Chess

chess-game-free-photo

Through the patchwork earth
Of a chess board, I gnaw the rope of life
Black death – Yersinia pestis – soots through
My veins, graphite inside my heart
And I like my own king, standing my ground
Too proud to ask for help

And then I’m castled by the rooks
My parents telling me to see a psychologist
To yarn those tales of my mind
Those threads that weave intricate cobwebs
And leave me grasping a thread-terminal
Like a spider hanging on for his life

And then he appears with a halo, a white lighter
Who will weed-out my darkness
And he glows from afar – the white knight
Who will make L-shaped jumps
And make a pole-vaulter or a steeplechaser
Out of my wretched life

And then I look at my queen, seated with me
Like a goddess with magic in her body
Who takes me to heaven and back
And when I think of all the times I’ve moved
In like a pawn on her lush lips
I can’t help but wonder how lucky I am

And the white knight listens to all my woes
And sends me back with a prescription for life
Cut down on ambition and accept the small things
Like the pieces of chess that matter more
Than checkmates of glory

And I go back to my world of small figurines
And a black and white board they fill out

Seemingly life is perfect with my Alekhine’s gun
Two rooks and queen, I call family.

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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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