Child Bride


Two young curious eyes peer out a red veil
To find next to her an overly ripened male
Her skin glows while his skin rots
There is music, there is food but love there is not

A newly forming woman only her face is shown
His ageing body takes the shape of his bones
He can’t run nor walk like her body can
She is a newborn with a dead man

The celebrations continue but she remains alone
The clock keeps ticking her fate unkown
The corpse not so lifeless cheers with other men
All around a century old while she not even ten

But then they all leave and silence fills the night
Taking her patterned hand firmly he leads her out of the light
His holy promise broken, her body cold as frost
A bedroom door closes, a childhood forever lost

– Saduni Wanniarachchi
(Winner of the Young Poets Network ‘Gothic’ challenge)

red rose sad death poem

She lay surrounded by the silver moonlight
On the dark, soft grass, staring at space
Trying to count the infinite stars
Could life be more beautiful?
Her laugh was like the summer,
It melted every cold heart
She was full of courage and determination
Her beauty won many hearts
But a real girl isn’t perfect
And a perfect girl isn’t real.

A drop of blood turns the white snow red
A speck of dust turns pure water brown
She had troubles, sorrows and burdens too
For the world is not a wish granting factory
Now she lay on crisp, scratchy white sheets
Imprisoned by the dull walls of a hospital ward
There were dreams and plans for her future,
Her path to success had not yet been stepped on
Till the doctor told her gravely,
She had only one hour more

Tears did not flow from her bright eyes
For what good would that do?
Amidst sad goodbyes and sorrowful farewells
She drew in her last breath
Amidst wails and weepings of despair
She left to meet her king, eternal

Though she was just another patient,
One in a million deaths
Her death was mourned, her smile was longed for
A red rose, the epitome of love, trampled
The sun is missed only when it snows
She was loved only when she was let go
But shattered pieces and splinters still lie on the floor
A broken glass can never be repaired.

– Lavanya de Mel


An English translation of Sagara Palansuriya’s poem, “අන්ධ ළමයා” (Andha Lamaya) which is originally written in Sinhala)

They say, flowers are gorgeous and are of lovely shades
The things they speak of as they can see
I don’t understand, mother, so here I am to learn
Please explain to me, I don’t know these

Except the sweet fragrance of flowers, what is meant by a ‘colour’?
Nevertheless, I can also realize that the petals are delicate
Is there something called a ‘light’?
Mother, why is it that I can’t make sense of these?

I feel the heat during the day more than at night
Is there more of a difference than what I feel?
I can’t figure it out, because, they say, I am still a young boy
If so, I ask grievously, will I understand as I grow up?

Mother, why are you weeping tears?
I can feel them trickling down my arm
Don’t cry, mother, don’t cry, I was just joking
Shall I rush and come back after hitting the boys who lied to me?

– Sagara Palansuriya (1908-1961)

– Translated by: Indunil Madhusankha



– The Original –

අන්ධ ළමයා

මල් ලස්සනයි හොඳ හොඳ පාටයි කීවා
පෙනෙනවා දකිනවා කියනා ඒවා
මොනවද අම්මෙ මම අහගන්නට ආවා
තෝරා දෙන්න මම දන්නේ නෑ මේවා

මල්වල හොඳ සුවඳ මිස පාටක් කොහෙද
ඒවා මොළොක් බව තේරෙනවා මටද
එළියක් කියා මොකවත් හෙම තියෙනවද
මට තේරුම් ගන්ට අම්මේ බැරි මොකද

උණුසුම දැනේ දහවල මට රැයට වඩා
වෙනසක් හෙම තියෙනවද මෙහි මෙයට වඩා
මට නොදැනෙන්නෙ මා කණ කොලුවෙකිලු කුඩා
ලොකු වෙන කොට දැනේවිද මම අසමි හඬා

ඇඟිලි තුඩට මල් පෙති වල ඇති මෙළෙක
මට දැනෙනවා එය අල්ලන හැම විටෙක
පාට කියා ඇත්නම් ගතියක් මලෙක
අම්මේ අත නොගෑවෙන එක තමයි දුක

ලස්සන කියන දේ නැහැයට වත් කනට
මගේ දිවට හරි මගෙ අත පය වලට
නොදැනෙන්නේ මොකද තෝරා දෙන කලට
ඉවසා ගෙන ඉන්න අම්මේ බැරිය මට

