By Indunil Madhusankha

 

(Previously published in the international anthology of poetry, “Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze” on 12th March 2016)

 

Loku Naenda sitting still on a bench

watched the framed photograph

of her son, my cousin,

that made an exhibition of him

in his army uniform and fortitude

My puerile questionnaire had its flow

as usual

One question of mine

received an answer,

which obviously touched my heart

“Wouldn’t you prepare some kevun for the new year?

The nicest, your konde kevun.”

“No putha, I am not going to prepare kevun this time,

What kevun for me?

I have already lost appetite.”

 

As her speech came to an end

she returned to the photograph

and traced the contours of his figure

with her quivering fingers.

 

This time the koha didn’t sing

its ritual new year song

in its seminal tone

Only the strident,

reedy tune of the crows

hobbling in the compound

Glossary

 

Kevun     Oil-cake. It is a traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeat made of rice and sugar and is served particularly in festive occasions. The village folk are used to consider it as a taboo to cook or eat kevun in sorrowful situations especially when there is a funeral.  

Koha    The cuckoo bird. It announces the arrival of the New Year in the beginning of April.

Konde Kevun       A type of kevun or oil-cake (See kevun)        

Loku Naenda    This is how somebody calls the eldest sister of their father in Sinhala.

Putha       Son     

Indunil Madhusankha is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Decision Sciences at the Faculty of Business of the University of Moratuwa. 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 focussing 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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