At an alter of a run-down abandoned church

On the marble throne of Jesus’s perch

Where death marked the coronation of a king

Born again from a right-mortal fling


Gazing at the cross that haunts the heart

A crucifix and her shadow on a wall of sculpted art

Where he rests arms in the fullest span

Hung on timber to the wrath of sinful man


I look back at the haunting spaces of an empty nave

Where are thou cowards ? are you lost to the sinner’s wave

Did you hear a voice or hide beneath a whale’s breadth?

Haunted by a crucifix or was it merely the fate of Jesus’s breath


Like the tumbling waves that end in a frothy broth

Like a flickering flame and a brittle suicidal moth

Like the man with the cape sleeping on a kryptonite bed

I was haunted by the umbra of falling down the sinner’s ledge


The heart a rocking boat unsteady in doubt

The feet mere rocking chairs impatient down south

Caught between Jonah and Jesus in these decadent times

Sin lingers on the hooks of temptation’s fishing lines


I danced and danced as she sang in serial moans

She a concubine and I was simply one of those mortal clones

Sex was my disease, and she was my liberating pill

Overdosing on Mary Magdalene, in the absence of the power of will


I knew a woman’s span like a blind man in the dark

I searched for transient salvation in my mortal masks

As I dropped the cross and nailed myself to a bed

And on a quilt made of feathers, every feather I shed


God, do you see me, amidst the miasma of mortal sin

God, do you see me, the dust beneath the wind

God, search for me amidst the shadows of hell

Before I’m fed down a black hole to the gates of hell


Oh Jonah, did the flames of your conscience finally dim ?

Oh Jonah, did you play with the mermaids where the whales swim?

Oh Jonah, could you see in the darkness of Moby Dick?

Or did you find yourself out there; a child sculpted of mortal brick


Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld.

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