ඇයි අම්මේ අඬන්නේ මේ කඳුලු සලා
මට දැනෙනවා යයි මගෙ අත් දිගට ගලා
නාඬන් අම්මෙ නාඬන් මම විහිළු කළා
එන්නද ගොසින් බොරු කී කොල්ලන්ට තලා

[සුදෝ සුදු]

සිත්තම- කුමුදු තාරක



(An English translation of Monica Ruwanpathirana’s poem, “ලෙච්චමීගේ සිතුවිල්ලක්” (Lechchamige Sithuvillak) which is originally written in Sinhala)

I reach the plantation gently stepping amidst the cold mist
I drift up along the trails in the hilltop plucking the leaves
I see the estate border while treading the wavy hills
I feel my limbs trembling as I get close to the bush near the edge

My eyelids shiver as the leaves stir in the wind
Tears overwhelm my eyes as the dews drop on the ground
I speak to the grasses grown around the bush and to the great earth
And ask about the son buried beneath the shrub on that day

Raise your head above from the bush, dear son
Come behind me as a man of twenty years, dear son
Come along the footpath, down the mountain, dear son
Seeing the door of the bungalow, do halt there, dear son

My son, shout out a complaint about that day, to be overheard
From the seven doors of the bungalow to the hundred rooms in the ‘line’
From the ridge to the estate lands, and from the mounts to the plains
From the small river to the giant sea, and even beyond that

– Monica Ruwanpathirana (1946-2004)

– Translated by: Indunil Madhusankha



– The Original –

ලෙච්චමීගේ සිතුවිල්ලක්

සීතල මීදුම අතරින් පියවර මනිමින් එනවා
වතු යායේ කඳු මුදුනේ දළු නෙළමින් ඇවිදිනවා
කඳු රවුමේ යන ගමනේ වතු මායිම හමුවෙනවා
මායිම ලඟ තේ පඳුරෙදි දෑත දෙපය නවතිනවා

දළු සුළඟට සැලෙනා විට මගෙ ඇසිපිය සෙලවෙනවා
පිනි බිඳු බිම වැටෙනා විට නෙත කඳුළැලි වැගිරෙනවා
වටා වැඩුණු තණ පඳුරට මහ පොළවට අමතනවා
එදා පඳුර යට සැඟවූ පුතු කොහිදැයි විමසනවා

පඳුර යටින් හිස ඔසවා හෙමිට නැගිටපන් පුතේ
විසිවසරක මිනිසකු වී මා පසුපස වරෙන් පුතේ
අඩි පාරෙන් වට රවුමෙන් කඳු මුදුනට වරෙන් පුතේ
බංගලාවෙ දොරටුව දැක එතනදි නැවතියන් පුතේ

බංගලාවේ දොරටු සතෙන් ලැයිමේ කාමර සියයට
කඳුයායෙන් වතු යායට හෙල් වැටියෙන් තැනි පොළවට
ගංගාවෙන් මහ මුහුදට ඉන් එපිටට අසෙන ලෙසට
කියන් පුතේ පැමිණිල්ලක් එදා නුඹට වූ වරදට


War torn prayer


My skies continue to grey
The darkness of night does not cease at day
The air gets bleaker, our breaths deterred
Though the sudden blazes of evil are not preferred
The pit in my stomach is infinitely deep
I’ve forgotten how to laugh but I remember how to weep
I’ve written letters to addresses to which I cannot post
I play no more though I whisper to the baby ghosts
Routines, a luxury that I’ve forgotten my own way
For yesterday’s losses are different from today’s
I see broken glass, I see fallen poles
I see rubble and blood, I see confined souls
My reaction to everything is to kneel down and pray
But the sun has hidden and the holy moon shies away
There used to be light in me, hot enough to burn
But now I am frozen and my light is yet to return

– Saduni Wanniarachchi


බොල් අඳුර ගලා’විත් කවුළු දොර අබියසට
මට රවා නින්ද අරගෙන ඉගිළ යන විටක
සෙමින් එකිනෙක සැලෙන පොත් පිටු ද අතර ඔබ
කවි වැලක් සේ පෙනුනි අකුරු අතරෙහි රැඳුන

