Friday, 21 July 2017


Lifted in coiffered arrangement -- cloth wrapped tight
Princess who with red buneela petals the floor bedecked
Circled thrice in homage -- the bed where Sattuka lay
Kundalakesi of a machete's seven blows 

Grabs necklaces does Sattuka -- peddles weed does Sattuka
Law enforcement does visit the humble hut now and again
Princess who drew from Sattaka -- the whiplash sting
Flying to Welikada with a packet of rice armed 

Gamble he does -- brothels frequents too Sattaka
Princess who never complained until now
Who from the bed in consternation fell 
At the little girl's plaintive cry 'No, Thaatthe, No'

Circled thrice in homage -- the bed where Sattuka lay
Kundalakesi of a machete's seven blows 

[translation of "කුණ්ඩලකේසී " from the collection "මීළඟ මීවිත" (The next wine) by Ruwan Bandujeewa]

Friday, 14 July 2017


Like soft light
reflected from guitar strings
and heart-glass,
like long silence
between monosyllables,
a half smile from knowing eyes,
slow in so many ways
because the mind raced
or had a long time ago --
still life,
that's you:
quietness that delights
in moments that stay 
long after capture 
and the exit
of all conspirators.  

Pic by Sharni Jayawardena

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

“Love is never illicit!”

A midnight assertion 
took me to many yesterdays
the loving turning and re-turning of pages
the rolling of words on a mind-tip 
and an evening of finality,
that moment   
when Seeress asked and the Master replied
and where at the exhaustion of query
even after blessedness was acknowledged 
two questions had arrived and in arrival were answered:
“Was it I who spoke?  Was I not also a listener?”

I re-read the prophetic prescription
the nutshell version 
of the book “All about love”
and, in the manner of our days,
pressed ‘ctrl F’;
I called for “illicit”
and then 
in seerish presumption
from that unyielding text requested,
“And what of the licit, Master?”

There arose 
from the flame-tip
of an oil lamp
lit in a long forgotten temple 
the softest silence
and which, bathed 
in timeless luminosity 

And so in crippled tongue
this I am compelled to say:

It is no sin 
to name the undefined 
but we desist
on account of vulgarity;
the beloved is nameless
and therefore variously named;
the question of propriety
is a verse on moonlight
so why write about luminosity 
when to let it clothe 
is verse enough? 

Oh! Beloved!
I’ve digressed
so let me 
to the country of love

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The architecture of poetry

A word
or maybe just random letters
these are the gifts unintended 
but there is a filing instrument 
again a gift unintended
yes hurt 
can chip away
smooth over sharp edge 
cut clean
and hand over to heart
these raw materials 
with which
by and by
splendid pavilions I make
for who knows whom
if so desired to stay awhile 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


Rise, roll and crash
then run 
touch feet
and run back

rise, roll and crash
in endless repeat

it’s not the you 
of first arrival
and it’s not someone else

the evening post exclaims: 
waiting for things that never arrived
waiting for things that might come

sifting grains 
and shifting blues 

are splendid places 

for feet to grow old

in the brine of being

Monday, 6 March 2017

Gossamer Girl

There's light thieving in
street light, home-light and moon;
it's quiet here and cool
but I wish it would rain
blend-light further blurred
is guest, not thief

There's a feast downstairs
a quiet consumption
of demand and request
a chewing out with burst
and a resolution with smile

You in your infinities
I in my dust-speck
We in familiarity 

Gossamer of a kind 

Friday, 24 February 2017

A joy and a pleasure

Not to rally round 
for yet another scarecrow to make
but the the threshing floor 
of its birth to fertilize 
a joy and pleasure
surely for the straw

[translation of "සැපකි - සතුටකි " from the collection "මීළඟ මීවිත" (The next wine) by Ruwan Bandujeewa]