Turn it on

Turn on the light that reveals

beauty’s faces in a world of ugliness

and death that shrinks life to darkness

and closes the heart’s joyful gaze.


Turn it on in all it colours and forms

so that the many shapes and shades

and shifts of being human can open

out to the world and unlock the closed

hearts of grief to the beauty that

still remains wondrous and full.


Defy the darkness in its cruel forms and

light the lantern’s flame of hope eternal

so that all of us can see the faces, see

the tears, see with awe a world alight

in which beauty remains with pain.


For Sri Lanka