Sunday, 18 December 2016

Do you hear the sound of that laughter?

Bus goes over precipice; eight including the driver dead, 29 seriously injured News Item

“There was no mist at the time. I was in the front part of the bus.  There were no vehicles coming from the opposite direction, but the driver for no apparent reason suddenly turned the bus towards the precipice” a survivor

With a shaking left hand
driver of sixty three dash seventeen fifteen
the day’s first gear fell
giving out a gora-gora sound
the bus came out of the depot
and began climbing the mountains

Each time he checked the road
from the side glass on the right 
he only saw his wife
whose three month’s almsgiving
was done two days before

From the rear view mirror
frequently peeped
his little boy
who drew 
Thaththa’s bus
again and again

The echo of the horn
the bell that rant near his ear
he didn’t hear
his wife’s voice came through clear

“Further up near a bend
there’s been an earth-slip
I will warn you Nande
when you get closer

What did you have for dinner
and what did our son draw yesterday
and the little girl Nande
can she now plait her hair all on her own

In the midst of a ring of mountains filled with tears
upon the grass on that yonder slope 
there’s one singular place still Nande
where we can laugh

Can you hear the sound of that laughter….”

[translation of "ඇහෙනවද ඒ සිනා සද්දේ " from the collection "මීළඟ මීවිත" by Ruwan Bandujeewa]


  1. This has left me speechless. The sensitivity of the poet towards intimate bonds between humans and the deep embedded emotions that arise due to such bonds, is remarkable.

  2. So simple but lines carry a silent speaker which is profoundly powerful .