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Indunil Madhusankha Poetry

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Poet Indunil Madhusankha is currently an Assistant Lecturer in Mathematics at the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo

Waiting for that Beautiful Day to Dawn
(Previously published in the 2017 February issue of Winamop magazine)

Do you ever reminisce?
The endearing times we spent together
sitting on a bench in the park
amidst the towering trees
replete with yellowish jacaranda cascading down
Or how we drew figures on the sand
with the tips of our fingers
while wandering along the sea belt

You promised me
caressing my hands
that you would never let go of them
And, one day, you would clasp my arm
and walk with me to the farthest horizon
Thus we dreamt of the dawn of a beautiful day

Yet, it didn’t take that long for you
to fade from my sight
Along with those sketches on the sand
melting away in the harsh waves
that abruptly broke on the shore

And I have no idea,
how incorrigible my heart is
The harder I try to refrain from lingering
The more I find myself immersed
Despite the awareness of the bitter truth,
I keep praying again and again
waiting for that beautiful day to dawn

A Portent Warns a Soldier’s Wife
(Previously published in the international anthology of poetry, Beyond The Hill published by Lost Tower Publications)

The gutter of the wrenching lamp flame
twisting itself wildly
made a warning
It jumped, skipped, pulled
and spun round and round
And was,
in the end,
dragged away by the roar of a brisk wind
Her pulsation was hit for a moment…
Throughout that night,
she was armed against her heart
The next day,
it was late in the morning
as she learnt he was gone,
Gone with that very flame of her lamp.

An Unashamed Liar
(Previously published in the issue 17 (Fall 2015) of the Literary Journal, Aberration Labyrinth)

“You are mine and I am yours.”
That was our motto
as a couple of lovers
whose affection, as I think, is
descended from uncountable births
It comprised a staggering strength
that could find no yardstick in the world to measure

It was the day my fate was sealed
We both were travelling by a bus
Suddenly,
a great crash of thunder
exploded in my ears
as if the sky was broken
And, that is all my memory has stored

I was at the hospital
when I gained recovery
I got to know from
the stammering words
uttered strenuously by one of my friends
the occurrence of a bomb attack
in the bus by a suicide bomber
Even before he finished his speech
I questioned him about her
His downcast face
was the only reply
It was almost an insupportable shock
providing enough room for an iron to melt away
in my heart
I felt as if a brood of wild elephants
were screaming of anger within my head

Now the sole relief of mine
is the nostalgia for the train of our days
At the beach,
we were the witnesses of the sunset
The sun, half sunk in the boundless line
where the orange sky springing to life
in a reddish splendour
kissed the magnificent ocean lady
We drew an analogy
you were the ocean and I, the sky
But never saw the bad omen
prominent in that union
being placed in the unreachable horizon

And now, I am already used to
talk gibberish in sleep
It has left an irremediable hole in my heart
that I feel myself as an unashamed liar
with the broken promise that I firmly gave you
for the sake of our noble affair,
“One day, if we happen to part from each other,
we’ll let ourselves die together.”

Retelling the Story of Yasodharā
(Previously published in the 2016 October issue of the Sentinel Literary Quarterly)

In the nightly cold of the Esala full moon day,
perhaps she felt an abrupt rush of the bizarre wind
in her usual entanglements – the cozy and pacifying dreams
as He looked at her on the sly,
for a one last moment
to bid silent farewells
He saw the huggable baby in its gentle cradle
feathered with downy pillows
The candles lit beside the bedstead melted away
with the milky tears trickling down hastily
Then He crossed the border of Anomā Nadee
and left behind on the other side,
the beloveds in the elegant edifices
to embrace the Renunciation
in search of the perpetual Truth
She threw the glinting jewelry away
and also the silky garments of splendid embellishments
Swathed in a yellow robe,
she confined herself to the barren cell upstairs
No longer did she taste the luscious royal dishes
She even dared rebuff the love suit of many eminent lords

Sans answers, she is saturated in acute melancholia

“Are you sleeping on a flower-laden divan in the Himālayas?
Does it ache your sweet feet when you stroll barefoot?
Are the divine gods sentineling you with no deficiency?
As majestic as a regal tusker, my dearest, where have you disappeared?”

Immersed in reminiscence,
she would do nothing, but utter incessant prayers

“May all the wild berries and drupes be delicious!
May disciples abound as a swarm of bees for a flower!
May the scorching rays of the blinding sun shine diminish!
May celestial palaces emerge from league to league!”

