Dilantha Gunawardana


A Kite In Jaffna - Poem by Dilantha Gunawardana

Floating to the wind
Hearing whispers of prayers – of the living
And the silence of solitude – of the dead
A kite holds her poise on an azure skyline
Where no mausoleums were ever laid in brick
On scarred veneers of limestone earth
Where voices were silenced by fear
And hope butchered by apathy
Where the song of the monsoon
Sang the wail of loss and sorrow
Permeating run-down roofs
And bullet-pierced walls……..


A child that holds a single kite
A quadrilateral that radiates the color of hope
In these wastelands of fossilized bones
Where gun barrels stood side by side, face to face
Even on underbellies of chins
As miasma rose from decaying flesh
And souls hitchhiked on ghosts


A kite floating above unmarked burial plots
Of unknown journeymen
Who voyaged from the impression of light
To clutches of darkness
Where no eulogies were ever narrated
Or flowers laid on cracked top soil
A place of milestones – of death counts
And mine shafts, that opened like jaws of leviathans
To grasp tiny feet and fragile limbs
In the remembrance of runaway kites eternally afloat
As children were buried in the quicksand
Of a voracious mine


A kite that holds afloat
The wayward ambition of innocence
On a valley of fallen angels
And risen ghosts
What will paint the heart’s canvas
With the color of hope
Where there will be no more turpentine tears
Or sandpaper abrasions of histories
A kite that symbolizes the fervor of youth
And the brittleness of dreams
Lingering until the final ray of light eclipses
A Jaffna sunset, when all of hope
Is reeled in and kerosene lanterns are lit……..


A boy that never knew the toil of a generation
Too young to understand the price of freedom
Lingering with a kite in hand
Floating towards the miracle of fate
In the graces peace bore from within
A lad with the licence to dream
In the cosmic meadows
Of infinite freedom

Topic(s) of this poem: children


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Jaffna after the war

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 16, 2015



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