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Have a penchant for writing heartfelt poems? Send in your heart songs to jayashika@nation.lk
or snail mail The Nation – SOUL, 742, Maradana Road, Colombo 10. Please write ‘Heart Songs’
on the envelope or as the subject line of your email.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Memories Come

Memories haunt me
They come unbidden
Unwelcome (almost)…
A night by the sea
Salty wind playing with my hair
The taste staying between the strands.
It was thick,
The night, the air
Where were you then?
Ten thousand miles away
(Or, right next to my heart?)
I looked up
To count the stars.
Then,
Your warm breath brushed my cheek
(Or, was it the breeze?)
When the hours roll by
Minute after minute
With life trying to wrestle you down
It is only bitterness now
Between us.
Lying besides you
Closer to you than ever
I dream of that moment
That salty, lonely night
When I dreamt of you
And then…
I’m happy!
(Kaumathie Jayasinghe
Moratuwa)

****

A vendor’s dream

Bubbling with joy
On my way to school
Dressed in pure white costumes
With a bundle of books
Walking hand in hand
With fellow boys,
Was my dream.

Every day I stood
By the road
Displaying my goods
On a piece of polythene
Calling out for buyers
All I could do is dream
Of these two rough hands
Turning the soft page of a book.
(Ashfa Mohamed
Pasdunrata NCOE
Kalutara)

****

Dreams

Though life is full of hopes and dreams,
some are very shattering indeed,
They are the hopes for one’s future
Yet are the promise for today.
Many times these dreams fall,
To make sense, not at all.
Though all look forward for them
None have hope, not a bit.
If only that lovely way was paved,
I’d sure love to tread its path
But for me those paths are not waken,
They are only the closed dreams of mine.
(Bhagya Senaratne
Undergraduate- Arts Faculty)

****

Lingering Love

Walking away, from a love I lost
Yet longing to walk back to it
A feeling, indescribable indeed
Yet forbidden to even step towards it

A flash of his smile
A spark of the twinkle in his eye
His melodious words still remain
Like a never ending song

The story of our love is such
Chapters seem to be running out
Words unwritten on those pages
Speak aloud a thousand words

Hold me tight
Just one last time
And then you’ll see
Just what you’ve missed

He walks away
A grin on his face
Holding beside him
Another young beauty
(Nabiha Ariff)

****

A Lonely Doe’s Dignity

A lonely doe,
She is,
Because she has,
Dignity built around.
Vultures poach and dog,
Haunting to taste,
The primary rays of her virginity.
They howl, yawl, wail and bawl,
They cannot retrain their libido,
They show off,
And at its lapse,
Throw threats and insults.
Shame on you dogs,
Born out of cuckolding wombs,
May you rot, through and through,
With worms bussing your bones.
(Lakshani Kodituwakku,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Peradeniya)

****

                                                                                  Poet of the week                                                                                  

Sheldon Alan “Shel” Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999) was an American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children’s books. He sometimes styled himself as Uncle Shelby especially for his early children’s books.

Silverstein confirmed he never studied the poetry of others, and therefore developed his own style: laid-back and conversational, occasionally employing profanity, and slang.

****

Where the Sidewalk Ends
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Forgotten Language
Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

Rain
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

****