POETRY CORNER | Sunday Observer


12 June, 2022

The Void

I did recognise you,
Standing next to me in the bus, deep in thought,
That evening.
Perhaps you must have wondered
Why I neither smiled nor frowned at you,
Whom I had bumped into,
After half a decade.
There remained nothing, my friend,
To call ours, to reclaim and to hold on to,
Of our friendship.
You must have felt my blank stare
Born out of the pit of despair,
The end of our friendship
Had dug in my heart.
Caught in the relentless flood of time,
Our greatest joys and deepest sorrows,
Had already fallen over the brink of memory,
Into the bottomless abyss of oblivion.
There remained nothing
To make me pick up a rose or a dagger.
Nothing was left but a numb soul
Bereft of all emotion.
Bereft of all hope.
Bereft of all life.

Words - Jayashantha Jayawardhana


The wheel revolves

You were a girl of satin and gauze
Now you are my mountain and waterfall companion.
Long ago I read those lines of Po Chu I
Written in his middle age.
Young as I was they touched me.
I never thought in my own middle age
I would have a beautiful young dancer
To wander with me by falling crystal waters,
Among mountains of snow and granite,
Least of all that unlike Po’s girl
She would be my very daughter.
The earth turns towards
the sun.
Summer comes to the mountains.
Blue grouse drum in the
red fir woods
All the bright long days.
You put blue jay and flicker feathers
In your hair.
Two and two violet green swallows
Play over the lake.
The blue birds have come back
To nest on the little island.
The swallows sip water on the wing
And play at love and dodge
and swoop
Just like the swallows that swirl
Under and over the Ponte Vecchio.
Light rain crosses the lake
Hissing faintly. After the rain
There are giant puffballs with tortoise shell backs
At the edge of the meadow.
Snows of a thousand winters
Melt in the sun of
one summer.
Wild cyclamen bloom by the stream.
Trout veer in the transparent current.
In the evening marmots
bark in the rocks.
The Scorpion curls over the glimmering ice field.
A white crowned night sparrow sings as the moon sets.
Thunder growls far off.
Our campfire is a single light
Amongst a hundred peaks and waterfalls.
The manifold voices of falling water
Talk all night.
Wrapped in your down bag
Starlight on your cheeks and eyelids
Your breath comes and goes
In a tiny cloud in the frosty night.
Ten thousand birds sing in the sunrise.
Ten thousand years revolve without change.
All this will never be again.



Back to the class - Down the memory Lane

Maths with numbers, Teacher Mr. Dias, you did wonders
No one in our class blundered, why everyone wonderes

Sinhalese, to some of us, seemed too difficult a subject
Vis-à-vis grasping grammar in the appropriate context
By and large, your absorbing teaching was to our delight
Let us wish you a life, that will last long, teacher, Mrs White

At the start, Chemistry was thought to be so nasty
Later, it was made for us by you unbelievably easy
For the simple reason as your teaching was so rosy
Our un reserved gratitude to you teacher, Miss Mary

English happened to be a fairly absorbing subject
You taught the context of, the subject Vs the predicate
The time and energy, teacher Miss Nayani, you did dedicate
The excellent results obtained did clearly vindicate

Physics, for all of us, was neither too hard nor too easy
You helped enhance our knowledge to make it fancy
If not, most students in our class would have gone crazy
So, we owe you a bouquet of flowers teacher, Miss Mercy

Studying lessons in Biology, we were somewhat lazy
When teacher Miss Nancy, happened to be an absentee
For Biology lessons were made to us very simple and easy
Because Teacher Miss Nancy, taught it avoiding monotony

Being a senior citizen now, these nostalgic memories linger
In my mind at random intervals as a useful life long partner

Words - S.S.J. Fernando


Think not all is over

Think not, when the wailing winds of autumn
Drive the shivering leaflets from the tree —
Think not all is over: spring returneth,
Buds and leaves and blossoms thou shalt see.
Think not, when the earth lies cold and sealed,
And the weary birds above her mourn —
Think not all is over: God still liveth,
Songs and sunshine shall again return.
Think not, when thy heart is waste and dreary,
When thy cherished hopes lie chill and sere,—
Think not all is over: God still loveth,
He will wipe away every tear.
Weeping for a night alone endureth,
God at last shall bring a morning hour;
In the frozen buds of every winter
Sleep the blossoms of a future flower.