I see a scraggy wara bush
pushing its way out of a cranny
in a boulder. I see the neem trees
shaking gracefully in the breeze—
    this landscape so like mine!
    my blood pulsates loudly;
the land of the Buddhas,
where Sakyamuni Gautama sojourned
for forty nine years, over plain and hill.
I, the seed of a tree planted firm
in this land, cast away by the sea
on a green isle, blown away like a wara flower,
sprouted on a neighboring land,
now yearn for that mother tree,
the roots from which I sprung.

Where are they, my kith and kin?
the main stream is here
that river hidden
by the overgrowth of time and the oblivion
of long dark centuries—

Did that earliest forebear
when he broke away,
take ship with Vijaya, and his rapacious band?
and seek adventure in the copper isle?
was he plunderer, navigator, or attendant lord?
or was she, a member of the retinue,
that followed Sangamitta, with the offshoot
of the Sacred Bodhi tree?
faithful, ardent, to take the new message,
of Compassion and Wisdom, metta and pragna
    to a wild barbaric land,
    where the soft, spotted deer
    was hunted to please the palate
  of a furious, hunter king?

Or did he/she come, in the interim
as trader, diplomat, tourist, friend,
lover or wife,
and fall in love with paradise
and stay behind to beget a new line?

Or did he/she accompany the royal princesses
from Madurai, chosen to wed the Sinhala Kings,
an attendant lord (lady) of an attendant lord (lady)
and henceforth encouraged to marry a local maiden (youth)?

The spores that sped with the wind
took firm root on the lush soil
in Lanka, where the sun shines eternal,
and flowered and bore fruit
    fruits of the mother tree, seeds germinated
    from the old seeds, trees of one genealogy,
    one bloodline, running through the centuries.

Kamala Wijeratne