No Longer Blind (Jaffna on Google Maps)


The mapless is now the mapped
The frontier has now been trekked
By man and machine
Where in those sweet words of “Go Ogle”
You have a microscopic view
Of one macrocosm – left behind
Where once dirty oil-laden sweat droplets
Trickled down trigger fingers
As on both sides of the divide
Lives were deracinated – top soil too unearthed
As witnessed on wind-damaged Asbestos
And bullet perforated walls

And in the winter chill
Of Toronto, an old man and a little child
Ogle through Google Maps
To see the warmth of familiarity
And the awe of a strange heritage
Where two generations broken
By one wall of blood
Gaze knowing what is seen through
Technology, is just a glimpse
Of what the heart grasped or can smother
After all while eyes fleet and tear
The heart skips in an arrhythmia
Or a palpitation, where love can be found
In mudslides crashing by limestone
When there is a monsoon inside – and on the out
When a gale blows through
In chilly nostalgia
And rain falls intermittently
In drizzling saudade.


Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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