Flickering Flames

Two poems
by Indunil Madhusankha
He is Just Asleep!
The metal huts built in the compound were all crowded
with his relatives, neighbors and fellow soldiers in the army
In the midst of the verandah, there was the sealed coffin,
a stylish wooden box with pale embellishments
His wife was seated there, leaning against the casket
All she wanted was just to be close enough to him
as she had always craved with all her heart,
and as they had both promised to each other
It had been more than half a day now
and she would not cease to leech
Then her mother came towards her
and caressed her head for a while saying,
“Come, my dear, it’s already the afternoon,
You have to eat something now,
You must be very hungry.
Let’s go, my dear!”
She replied in an uneasy tone,
“No mom, no, he’s still asleep, isn’t he?
You know mom, he’s just asleep!
They told me, you know, the fortune tellers!
There was nothing wrong with his horoscope.
So, how come?
Wait, I’ll come together with him to lunch.
He’ll knock when he wakes up.”
As she laboriously jabbered these words,
a few tears that had been struggling so far
rolled up from her reddish eyes
and fell on the floor thus bursting into droplets.
A Portent Warns a Soldier’s Wife
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.
Indunil Madhusankha is currently an undergraduate reading for a BSc Special Degree in Mathematics at the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo. 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.

Published by


Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott is a member of The Southern Collective Experience; he also serves as an editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, The Peregrine Muse, and Novelmasters.

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