Category: Revisited

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

Wreaths and white handkerchiefs in place,

Decked in black, fully made up,

They go visiting


The cemetery is not too far from their abode

Yet they choose to visit only once a year

So they walk towards the gravestone,

Almost mechanically,

So many generations, like cattle,

Simply following a tradition, abiding by the rules

Submissively revisiting


“He was a nice man, a family man”

“Ever so generous, patient, humble, a teetotaler”

Said another

On the verge of tears, just this once


But after fifteen minutes, like clock work

They head home

To prepare for supper

Life goes on


Revisiting him, only a formality!




Navindi Fernandopulle

Colombo 07

Sri Lanka



My country of exile

I still find

A promising proposition

I was quite young, then

Ready and eager

For hitherto unknown


Mesmerized by the spectacle

Of scantily dressed

Lively and seductive

African damsels


To the wild drum – beat

Worshiping god of Eros

Enticing me to yield

To dictates of craving

Devouring forbidden – fruits

At leisure


Now, I being quite old

Carrying a heavy load of

Much exalted wisdom

Such a visit

Only have

Nostalgic value

For I am now obliged to

Condemn such vices


With or without conscience

Nostalgic Reflections by Ranjan Amarasinghe


Ranjan Amarasinghe


Sri Lanka

Time takes me back

To my life in the Vanni,

That strange and remote land

In the age of ox carts

And oil-wick lamps

A guru in a primitive school

With a dark room to live in,

A rope-strung bed

To lay my head


Woodfires in the outhouse

Stinging my eyes,

A twig broom for sweeping,

Sloshing home water

In a pot at my hip

Too young to endure

Hardships of rural life

Life in the backwoods

Was to live a life


At slow pace

In step with folkways

Revisiting in memory

In hindsight I see

Adversity taught me humility

farmers in vanni, sri lanka

Farmers in Vanni district, Sri Lanka

Kamala Gunasekara


Sri Lanka

Laughter and screams

Of young ‘uns

Seem to vibrate the air

As I gaze askance

Over a dilapidated gate

Now rusty with time

Murals of Donald Duck

And Mickey Mouse

On the wall

Sparsely visible now

How we raved over them

Dreams of Disneyland

Running riot

In our young mind

Frilly dresses

And pinafores

Ribbons and Alice bands

What a kaleidoscope

Of colors and shapes

As we gaily danced

To the tune of

Age old nursery rhymes

Riding again on the mat slide

Swoosh! On to ground

My mind jolts back

To the presence

Wishing ‘twas

Montessori Days



It’s more than two decades

Since we were compelled to hurriedly leave idyllic Nilaveli

Hoping to return soon (a forlorn hope!);

Then, after ages and ages

A ceasefire was declared;

Everybody was eager to see Trincomalee, especially

The beautiful beaches of Nilaveli


So, we too set forth one sunny day

It was heart-rending to actually see the devastation;

Tears pouring down my face

We looked at the place

We had called home for almost a decade

Reduced to rubble, trees sprouting through

The remaining buildings

Of what was left of the formally

Beautiful Moonlight Beach Hotel

Which when he took charge of,

Many many moons ago, my husband used to

Proudly say “My baby”……


This Sri Lankan poem is about Nilaveli (Pronounced Nilaa-Veli), a world famous tourist destination located about 20 kilometers North-West of Trincomalee, Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka. In Tamil, Nilaveli means Open-land of the moon-shine. It is one of the places you must see if you are visiting Sri Lanka.

I remember a visit to Jaffna

In the month of April, 1983


Rumbling of hostile undercurrents,

Feelings of strange unease

Seeping through our communities

Did not prevent our hosts

From inviting us, nor us from accepting,

For between us flowed

Only currents of friendship and trust


Memories linger of vegetarian meals

Served hot from the stove

By our dutiful hostess

First to her husband, then to us


Sri Lankan Tamil peoples’ food