Sunday, May 6, 2012


(Translation of Liyanage Amarakeerthi's poem ඇයි මේ from his collection එකමත් එක පිටරටක with apologies to the author for the shortcomings)
I understand,
Oh Earth
that I offended the river
the day we voted for that villain
In fact I thought you would be
when we voted for that
capitalist scoundrel
who broke the land into tiny bits
and sold it

I knew, almost instinctively,
that things would not be good the day
we voted for that crook who turned paddy fields
into real estate

I felt it, I felt it, believe me, mother
I felt it even in the wind, that the
trees were grieving
the day we voted for that
loser who destroyed
the forests for timber
Oh mother, I know
but what I cannot understand is
why you drowned our little hut
in the swirling waters of your rage
We only voted for those liars
because we were afraid
they would abduct our son
do unspeakable things
to our daughter.

Why, oh why did you crash into
the hill screaming and vengeful
and sweep away my children
while I was away toiling
so I could feed them?

And why did you spare me
is it so I could bear witness
and tear out my eyes?
Didn't you know that those two,
my little ones,
they were not yet even old enough

to vote?

1 comment:

  1. Bold and brilliant. This is not a Sinhala poem alone for the Sri Lankans. Many in the third world countries might see the poem as "our own"...Vivimarie deserves cheers for translating this. More needed.