were my very first love,
Wondering what to do and where to go,
When you are with me.
Good and bad, ups and downs,
We spent many beautiful moments together,
Just the two of us,
Just you and me forever,
Gone are the days and nights, filled with happiness,
excitement with hopes
and plans.
What happened to us?
I think of you day and night,
Every minute of my life,
Pain and agony, gone through,
I die for you every time,
Every church I visited, I prayed for you,
That you realise the damage done,
And justice be done.

Your powerful words encouraged me,
How far we went, how far we climbed high,
You promised me to bond throughout our life,

Ignoring the uncountable pain and unbearable,
The sorrow I undergo with my strength, courage, and the
symbol of faith,
trust, with overflowing love and caring for you,
Don't think I never understand you, I always did,
When I try to forget what happened, and that didn't happen
I'm really very sorry,
And I need you to bond with me for life, and try to understand me,
As I need you and your child needs you,
Your mother, brother and sisters need you,
And remember we all need you the most forever.

Remember !
As we all think of you day and night !

A. Paul


Layers of fluffy flakes
And foamy frills
Flow Freely from
A mountain top.
Effortless they seem.

From a distance,
It fills my eyes;
How carefree is that fall
Of a thousand waters.

Up close
It must be
As cold as a cruel king,
As heavy as a mother's heart,
As unmanageable as a fling,
Could even kill like a poisoned dart.

But I choose to stand close
And see your pride, power and pain
So that one day
Standing at the same place,
I will see your beauty
In all its grief
In all its glory.
And I will be falling
Over, and over and over again.

Maleec Calyaneratne

Living in time

He waited for time
And time
Never came but passed him by
His dream home of morrow
Into the molehills of today
Risen sky high

He, then, chased the time
And for a day
He couldn't halt and stay
But passed by the time
Shredding today
Into the waste of

Then, he no more
Chased or waited for the time
And in time
He did what he must and right
And bothered no more
Today or tomorrow
For he was the time

P.M. Fernando

War and peace

I, not I
He, not I
This is the beginning
We, not they
They not we
This is the beginning

We, poor
They, rich
This is the beginning

We, fair Ariyans
They, Dark barbarians
This is the beginning

They blasphemous infidels
We believing zealots
This is the beginning

They, own oil
We, need fuel
This is the fuelling

God Krishna to Arjuna
Preaching the just war
This is the Dharma

Pennants are blessed
Shields bear the cross
This is the sanction

Prophets of War and
Saints of Peace
Bloom and doom
This is the way

Viking warriors die in battle
They resurrect in Valhalla
their heaven
This is the reward

Gods and demigods
Fighting a class war
Even in the heaven

G.H.A. Suraweera

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2006

Lesson of detachment

It detached itself from the huge bo tree
And floated with the joy of detachment
The mild wind respectfully following the leaf
Accompanied it down to rest on the white sand.

The leaf resting just before my eyes
Under the tree where I was on meditation
I felt that the leaf was smiling at me so calmly
I looked on with respect until it spoke..

I took with respect the leaf to my hand
The green of the leaf was no more and gone
A bright yellow with black spots was
the colour
"I came down happy it was time to detach"

I was prompted to look at the bo tree
As if I had not seen it before.
I heard the tree whispering in my ears
"millions of leaves..come and fall..
to come and go is a part of nature
stay undetected...and not sad when you go.."

I raised my hands in honour of the message
The silver hair on my hands glittered to the
The sacred bo leaf was held yet in my hands
Tears of bliss dropped on white sand...

Nimal Sedera

An ode to a soldier

Soldier, Soldier
What does life
Hold for you
No face
No name
Only a man
with a gun

Peace, Peace
A chant rings
In your ear
Before your eyes
Fire balls of hatred
A journey of
No return

Softly, Softly
You advance
Stealthily in the night
Hugging your gun
Tightly to your heart
A talisman to brave
An untimely death

Soldier, Soldier
What does life
Hold for you
No face
No name
Only a life
Hanging on a thread

Soldier, Soldier
What can we do
But only pray
Your merits
To carry you
Through Samsara's

Kusum Rajapakse


A dog walked down the street
A man had his strap well grasped in his hand
A tall order to justify her taste
The organdy dress was not within his reach
He searched his mind to improve his needs
The dog was his and not for sale
The girl was his and not to be changed
To a park bench he made a dart
And sat on it with a heavy heart
The dog sat by him with a cheerful bark
His master was with him that is all he asked
The dog's needs were simple and few
Reggie realised this with a smile and a wink
He would chastise her for her greed
The very next day Beatrice was phoned
She mellowed why Reggie was hers
The organdy dress was thrown to the wind
The couple is now newly wed
A muslin gown the wedding dress
Roberto the doggie a special place
In their hearts THE wedding ring.

