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