Conscience for Sale


Here, buy this conscience,
Useless nonsense;
I wish I had no sense,
So I could kill my innocence.

Come, water’s now troubled;
Innocence is just a bubble;
Exploit this troubled bubble,
And sell conscience for a ‘double’.

Copyright © Nov. 14, 2018; Newton Ranaweera
Image source: Pixabay

Truth is suffering

This pleasure is an illusion;
Now it’s with me,
But soon it will be gone;
Suffering may remain alone.

This pleasure is a mask
That I love to wear
In this life’s comedy
That I consciously live.

But I know; I hate though
Life is suffering;
Suffering is truth,
And truth is suffering.

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Is this me?


Am I looking at me,
or is it me that I see,
that’s staring at me
with wrinkled cheeks
and sunken eyes
in this corroded mirror
in front of me?

I saw me so young
just today morning,
but this me that I see,
in this corroded mirror
In front of me,
is not me, he’s not so young;
is this “me” then an illusion?

Why my eyes not see me
as I want them to see me?
Are my eyes too old
that they cannot read me
or is this “me” not true at all?
If this “me” is not true,
are my sons not true, too?

I know, now I know
he rightly said,
Atta hi attano natthi
kuto putta, kuto dhanam?”

Trans. Even self is not one’s own. Then how can he brag that he has sons or wealth?

Copyright © Sept. 29, 2018, Newton Ranaweera
Image source: Pixabay

In Defence of Truth


Yes, those hush voices soon grew restless
And hatched a plot at a table with bottles
And hid in a bundle of firewood in guise
of a nine months’ pregnancy by that wise
And went to him when surrounded by men
and the ransom made her cackle like a hen
In a hysterical voice to say, “Yes, I’m him.”
Nature’s magic played by extending a limb;
Her pregnancy turned into a dried bundle
Of firewood, and plot into an empty bubble,
Out of which came running squeaking rats,
Stripping black veils of night-dwelling bats,
Proving nature’s magic does stand for truth.

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Truth is dark (ඇත්ත අඳුරුයි)


Truth is dark;
darkness is deep;
surface of darkness
is so serene.

A life of complacent will I live
where only shallowness I’ll see;
without viewing agonizing truth,
I’ll readily clasp luscious falsity.

How can I see truth and justice
when the norm is injustice?
So detaching from harsh truth
I’ll wallow in lie and untruth.

ඇත්ත අඳුරුයි
අඳුර ගැඹුරුයි
ගැඹුර මතුපිට
හරිම සොඳුරුයි.

සොඳුරු දිවියක් ගතකරන්නම්
ගැඹුර නොව මතුපිට බළන්නම්
ගැඹුරු අඳුරට නෙත් නොමා මං
සොඳුරු ඇත්තම නිති දකින්නම්.

ඇත්ත යුක්තිය කුමකටද මට
නැත්ත රජයන රටක් ඇති විට
අුඳුරු ඇත්තෙන් ඈත්වී මං
සොඳුරු බොරුවෙම ගැළෙන්නම්.

Image source: Pixabay


An utter lie it is
whenever I say I’m sick;
when you say you’re sick,
an absolute truth it is.

Who is truly sick?

Can the same thing,
at the same time,
be an absolute truth
and an utter lie?

Protagoras defends you,
“Truth is relative;”
both hot and cold
a glass of water can be.

I don’t need Greek;
it is certain then,
power is truth;
colour has power,

so you’re truly sick.

Image source: Pixabay

I’m a stupid human being.


Where I’m from,
where I’m to,
I know, I know not.

I know, I only know
where I’m now, right now,
at this very moment,
and I know
things around me are not certain;
they are in a constant flux,
and I’m to leave this place;
maybe now, at this very moment,
perhaps tomorrow;
I know not,
tomorrow may not be certain;
I’m a stupid human being.

Some say they go above;
others say they go below.
Dionysus went below
to bring back Aeschylus.
I know not,
nor do I want to know;
I don’t question anyone,
because they may be right.
I know, I know not;
I have not met any
from above or below.

I’m a stupid human being;
I see what I see;
what I can’t see,
what I don’t see,
I CAN’T say ‘NO’
I’m a stupid human being.

But one thing I know, for sure,
as a great poet once said,
I need to do a good job,
a great job,
and gather the daily stipends,
and be ready
when I’m going,
below or above,
I know not where,
then I’ll be


Photo: Pixabay

Life is a River


Life is like a rolling river
In birth, and growth, and death similar.

Their life begins as tiny fountains
In dark, deep caves in high mountains,
Whose laborious labour drives them down,
And with a splash of cry, they fall to the ground.

They creep; they kneel, then stand and run,
Which often looks as smooth and fun,
Yet the song they sing in a melancholic strain
Should reveal their untold agonies and pain.

Smooth or rough, they ever go down,
Down, down, into the depth of sea,
Down, down, into the death of sea,
Where rivers or life are no more found.

Photo: Pixabay

Posted on Poet’s Corner on Dece. 13, 2016.

I’m none but a slave

What am I if not a slave?
I cook, clean and mourn;
I wash, sweep and weep
from dawn to fall of night.

I do nothing but cooking;
I cook all day,
three times a day,
from dawn to fall of night.

What’re you if not a master?
You eat, teach and cheat;
you write, drink and sleep
from dawn to fall of night.

For three long decades,
I’ve cleaned your dishes:
empty, dirty dishes
from dawn to fall of night.

What’s marriage if not serfdom?
You are my master;
I am merely a slave.
You do your part; I mine,

from dawn to fall of night
and back to break of day.

Posted on Poet’s Corner on December 9, 2016.

Man behind Camera


You see a pretty, village damsel,
unspoiled and untouched,
not the inquisitive child beside;
nor her guilt-ridden conscience.

You see her bosom full of youth,
wrapped in a dotted, pink cloth
yet not her worries or sorrows;
nor her belly, an inch below her bosom.

You see far-stretched, golden fields,
double bent with paddy,
but not how hard they toiled;
nor their sacrifices, no words can tell.

If you keep the camera aside,
with its lenses of magical colours,
you will see the truth
behind her beauty and all.

Posted on Poetry Corner on November 11, 2016. Link:

Is beauty truth?

‘Beauty is truth, and truth beauty.’
What about ugliness then?
Is ugliness untruth?
It’s like saying pleasure is truth,
and truth is pleasure.
Is sorrow untruth then?

Sole existence of sensuous pleasure
is a great idea, of course.
How beautiful the world would be
with no death or decay, nor sorrow,
with only love but not hate!

Anyway, could beauty be truth
if truth were stable
and beauty were fragile?

(posted on Poetry Corner on Oct. 27, 2016. Url: