Category Archives: photography

An ode to the sky VIII

“When we look up, it widens our horizons.  We see what a little speck we are in the universe, so insignificant, and we all take ourselves so seriously, but in the sky, there are no boundaries.  No differences of caste or religion or race.”  ~Julia Gregson

The WFR team never expected that “an ode to the sky” could widen our horizons so much (literally!). Teammate Shailee said it best: “I was just thinking that, how we never took much time to notice the sky before. But now, the shades, the colors, the beauty of it; we see it all.”

We’re grateful to our friends who are as besotted with the sky as we are, for providing an awesome array of photographs and captions. For the first time ever, we have poems written in Sinhala as captions(and we wish we had Tamil ones too). Those poems reminded us once more of Nelson Mandela’s quote that “

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Let the results speak for themselves…

You don’t need to be a Christian
To love the silence of a church
You don’t need to be a Buddhist
To love the calmness of a temple

You don’t need to be someone
To love something
You can be anyone
And love anything
Poem by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya 
Photo by Rochelle Silva @ Galle

The sky must be looking the same over there,

 Where I used to look out from the balcony.
Summer must be raging still somewhere,
 To the tune of a forgotten symphony.
Funny, I never felt the sky was different,
As I often looked up from the lawn:
 “But it wasn’t YOUR country,” most go on to moan..
 “It’s NOT?” I ask them…
HOW could it not be mine?
Spreading across a Delhi Summer,
 trust me it all was the same, and MINE.

Poem by Priyangwada Perera

Photo by Areeba Haroon @ Udawalave

Beyond the dark leaves,
Branches and their shadows
Beyond the blue skies
So blue, they seem black
Beyond the clouds,
Beyond it all
Lies nothing
And lies everything
There, you are who you are
You are nothing but a person
And your thoughts, your opinions
Your beliefs,
They don’t matter,
And beyond the blue skies,
People love,
People accept
People tolerate
Beyond the skies,
There is nothing
And there is everything
And there is peace
Poem and photo by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya @ Panadura

Born in the darkness
Raised with a soul
Seen by the world
As a faint blur
No one to guide through
This pitch darkness
It seems to be like
Witching hour is up

Through the dark clouds
Something could be seen
It is a ray of light
Beaming on the world
The darkness is banished
The world happy again
Thank you Almighty God
For listening to our prayers
Poem by : Vijini Mallawaarachchi
 The photograph is the property of UmbraDeNoapte-Stock( and has been used with his direct permission.

Galle: a beautiful city of cobbled streets and ancient buildings bordered by the crystal clear Indian ocean. It is also home to this Sri Lankan flag fluttering in the breeze atop a rampart that has withstood the test of time. True, it IS a Dutch fort, but we mustn’t forget all the heroes who made this sight possible. Gaining independence in 1948 was a result of the combined efforts of Sinhalese leaders such as D.S.Senanayake and Anagarika Dharmapala, Tamil leaders such as Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam and Muslim leaders such as M.C.Siddhi Lebbe and T.B. Jaya. To me, it was an instance when the segregated communities of Sri Lanka came forward to work for the same goal; an incident that we can emulate.
Caption and photo by Rochelle Silva @ Galle

In forgotten oceans
And greying skies
Lies the truth
All humans seek
But we are too busy
And so look away
From the crashing waves
That the heavens
Peek through the clouds
Allowing a glimpse of
The promised paradise
We don’t notice
Instead of looking
We walk away
And as unhuman
As they are
It is the dog, bird, animal
That chooses to stay
For their eyes,
They seek no color
Instead the truth
The skies offer
Poem by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Photo by Ayodhya Karunaratne @ Negombo

The spotted dove or the “Kobeiya” is not always considered beautiful, due to its dull color. This is especially so, when the spotted dove is compared to the white dove, the symbol of peace. We tend to always assume the symbol is the only thing with beauty, that the utopia we all keep looking for is full of white doves. Yet, sometimes, there is beauty in the absence of complete peace. Sri Lanka may not have white doves flying around, yet, the spotted dove, with its quiet existence, does make our island beautiful.
Caption and photo by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya @ Panadura