මොහොතකට කවුලු දොර දෙස බලා සිනාසුන
හිරිකඩය සුලං රැලි පෙළා මා ගත රැඳුන
හදිසියේ අවදි වුණ විලස මා ඔබ දෙසම
දෙනෙත් නොපියා බලා සිටි අයුරු දෝ මතක

පොතේ පිටු අතර රැඳි දහස් පද වැල් අතර
සිහි නොවුනි ඔබව මට මෙබඳු මොහොතක මිසක
එහෙත් මේ හදිසියේ මන්ද ඔබ මා හදට
පිවිසුනේ ඇද හැලෙන පොහොන් වැස්සක් ලෙසට

එදා අවුරුදු ගණන් පෙරදි මා ඔබ හමුව
ගෙවී ගිය සොඳුරුතම මිහිරි වූ ගී වැල්ය
දිනෙන් දින ඉරි තැලී ගිය මගේ හදවතම
අදත් ඔබ නමින් ඉඩ තවත් ඇත්තේ මන්ද

ලෝකයේ කොතැන හෝ මා නොහඳුනා තැනක
සරණු ඇත ඔබත් පෙර මතක නටබුන් අතර
ඉගිල යන පවනකට ඔබෙ හුස්ම එකලු කර
හදට සුසුමක් විලස ගලා යයි හද තුලට

මීට දිගු කලක පෙර මිහිදන්ව ගිය මතක
සොයා හද බිම කණිමි පහන් වන තුරා රැය
කොහේ හෝ නිසංසල තැනක සැඟවී යලිත්
පෙනෙයි ඔබ දහස් ගණනින් ලියූ අකුරු මැද

ආදරය තනිකඩව ඉකි බිඳින සුසානෙක
ඔබ නමින් ලියැවේවි ජීවිතේ සොහොන් කොත
පුංචි ඉටි පහනක්ව යලිත් හිත ළඟට’විත්
මතක මිටියාවතම එළිය වී හිඳිනු ඔබ….!!

– Hashintha Vidanapathirana


On a Mountain Top or a River Bank
Wherever I could fly
With much Efforts
Collect little by Little and
Carry as much as I Can
The Clay Balls
To build the Mansion in my Mind
A Window Pane or a Frame
A Wall in a Hall
Under a Chair unseen
Wherever I Lay my Clay Ball
Will be my Little Home
Day & Night I sweat, and finished it in a rush
With my Kith & Kin
With a Little Pride in my Mind
Went to hold the House Warming
When I see my house was scattered
All my Dreams were shattered
The Lady with a Broom showed no Mercy
As she swept away my Little Mansion
I was engulf with grief
My Pride was gone Mind was Torn
Dear Lady, You being my Accused
Nevertheless be my Judge
I’m pleading you to give a Little room
Shelter is a Fundamental Right after All.

– Tiny .W.Sahabandu


poem about grandmother

Sweet as honey and short as a metaphor
Stubborn in style but mighty as ever
With a sea of wisdom she guides my way
My princess is you who blossoms my day
Charmingly calm and blessed with elegance
She fulfills her routine with a touch of excellence
Enthralls my life with the majesty of her kinship
Touching my heart with love and fellowship
My pride is endless to express you’re mine
So accept this token of gratitude with shine
Now time to shout out who you are,
It’s none other than ‘You’ my darling “Achcha”

– Kalharie Pitigala

when im gone poem

Don’t cry me a river,
When I’m gone…
as you
stare at the patterns
that my presence
has left….

It’s my wish for,
You are not gone…
Let your laughter roam
in it’s angelic form…

Sing me a song
to soothe my soul…
Close your eyes
open your heart
Don’t fall!

Point out a star
Or two for me,
Never fret
that you failed
to get me
The moon….

Cry me a river
Don’t cry
at all..
my soul can roam….

– Phusathi Liyanaarachchi

night sky poem

Above is a Canopy,
Studded with thousand Glitering Stars,
The vast Sky,
The Rays of the Golden Ball,
Gild the Darkness of the Night,
Green Surroundings,
Appeared to be in black,
Yet decorated with many Flickering lights,
The Fire Flies,
Mysterious sounds of the Night Creatures,
Is a melody with no lyrics,
Cool breeze move around with much ease,
Word’s won’t come easy,
For me to explain,
The Beauty of the silvery Night!

– Tiny W. Sahabandu