Counting Serendipity (Post-War Sri Lanka)

Fluttering Sri Lankan flag


Nearly 42 million eye-lanterns
Sharing 46 chromosomes
Walking past 100 different labels and signposts
Of brand names and street graffiti
21 million people sharing a 2500 year history
Playing the numbers game of fate’s odds
Where in 65610 square miles
There is enough room for four ethnicities
Tribesmen, native puritans and purana folk
Even the drifters and the displaced
With no heritage to call home

In this hodge-podge
Of haves and have-nots of identity
There is one hospitable place
An asylum where replicas of 206 bones
– In the asymmetry of two –
Collide in smile, in pidgin and in palm
Where you will find the maiden of peace
Splitting open her two thighs
To greet the pollen of father time
As they collude to impregnate
A child of 22 million – a little girl called freedom
Who can unite every armchair citizen

And in that boundless cosmos
Rests 1001 beautiful Serendib nights
As uncountable numbers of Adams and Eves
Defoliate their fig leaves
And jump on a million filaments of coir
Halving numbers while adding and multiplying love
Till a sudden drop from heaven
De-electrifies two soul mates
To the giddy aftermath of 70 burnt calories
Lighting constellations on irises
As the edges of lips part three inches – from ear to ear
Soaking up the afterglow
Of matter ferried across medium.


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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