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Monday, 15 January 2018

Cinderella*

At a moment unexpected
when the clock midnight struck
the slipper of hope
held close to heart
I waited
and waited
for ages


Dreamed 
sweet dreams
of your arrival
tomorrow
if not today

When you do come
the slipper 
for me
would be

too small

[Translation of a poem by our late friend Indika Gunawardena, by way of tribute; original, given below]


සින්ඩරෙල්ලා 

ජීවිතේ 
නොසිතූ මොහොතක 
රෑ දොළහේ කනිසම වැදුනාම 
බලාපොරොත්තුවේ සපත්තුව 
හද ළඟ තියාන 
බලා හිටියා 
කල්පයක් විතර 

දකිමින් 
සොඳුරු 
සිහින 
එතැයි 
අද 
නැත්තම් 
හෙට 

ඔබ මෙහේ එනකොට 
සපත්තුව 
පොඩි වැඩියි 
මට 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Fawning



And if tails we had


by now


just by wagging


without pause


they’d have fallen off


for sure.






[Translated by way of tribute to our late friend and poet Indika Gunawardena. Original below]










නිවටකම






නැටි


තිබුණනං


අපට






වනල


වනලම


කැඩිල


මෙලහට



Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Love has no specific shape

There was a time
when love was you
and you alone
love’s fragrance
it’s exquisite nature
and its form divine 
was you 

and you alone…

She arrived one day
my mind discerned 
murmured with love
and safely in heart settled…

Thereafter 
she alone was love
love’s fragrance
it’s exquisite nature
and its form divine 

But I
will not forever remain
for
love
it has no specific shape

*This translation was done (among others) as a tribute to our dear friend and poet, the late Indika Gunawardena.  Original given below:

ප්‍රේමයට නියත හැඩයක් නැත 

ප්‍රේමය  
ඔබම වූ යුගයක් විය 
ප්‍රේමයේ සුවඳ ද 
එහි ඇති මහා ගුණය ද 
දිව්‍යමය හැඩය ද 
ඔබම වූ යුගයක් විය...

එක් දිනක් ඇය පැමිණ 
මගේ හිත දැන හැඳින 
ප්‍රේමයෙන් මුමුණමින 
හදේ සුරැකිව රැඳින...

ඉනික්බිති 
ප්‍රේමය ඇයම විය 
ප්‍රේමයේ සුවඳ ද 
එහි ඇති මහා ගුණය ද 
දිව්‍යමය හැඩය ද 
මුළුමනින් ඇයම  විය...

නමුදු මම 
සදාකල් මෙහිම නොරැඳෙනු ඇත 
මන්ද යත් 
ප්‍රේමයට නියත හැඩයක් නැත... 


Read Also:
ප්‍රේමයේ ඉතිරිය අප සතු වනු ඇත

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Objecting to the system*

by Indika Gunawardena

A spider am I
spinning the web
in a different weave

Unconcerned of victim
but enamoured with beauty alone 
and for this reason
dying young

No regrets though
none at all
of untimely death
a spider am I
spinning the web

in a different weave

ORIGINAL:
සිස්ටම් එකට එරෙහිව 

මකුළු දැල 
වෙනස් විදියට වියන 
මකුළුවෙක් වෙමි මම 

එහි සොඳුරු බව ම මිස 
එහි රැඳෙන 
ගොදුරු ගැන නොසිතන එහෙයින්ම 
අකාලේ මිය යන 

ඒ නමුදු නොතැවෙමින් 
සොඳුරු මරණය ගැන 
මකුළු දැල 
වෙනස් විදියට වියන
 මකුළුවෙක් වෙමි මම... 

*This translation was done (among others) as a tribute to our dear friend and poet, the late Indika Gunawardena

Read Also:

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ode to projectiles

I am thinking of projectiles:
the toss of a rock and a teargas canister
multiple arcs of a stone bouncing on water
the throw from the bounday
accusation in court
a token of love into a trashcan 
as an orchestra goes silent
a prayer for a child unconscious 
a shooting star disappearing into target
color-throw from one end of sky to the other
and a thought, a plea and a voice
moving across the uneven earth
and through other trajectories 
coming to rest on a singular card 
that says ‘heart-locked’ 
and concludes ‘yours’ 
but perhaps 
not just mine.   

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Earth of the salt

Metaphor for flavor
belonging and goodness,
enricher of idiom and language,
symbol of political stance,
issue of elemental intercourse,
token of a kitchen’s viability:
salt.

It does not come from sea,
not from play of sun on water,
salt:
it does not arrive,
it is made.

Salt:
It has a synonym
here in Puttalam. 

[first published in 'The Nation,' July 30, 2006]

Friday, 10 November 2017

Lost and found in dimensionality

Dimensions 
without name or number
or named and numbered
but in another tongue
polarities and marmalade
benumbing ascents and descents
to one unable to fly
and yet with sole so scorched 
that feet resist gravity 
lyrics and paint 
beads that charm
cards stacked and read 
and illegible,
all mesmerizing artifacts
makes for silence
across dimensions 
and poverties 
priceless