Entering from near a giant clown’s vigil
Parents and children gather
In front of a candle-lit birthday cake
Party hats on and singing a choral psalm of celebration
While behind the counter
You see workers in red and white stripes
Working around the clock
Barbecuing patties, heating bread buns and frying French fries
Even pinching a bit of salt
And serving a happy meal with a fizzy red soda
Produced from grape essence

They say there are also pilgrims
Who come each Sabbath eve
To worship larger than life mascots
Near a counter lit with incense candles
Where a few hundred rupee donations
Relinquishes some bread and grape-juice
In the celebration of supper
Where chants are imparted by the gathering
In song and praise
For the offering of a brief repast

And if you look close enough
Through the magnifying glass of objectivity
You will find a theocratic church
With open doors and welcoming arms
Serving a quarter pounder as a banquet
Providing a pinch of happiness
To millions of her faithful

And a plutocratic multinational
With a director at the helm
Serving fast food and alcohol
To nourish the inner hunger and thirst
Of her loyal customers
For a mere episode of a few hours

In these paradoxical fogs
Of monotheism and capitalism
There are the people
Who flock for a simple meal
Unknowing that the true source of happiness
Is found in the collective strength
Of their congregation
And not in the tongue-lunge or tongue-wrap
Of a tender bite of bread.


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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