Note: The ideas for the two stanzas in the italic form (within inverted commas) have been derived respectively from the verses 98 and 100 of the Sri Lankan Sinhala folk poem, Yasodharāvata (The Story of Yasodharā) the author of which is unknown.

Glossary

Yasodharā – The princess Yasodharā was the wife of prince Siddhārtha who later attained the Great Emancipation (Nirvāna), and became a Lord Buddha in the name of Gautama
Esala – The full moon day of the month of July. It was on such a day that the prince Siddhārtha relinquished the worldly life in order to practice as an ascetic with the great expectation of attaining Nirvāna.
Anomā Nadee – A river in the vicinity of Kapilavastu of the Southern Nepal
Himālayas – The Northern face of the Mount Everest which has a profound influence on the Buddhist culture.

She was Yasodharā …
Having granted the Aniyata Vivarana by the Dīpankara Buddha,
the Bodhisattva had her by his side in all his innumerable births,
aiding him quite enormously as he fulfilled the Pāramitā
Born as a Kinnari in the silvery Mountain of the Moon,
she wailed unceasingly with a splintered heart
So phenomenal was her plea,
that the dead Kinnarā, the Bodhisattva regained the lost breath
She bore inimitable virtues, so vast to the extent
that she eased his tireless journey toward emancipation
She was the wife of the Shākya prince, Siddhārtha
who later attained enlightenment,
illustrious as the Gautama Buddha
suppressing all earthly evils of interminable nature,
and flourishing into the efflorescence of perennial truth
She was so virtuous to become an Arahant
She was thus capable of trouncing the specter of death
She was the Bimbādevi; she was the Rāhulamāthā
She was the proud bearer of unmatched feminine splendor
She was the quintessence of untainted love and altruism
She was the greatest pillar behind the utmost Buddhahood
She was the noblest woman to have treaded the soils of earth
She was, indeed, Yasodharā, the meritorious Yasodharā of Kapilavastu …

Glossary

Aniyata Vivarana – A statement made by a Buddha that some person is likely to become a Buddha in the future, because the latter possesses the meritorious features of a Buddha, and has been endowed with an innate drive for seeking the truth since his past lives
Arahant – A person who has attained the Great Emancipation (Nirvāna) by conforming to the doctrine of Buddhism
Bimbādevi – An alternative name used to refer to the Princess Yasodharā
Bodhisattva – A person who has developed a spontaneous wish to attain the Buddhahood, and immensely attempts towards this prime goal for the betterment of all living beings
Dīpankara Buddha – One of the Buddhas of the past who is said to have lived on Earth approximately one hundred thousand years ago. It is from the Dīpankara Buddha that the Gautama Buddha obtained the Aniyata Vivarana in one of his former incarnations when the latter was born as the ascetic, Sumedha.
Kinnarā (male), Kinnari (female) – A mythological clan of paradigmatic lovers, celestial musicians, half-human and half-horse (India) or half-bird (south-east Asia)
Pāramitā – The conditions that need to be fulfilled during one’s attempts towards achieving the Buddhahood
Rāhulamāthā – An alternative name used to refer to the Princess Yasodharā for being the mother of Prince Rāhula, the son of Prince Siddhārtha
Siddhārtha – The son of the king Suddhodana who reigned in the ancient city of Kapilavastu on the Indian subcontinent which was the capital of Shākya. Prince Siddhārtha later attained Nirvana, and became a Lord Buddha in the name of Gautama
Yasodharā – The wife of prince Siddhārtha; the mother of Prince Rāhula

The Nest of Love
(Previously published in the Leaves of Ink Magazine on 15th March 2016, in the Spirit Fire Review)

The giant mango tree on the rear lawn
towers above the window in my room upstairs
Beneath its canopy, laid on a limb, there is the bird nest
A small family – the mother, father and the son
In the evenings, when the sky turns primrose
with the golden moon peering above the distant hills
I hear some tweeting sounds coming from the nest
Then I rush towards the window
I see the tiny bill – wide open, rising above the nest wall
saying a thousand little things to its mother
who pats the baby head with her soft slender neck
In a while, the father’s shadow emerges from the distance
with some wild berries clipped between the mandibles
fluttering his wings more hastily seeing home
As he lands on the nest, the mother welcomes him
tenderly kissing his sturdy neck
Then both start cuddling their son
They chop the berries with their beaks
and feed the baby with the bits
who gulps them down
while relishing the very warmth.
Oh, I am so happy that I have been
lucky enough to witness this nest of love!

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Poets on Beneath The Rainbow

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Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focusing on the burning issues in the contemporary society. Moreover, Indunil’s works have been featured in many international anthologies, magazines and journals.

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