The Asian Poet

girl_in_muyuan_in_jiangxi

I read the bantam, the fly weights
Of those who define poetic verses and the trade

With the western-subjective eye. The beholder’s beauty,
Rows of tall maize plants that possess

A single trick in photosynthesis, calling themselves the taller ones
In stature, the tall fellows to the shorter Asian.

They coronate themselves with trinket crowns
Tattooing their intellects with glory marks

Yet some poets, are not merely fluff balls
In the wind, or pus cells in a chronicled body of works

Poetry is just a whirlwind tornado of the lexicon
Deracinating the mid-western bowls of Maize

What the Americans call corn – the origin of chips and syrup
And the American poem is a study in itself

The stars and the stripes, the mighty dreams
And the long incarcerations of American ink.

Poetry transcends a yankee’s doodle, it is pure craftsmanship
Of the third eye that few dream of, or attain

And maize, is a collection of yellow colored kernels
On cobs, that the Yankees devour, unknowing

We too have rice fields in our hearts. We don’t just
Eat our rice, we orchestrate mandibles and maxillas

To an operatic explosion of flavor. Pilaf and biryani
Jade and sticky rice are our main dishes

And every little ball of rice snowballs a verse or two
In to a full tummy, when parsimony tells

You not to look any further. Poetry to the reader, is a stereo-ocular
Manifestation of a tapestry of teleological verses.

And beauty, is an overcrowded third eye, when rods and cones
Of stardust become relay stations

To transmit the Asian poem, from rice fields
To filled tummies. Rice will always be a staple

To sedge hats and chopsticks, even the ceramic bowls
That feed rice. And through this staple we become

Nourished of what is uniquely ours. A heritage of
A little chalky grains that only know how to feed.

An inheritance of muddy floors and excess rain
And a little crop that fills expectations

One rice bowl at a time.

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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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