The sinking sun
Marks the end of day
But night is yet to come
As the sky impersonates
An artist’s canvas
We all say a silent prayer
For with darkness
Comes out the evil forces
Of hate, lust and anger
Yet, the eeriness
The night brings out
Is pushed away
By that smile you
Hadn’t seen
For months
It is the love of parent,
Sibling or friend
It is love
In its purest form
Full of innocence
That makes the night safer
And as the sun sets,
We can all worry less
For goodness prevails
Or so we can believe
Poem by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Photo by Sharuka Wickrama Adittiya @ Marine Drive, Colombo

අහසක් එක සේ ඇත අප සැමටම
එත් එය දෙස බලා එකමුතු කම
දැකිය නොහැක අද අපට
අපගේ වෙනස් කම්
සුලු වුවද බොහෝ
ඒවා නිසා
අප අතර ඇත්තේ
සුලු පටු දුරක් නොව
එක් කෙනෙකු
අනෙකුට කරන්නේ
සහෝදර සහෝදරියෝ
එසේද ආදරය
අත්ලට අත්ල තබා
සමාව දිය යුතුය
එසේය නැවතත් අහසේ
එකමුතුකම දැකිය හැක්කේ
අප අතර
Poem by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya 
Photo by Areeba Haroon @ Udawalave

The moon was once there
No matter how dark was my world
The clouds of pain didn’t dare
Enter the love’s fold
No doubt it was a starless sky
But trust me,
it wasn’t scary or shy:
The gloom, the dark, I didn’t care,
In my sky, the moon was there

Poem by Priyangwada Perera
Photo by Kevin Fernando

අහස කියයි රහසක් පොළොවට,
“මම නුඹට ආදරෙයි,
 සැම දේටමත් වඩා,
 නුඹ වෙනුවෙන් කරන්නට බැරි දෙයක්,
 නැත්තේය මට කිසිමදා.”
වැසි වැටී පොළොව තෙත් කර,
 ගම් නියම් ගම් සරුසාර කර,
 නැවත යයි උඩුගුවන දෙසටම,
 වැටෙනු වස් පොළොවට සැනෙකින්,
නොවද මෙය චක්‍රයක්?
 මහ පුදුම ආදරයක්?

අහස පොළොවට කියූ වදන්ම,
කියයි නුඹ මට ආදරෙන්,
අහස හා පොලොව සේ සබඳ,
අපි දුරයි ජාතියෙන්,
අපි දුරයි ආගමෙන්,
හදවතින් අපි එක්වුන මුත්…

Poem by: Anonymous

Photo by Areeba Haroon @ Udawalave

නොදන්නා අයෙක්
අපගේ මිතුරකු වන්නේ
ජාතිය හෝ
අගම හෝ කුලය
නිසා නොව
ඔහුගේ ගුණ යහපත් කම
මිනිසා විසින් සාදා ගෙන ඇති
හේතුවක්, තේරුමක් නැති
භේධ නිසා
කී දෙනෙක්
මිතුරන් නොවී
සතුරන් බවට
පත්වෙන්නට ඇත්ද?
අපට අහස දෙස බලා
“ඔය එක් ජාතියකට
අයත් සඳය,
ඔය එක් ආගමකට
අයත් වලා කුලුය”
යයි කිව නොහැකිය
ජාතියක්, ආගමක්
දිය නොහැක
දිය යුතුද නැත
Poem by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Photo by Rochelle Silva @ Colombo


Ode to the Sky VII

Wow! How time flies when you are planning your next few posts! Gosh, I must say that I’m amazed that we could get this far with our series of Odes to the Sky, and trust me there’ll be more to come in future! As I told my friends on the WFR Team : The sky has been shared by beings for millions of years, human and otherwise, and even beyond our beautiful blue planet, there is beauty. Beauty that only an artist can create. And when photography meets technology, a riot of wonders takes place, filling the soul as it has never been filled before. Here is a mix of digital art, poetry, prose and photography about the ancient, distant sky.
So yes viewers, this ode is a package in itself! Just sit back….and enjoy.