Nalin Jayatilake

Crime and violence

Violence in various forms
Has visited the North,
The East, the West and the South
Bringing sorrow, tears and misery
Even to our beloved one and only.
Dastardly violence has wrought
Death, disability and destruction
To the young and the old.
The victims of crude violence
Suffer in agonizing silence.
Sans their dearest kith and kin
Their life is indeed dim.
Many a breadwinner lost lives
Leaving forlorn their beloved wives.
Young mothers are widowed
When husbands are brutally butchered.
Children deprived the joys of life
Owing to meaningless quarrel and strife.
Many a mother shed copious tears
As the sons die in the battle fierce.
Everywhere there's jealousy and enmity.
Violence takes a firm hold in our society.
The credo is avenged, revenge and murder
Without distinction of race or gender.
Blue murder Chicago style daily occurrence
For religious ethics there's no tolerance.
Life goes on amidst violence and suspense
The villains do not care a tuppence.
Crime in the country on the upward trend
Heading for a record in the year's end.

M. Azhar Dawood

Sunshine in memories

My heart was broken
like a vase
made out of glass.
With hard toil and
tiring myself away..
I picked up the tiny pieces..
put them together..
glued and repaired.
You touched that vase
one and only flower bloomed...
Please...oh, please,
be careful,
Don't let it fall...
it may break again.

Priyadarshinie Madawala

Death of a pigeon

Sound followed a minute of silence
Then a ball of fire
Earth went up and sky plunged down
Not a time even for fear

Bulb of smoke in bright sun light
Blackened the passing air
Arrows of metals flown in weight
No one let be spear

Cold souls on hot asphalt
Cross the bridge at this hour
Heroes and villains mixed in flesh
Seek the means of power

Years of calling for smiles disappear
Only tears see the ways togather
A white pigeon of a broken heart
Fell with scattering feather(s)

Sriya Kumarasinghe

Sacred and Eternal Love

She sustained us for nine months
with pain and hope
She never gave us a chance to suffer
Even we do not look after her
She loves us forever
That is the feature of maternal love

He guided us to victory
with courage and dedication
Sometimes he may not show sympathy and kindness
But he has inside, a bundle of love
for us....
That is the feature of paternal love

We can be neglected,
We can be abused,
We can be dismissed,

By Society...
But we're never dismissed or neglected
by our beloved parents....

Tharindu Weerasinghe

To Rev Mother Agnes

As a five-year old
I was suckled by the convent
be-spectacled sweet Mother Agnes taught me
to sing and play the Pied Piper;
the mice were the frolicsome kids
who followed me and rolled themselves
to be drowned under the mango tree,
where now stands a nunnery,
I remember the girl who annoyed me
then in the class and outside.

When I met her some months ago
at an orchid show. She has overgrown
with desire.
The glint in her eye was still there
She whispered "you are Mother Agnes' boy"
the faint blue eyes over laden with
compassion were before mine.
She stroked my head and spake softly
"Don't be naughty, my boy -
"Dominus vobiscum."

Sic Itur Ad Astra,

Old Crusader.

The trishaw

I'm a lonely trishaw made for humble folk,
To ply about as rich men do and get about their work.
I wend my way with twists and turns,
Among the crawling traffic,
The driver's smart and he makes me dart,
In and out like magic.
He dare not look to left or right,
Or strain to look behind
For many an engaged chauffeur,
Shall have an axe to grind.
Not all of them take risks with me,
Some love me like risks with me,
Some love me like their own,
They coax and guide me gently,
Knowing the burdens I have borne,
And when it's time for him to slumber,
He parks me where I'm safe,
With all his fares well numbered,
But I remain awake.

George Eddie


One look sideways, and I see women,
Passing by the sides of the road,
along with their bags or baskets,
clutched in their hands.....
Heads turned towards many directions.
Meeting other women,
Speaking of happenings, taking to gossip,
And some - just telling lies and lies....
Not minding the schorching sun,
Brightened against the blue sky,
They tread to and fro before halting
In search of a better story to hear.
Quite idling to get back home,
Quite not ready to start their day's next chore...
But I have to,
and I go, get back to my duty
of cleaning the streets and pavements,
For them to safely walk on...

Ishani Dilhara Goonasekara

A candle grieves

Absolute darkness irritates
As no sense of feeling of any form prevail
The eyes become blind to surroundings
With expectancy to receive vision
At any given moment when light comes
Arms are extended feeling around
Trying to find any object or form
In a closed fist a candle is clutched
In the dark feeling its wick
Fire is lighted the candle is lit
Gradually darkness is dispelled
Varied forms and shadows flicker around
The candle with greave burn
In refuse wax and diminishing fats
With the waft of air brings fragrance
The flame flicker in disturbed light
Throwing many shadows around
As the greave burn it's saddening
Now many eyes can see many forms
Their colours comprehensive to light
Many an object now could be felt
As candle light illumines many things
It will burn throughout all time
Until the candle grave melts

While nature puts out its flame

Miran Perera