Dilantha Gunawardana


Sri Lankan Leapord (Kotiya)


Lying beneath the lush bush cover
Even on top of where canopies hover
Rosettes stitched on brilliant tawny skin
As the prowl lingers of the predator within

A marbled mosaic wonder of the Serendib isle
Lurking on frontiers where the sun greets the tile
A social creature bouncing off on orange clay earth
Lunging past horizons, no place for saddle or girth

On the forest edge, on the fringes of a sanctuary
A creature eternally on toes, summoned by discovery
Lurking in the shadows for the next catch to affront
As a mere gaze transforms to an enigmatic hunt

A lesson on how beauty transformed to bitter enmity
As a mythical creature blurred in the eyes of man, to a word's casualty
As bipedal creatures slaughtered the unsuspecting innocence
The leopard prowled on past sporadic bursts of violence

A creature that saw incandescent tiles and blazing pillars
A creature that gazed at the carnage on makeshift cellars
A creature that lurks in the shadows of the human mind
As the creature that bore war to the ethnic kind

As tombstones are erected as skeletons are found
Hidden deep beneath the cover of sun-parched ground
On the backdrop of a legacy of war is a creature like the sun
That roams the forest margins, transcending the reign of the gun

She lingers on, man and beast living in sweet harmony
As remnants of war fade beneath the milk and the honey
Yet a constant reminder looms on the horizon far and near
Of a creature that once lit irises with the imprint of fear

Submitted: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Edited: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Topic of this poem: war and peace


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Sri Lankan Leopard - A story of war and peace

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