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The Flapper Press Poetry Café: The Poetry of Indunil Madhusankha Hewage—Part 2

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

By Annie Newcomer:

The Flapper Press Café is honored to feature the work of poets from around the globe. This week, we are proud to present more poetry from Indunil Madhusankha Hewage.

Indunil Madhusankha Hewage is originally from Sri Lanka and is currently a Doctoral Student and a Graduate Teaching Assistant from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Washington State University. His pastimes include creative writing, philately, numismatics, and photography. Indunil’s literary works have been featured in many international journals and magazines.

Indunil Madhusankha Hewage

We reached out Indunil to ask him about his influences, his work, and what inspires him to write:

FP: Indunil, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you write poetry?

IMH: I am a graduate student from the PhD program in the Department of Mathematics at Washington State University. Even though I am academically involved with Mathematics, I have ardently cherished arts and literature all my life. My creative writing generally intends to celebrate the beauty of nature, to critique cultural and sociopolitical issues, as well as to explore miscellaneous facets of the human spirit. I am of the view that all forms of art—including poetry, portraiture, and photography—are intricately connected and complement one another, thus endowing the spectator with a nourishing experience.

FP: Please tell us about your influences, favorite poets, authors, etc., and why.

IMH: I have been prodigiously inspired by the writings of such great English poets as William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, W. B. Yeats, and Wilfred Owen. I am simply amazed by their exquisite workmanship, the universal appeal of thematic choices, and the timeless nature of the work of these literary giants. In fact, there are many other great writers around the world, both contemporary and past, whose works have had a considerable influence on my writing.


I am Scared of the Night

(Previously published in Tuck Magazine on 13th October, 2015)

As the dusk creeps

through the summit

the once luscious sun

dips below the rocky mounts

And flocks of birds soar away

weaving intricate patterns

in the grayish sky

Thus the goddess of darkness,

the night

wielding her power

right throughout

while the crickets creak

in their shrill monotonic tune

Hovering round a towering tree

the giant bats

striking their huge wings

with the ghostly shadows

that look like gothic spectres

The stagnant silence long – standing

A silence that has diverse faces

A silence that prickles the souls

immersed in deep sleep

A silence that makes me scared of the night

About the Poem: From the days of yore, countless poets have been enamored of the splendor of a star-studded night sky; but for me, the night is somewhat of a scary time.


He Is a Fisherman

(Previously published in the international anthology of poetry “Temptation” by Lost Tower Publications on 18th January, 2016)

He is a fisherman,

shrewd and seasoned

He has a line

with a workable bait,

the bait of love

rich with ostentatious gesticulations

and highly appealing flirtations

He uses it to catch the fish

that falls easy prey

to the jazzy beauty and

vitality of the bait

He, then, greedily gulps down the flesh of the fish


Leaving the skeleton alone,

the fisherman goes in search of another fish,

pretty with iridescent fangs

About the Poem: This poem is about those lascivious men who make friends with women only to quench their carnal thirst and abandon them afterwards.


Wake Up and Shout Out!

(In protest of the incident of a five-year-old girl being mercilessly assassinated after a brutal sexual harassment on September 12th, 2015, in the Kotadeniyawa area of Sri Lanka. Published in the 2016 October issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly.)

She was just five

Now reclining mutely inside

the wooden box

lost in a deep siesta

All day long she would

sprint here and there

in the compound

Stalking with her hands clasped together

to catch the butterflies

that were buzzing around

the flowery bushes

Or she would cook some sand rice

using a coconut shelf as a mould

and urge her mother to eat them

While jumping from square to square

sketched in the courtyard

she would incessantly blabber

some lines of songs

that she heard playing on the radio

Such a chatterbox

sleeping long in the daytime

without muttering a word

No, no way,

She must be masquerading as asleep

just to act fool with her mother

How could her tiny childish thighs bear it?

Perhaps she screamed

while cold tears poured down

her fresh rosy cheeks

And then, there was this noose

made out of a strip of cloth

that tightened around her slender neck

Oh, little girl,

You can’t vanish into the soil like that

Wake up from sleep,

march along the streets

and shout out

for the sake of your sisters!

About the Poem: This poem expresses profound condemnation against the sexual abuse and ruthless murder of a five-year-old girl in 2015 that triggered an avalanche of protests nationwide.


It Is a Laborious Climb!

I am yet at its very foot

Tangled in a brown study

The very start itself seems so throbbing

I can clearly see its crystal crest though

Shimmering with the sun’s silvery rays

Peeking from behind the lofty summit

The scene is so pious and enthralling

I just yearn to plunge to the very pinnacle

At an instantaneous jump

Alas, I am still at its very base

It is a long laborious journey ahead

The end is the perpetual bliss of emancipation

The climb is quite chaotic and exacting

I will never give up though

I should begin now and go ahead

Of course, it is better to be late than never

About the Poem: The ultimate goal of every Buddhist is to become enlightened and attain nirvana—a transcendental state of mind that is the most supreme of all freedom and happiness. However, reaching nirvana is an arduous endeavor—it necessitates an intense level of patience, sacrifice, and the renouncement of all worldly pleasures.


FlapperPress launches the Flapper Press Poetry Café.

Presenting a wide range of poetry with a mission to promote a love and understanding of poetry for all. We welcome submissions for compelling poetry and look forward to publishing and supporting your creative endeavors. Submissions may also be considered for the Pushcart Prize.

Submission Guidelines:

1. Share at least three (3) poems

2. Include a short bio of 50–100 words, written in the third person.

(Plus any website and links.)

3. Share a brief backstory on each submitted poem

4. Submit an Author's photo and any images you want to include with the poems

5. Send all submissions and questions to:

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