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Nimal Dunuhinga

The Venomous World

Does this narrow road end at the singing river?



“Come, butterfly

It's late-
We've miles to go together.”


                 ― Matsuo Bashō, On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho




Another day

passing the dairy
she comes with a calf,
a bundle of long cut grass
on her head,
scythe in hand
and walks homeward.


The orphan buffalo boy
who smiled behind
Master's herd of buffaloes
Thinks deeply to himself
When will he be able to live together
with her under one roof.


Perhaps the old ferryman's son knows
who takes her hand and crosses the river











And I touched them in my nostalgic dream



For Tom Jones, Singer. Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE, known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer...  

Yes, they all come to meet me, Arms stretching, smiling sweetly, "it's good to touch the green, green grass of home..." 




On the jack-fruit tree

Owl sings the mysterious song of life
in the middle of the night.


Early in the morning
Childless Midwife's love birds chirp
Where's that naughty boy who urinates
into our Madam's rose-bush? 


My brother Lalith, you who tells yarns constantly
the whole day long, you could smile freely.
The faded hopscotch squares on the shifting sand
and how inquisitive I was with my mischievous friends
to watch the beautiful girls and their new pants
when they hopped over the marked squares? 


Poor Mom standing at the clothes-line
searches for stains of cigarette butts
in the hidden pockets of my trousers.
The pond in the temple
carps swim here and there
and the old kind monk
still hangs onto life—by putting a comma next to Nirvana? 


The deaf bell ringer maintains an old friendship
with the cast iron bell,


yet it gives that melancholy sound










The pungent evil flowers




My dear little sister and brother
I don’t see any difference between our tears
Could I borrow your smiles for a while?
And I promise to return them when you're in need of them.


Please be careful when playing in the garden
Cruel landmines hide everywhere
The lunatics have planted them with a tendency of deriving pleasure from watching a river of blood.
Please do not pluck the flowers as nowadays dainty grenades also bloom.
They may call on you to show you Paradise
Please shut yourself safely into a locked place as

they are greedily searching for child soldiers.



*Dedication to the innocent Tamil civilian brotherhood











The Bicycle Thief



Vittorio De Sica. Born into poverty in Sora, Lazio (in either 1901 or 1902—sources are divided), he began his career as a theatre actor in the early 1920s and joined Tatiana Pavlova's theatre company in 1923. In 1933 he founded his own company with his wife Giuditta Rissone and Sergio Tofano. The company performed mostly light comedies, but they also staged plays by Beaumarchais, and worked with famous directors like Luchino Visconti. His meeting with Cesare Zavattini was a very important event: together they created some of the most celebrated films of the neorealistic age, like Sciuscià (Shoeshine) and Ladri di biciclette ('Bicycle Thieves,' released as 'The Bicycle Thief' in the US., both of which De Sica directed.




I have walked more than fifteen miles
As the doctor said to if I want to live long
Walk as much as I can
Almost TIRED and I saw a desperate bicycle at the roadside.
It wasn't locked and when I reached there
This miraculous cycle talked:
'Go ahead! '


I rode home; it was close to midnight.
I stopped on the way to buy a loaf of bread
And a bottle of Aunt Jemima's original syrup.
(My beloved made pancakes for breakfast.)


It wasn't there when I returned from the shop.
I laughed and murmured to myself;
'O my sin has been cancelled already
And I have no regrets anymore,
The total PROFIT goes to you
And is the winner of the race!'



God gives nuts, but he does not crack them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          — Proverb










Who collects the scattered flowers?





When you eat a shark-fin soup

sitting on a Chinese rooftop restaurant

did you see that

ragged orphan boy

at the World's end

drinks muddy water

and his sister just attended the

age of 'puberty' on the road?

Her slim body she sees in a

broken mirror

that is covered with a torn cloth

of a city's political banner?

Be careful my sibling!

The handsome politicians'

boisterous sons fly on the


with their shiny limousines

Who are greedy for fresh flowers

like their gentle fathers?










Earth knows a thousand stories of human sorrow




What a pity?

