Paradise Regained?

Could I tell you there were roads paved of blood

Leading south……….

As the wind howled at the slaughter of life

Could I tell you there were rampages

And genocides in the call of freedom

Of logs of flesh floating downwind

And sinking to anonymity

 ……………..

Could I tell you there were monsoons of bullets

Falling from over yonder

Could I tell you that a land of no partitions – of color or creed

Was polluted by invisible stripes

And ominous whiskers

Could I tell you there was Yama’s shadow

Behind the aura of chameleons

Could I tell you that there were quadriplegics

Searching for a shift of one inch

Could I tell you there were kites with threads

Yet no feet to run with

Could I tell you there were miniature coffins

And unnamed tombstones

In the heartland of kings and queens

 ………………..

Could I tell you there were tooth brushes

With radiating cobwebs

Could I tell you there were whole night vigils

Under planks of bed timber

Could I tell you there were tears percolating

In front of a lonely mirror

Or on the empty side of a bed

 ……………..

Could I tell you………

There were wombs and tombs – side by side

In a world absent of to-be fathers

Could I tell you no citizen could sleep a wink

Oblivious to the world around

Could I tell you that one fragmented motherland was worth

Than a generation of youth

 …………………

Could I tell you that armchair cartographers

Were mightier than peace-brokers

Could I tell you of the crimson tide of enmity

And the soot-black clouds of agony

Could I tell you that kismet diluted

As hostility concentrated

Could I tell you that the bullet was mightier

Than the pen or the ballot

Could I tell you we woke up to sirens

And slept with a rosary underneath our pillows

Could I tell you that cold frosted hearts

Were plastered by the cement of apathy

 ……………….

Could I tell you a nation lost her heartbeat

For a whole 26 years

Could I tell you Eden was lost

And a makeshift paradise regained

Could I tell you history can never be erased

Or legacies forever forgotten

 ……………..

Can I tell you we need to gaze at each other

Through windows of empathy

And pummel all fossils of memory

With the head of a sledge hammer

Can I tell you there is no genie or god

Just 22 million consciences

Waiting to forgive – each other………..

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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. wordpress.com/

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