Tuesday, 7 February 2012

View from Hantane

Looking down from Hantane
night and Kandy
full of candles in silence
and the time carved mood rode
on across our skies
no pity for the collective dead
and scattered flesh on the roadside.
But our hands have been too full
of blood and entrails
to permit mourning.
No time for sadness,
we have no time for love.
Only anger,
Riding along our veins,
Aching blood
of having been born
in the sixties and early seventies.
We have had to watch the slow ceremony
of charred bodies flowing down history,
marking time.
But there were eyes that once gazed on Hantane,
eyes that saw beauty and brutality;
shining eyes that had captured
the sparks of revolt,
hearts that crept into her shades
and were swept by her breeze
youth that did know love
and injustice
and mothers and others who loved
these children.

Hantane, September 1989

[From the collection ‘Epistles: 1984-1996’]


  1. Dear Mr. Seneviratne this is really a beautiful poem. this remind me of beautiful Kandy and Hantane. i guess now Kandy is too busy and don't have that much space to breath freely. But she still manages to maintain her beauty to a certain extent i believe. Good looking 'Hantane' is still holds his never changing title from University view ' Nidigath Hantane yodhaya'.

  2. There are eyes that always gaze on Hantana and also the eyes that see beauty and some of them still write beautiful scripts like Mr.Senarath Yapa's'Hantane Kathawa', poems like this, stories etc ....i agree to Biso Kandy is still beautiful but has become a busy city compared to past. And i can say that this is a lovely poem.

  3. Beautiful!

    But, Hanthana is all destroyed by those towers on top of it to make me hesitate to look at it. I've been in Mahanuwara for a while & in front of my eyes within very short period they've built many of those telecommunication towers there. Sad!