So this particular post shows off the differences in art today, and how diverse it is. The difference between reality and fantasy has been blurred thanks to digital art software. Amazing photographers capture moments no painter can ever dream of capturing with his brush or graphic tablet. Writers live to capture life and feeling in their words. And, when the feeling is love, and when love is for the vast immortal roof above all mankind, well…:)

Image credits go to Christos Lamprianidis: http://chris- and was used with his direct permission.
Or else, check out more at-
Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Oceanus, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the ships with the armor that the god had given her.
—Iliad xix.1
But soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, then gathered the folk about the pyre of glorious Hector.
—Iliad xxiv.776

The Iliad, by Homer

Image credits go to:

and was used with her direct permission
Poem by: Vasika Udurawane
The light shone
Bright in our eyes,
Bringing forth wonders!
The Savior had heard me,
My prayers ringing hard,
Like bells from eons ago,
The Lord descends as a being of flight,
Descends as a Bird of Peace and Right,
For the world He heals with angelic eyes,
From wild blue yonder,
To heart of mine.

Image credits go to myself, Vasika Udurawane: ostrommaysorum-392428724 and will not be used without my direct permission

Prose by: Vasika Udurawane


Ophelia flexed her muscular limbs once more, cramped from siting in her favorite hole in the deep snow that covered the once-leaf-strewn floor of the birch forest. Her orange eyes were like fires against the cold darkness that was all around her.  And she wondered how she knew it too…had some primal force more powerful and omniscient in this forest than herself, stuck into her mind that she should know the seasons back to front? Or had she somehow got it into her head that winter, while hard, was still radiant in all its hues?
The goddess of the forests for years and years, Ophelia prided herself as the taker of all life but every time she looked at the glory around her….she felt less powerful. Was there something above her head that was by far stronger than the eighty-foot behemoths she sometimes hunted? Something that could strike her down with a mere breath, fearing neither her curved claws nor her brutal, snapping jaws?

Walking onward, and stifling a yawn, Ophelia paused.

There was fire in the skies around her.

The vermilion richness of the mountainous clouds around her seemed to caress her senses as she gazed out into the countryside. This was home, this was the power around her. In her mind, Ophelia heard herself hiss in laughter….in laughter at the things she would never ever know.


                                                       Image credits go to: Marc Adamus
                     ( and has been used with his direct permission.
-in Ogilive, Yukon Territory
Poem by: Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
As he held the king coconut
Against the orange skies
He was reminded of his
Little sister
The same shade of orange
She had loved to wear
Dresses and hair bands
So bright
Yet so simple
That same orange,
He had later seen
In the midst of the fire
That burned the corpse
As he said good bye to his sister
For the very last time
He fought away the tears
As the orange reminded him
Of what once was
Of what had been snatched away
From him
She had been just another number
Just another victim of war
And yet,
He knew it wasn’t just
Another death
The country, the world
Had lost an angel
And for that,
The rivers and the heavens

Image credits go to: Ayodhya Karunaratne

Poem by: Vijini Mallawaarachchi
-in Negombo, Sri Lanka
“Over the sparkling white waves
Towards the mystic oceans
Seeking the never ending horizons
Exploring the deep…
We go on voyage
Under the velvet blue sky
Exploiting mystic dark fathoms
Beyond our eyes…
We go on a ship
Sailing round the world
On seven seas
Passing through storms
Gazing at the deep
Furious waves
We keep on sailing
Till we find sun shine…
Life is like a voyage
Beyond vicinity
This is an amazing
Odyssey of sailing
In oceans of fantasy…”

Image credits go to: Marc Adamus

( and has been used with his direct permission.
Poem by: Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
One held the Bombai motai against the sky
And smiled at the blend of colors
The other looked through the red glass paper
Laughed when her world turned a red pink
Mere kids, they were
Sitting on the wall
Barefoot, clothes dirty
They were happy though
For worries, they had none
Except if the clouds
Tasted sweet too
And so when the world turned over
They didn’t understand why
It seemed like a sheet of grey
Glass paper had been placed before their eyes
Everything, so dark, so eerie
Their smiles slowly faded,
The Bombai motai left untouched
Their place on the wall empty
For like the pink skies
They were gone too”

Image credits go to: Amrita Pieris

Poem by: Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
-in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Love doesn’t make sense,
And neither does hate,
And yet we love,
And we hate
We give life
We take life
And we go on
We think it all makes sense
Why one group is a majority
And the other a minority
It’s all about the numbers
And nothing else
I feel like telling them
But their beliefs
Ah! Can they be changed?
It’s an adult thing,
It seems
To think they are
Never in the wrong
And so they believe
They are better than the rest
And I,
I believe that,
Against the pink-purple skies
Pigs will someday fly