The candle is burning very fast

and eyes are sleepy

Night crawls as a tortoise.

Hidden thoughts won't come out.

How can I say the whole world

is sleeping?

Some, eagerly counting notes,

quarrel to divide the earth,

sing melodies and elegies,

grumble for their shares and et

cetera., What a ridiculous life this is?

We sing and dance

on our own grave.










On Christmas Eve




Two shot glasses
Sent me to bed early.
I met him
A grey bearded tall guy who
Smiled and introduced himself
as "Allseasons."
And he told me how he had dived
Into deep rivers.

Crocodiles are afraid of human beings

Even as they are fond of its flesh.
In the morning I thought of this strange Santa.








A Poor Snake Charmer's Charming Daughter!





Though she's beautiful
Nobody follows behind her? 


One day in the class room
Literature Teacher asked her to write an essay.


She wrote with a piece of chalk
On the black board; 
'My father has three snakes
Hope, Prosper and Dancer their names.
And when the snakes dance in the market place
Papa is very happy and he brings us sweets and MONEY home.
We have no venom and why does the venomous world
Look at us from a different angle? 


Because of these snakes we get a sound sleep every night
As thieves never jump over our rickety fence. 
And though we eat bread crumbs father never forgets to buy
daily three eggs! 


I dream sometimes that I marry a rich and handsome snake-prince
and my poor father rests on a couch in the palace corner.

Eggheads, Egotism and The Heat of Election

Ready money is Aladdin's lamp.

                           — Lord Byron




The innocent folks' tin roof

shatters from their

sweetened speeches.
They show you the deeds

while holding Aladdin's wonderful

lamp and

They request that you supply fuel

and light up

this mysterious lamp.
But the poor citizens are

all-too-familiar with their

usual limbo.









Let's sing together one fragrant song!





When a Man cries in pain

Please do not ignore him
And if you laugh louder
Just watch outside
As someone may be lamenting
in a corner.
We're Kings and Queens
Mothers and Fathers
Brothers and Sisters
Friends and not Enemies.


The World is one Yard! 
And please do not make barbed wire fences.
Heart is the Religion of all Human beings
And when it is pierced, it is so painful! 
Let sing together hand-in-hand
We must marry each other for good
Ridiculous embargoes, taboos, old kites
We must send to the transparent and tattered sky.
There're only two nations in the precarious World
A Man and a Woman. 

Through these sensitive veins
Vermilion blood rivers flow? 
We purposely make this paradisiacal Earth a living Hell! 


Instead of raging bullets
Attach these harmonious strings to your precious metallic guns
And sing together in a high pitch.


We're Mothers and Fathers,
Brothers and Sisters!










Humble advice from a simpleton to the prodigal son of an old politician




Some artist has taken the trouble to try to picture what it must have been like when Adam and Eve found their dead son Abel in their field. One assumes that neither son came home when they were expected, and Adam went out to search throughout his cultivated fields and pasture and found Abel dead aloing with the the evidence of a fight. He had no idea of where Cain had gone. He appeared here to be holding his chest where his heart should be. And Eve is sobbing uncontrollably like any mother would. I can only wonder why our Jewish author has not seen fit to write even one word about their grief. But all this too becomes very clear once we can all read the original Sumerian documents baked into imperishable brick that describes in great detail the history of Kaen and Abael... 





Please do not squeeze the rainbow

As it is, you won't get those colors.

Why do you pelt the sky in vain

If you should hit the Moon

She would be cracked soon


Let the river flow quietly

And do not try to stop it with your strong fist.

Keep your fantasy kite aside

Until you feel that wind blow.

And do not blame the weather

That can never be changed


Let your athletic father do all miracles

And make sure dear Kaen

That you remain an apprentice


Kings and Queens

Friends, but not enemies

Fences and quarrels are not needed
The World is one Yard





All Poems © 2014-2016 by Nimal Dunuhinga   All rights reserved 

Title. Double click me.

You can read more of Nimal's poems on another page in an earlier issue of The Quiet American, entitled: "The Title Is Smudged."

Title. Double click me.

Title. Double click me.

Title. Double click me.

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