Sam – What’s In a Name….


If one is called Sami, in Islam
You’re an elevated one of sublimity
And if you’re Sammy, you’re a shorter version
Of Samuel, the biblical giant with long tresses
Who surrendered it all to Delilah
A woman with a pair of scissors in her hand.

And if you’re plain old Sam
You’re a son of that uncle who looms
Large and mighty, and makes
A little green card a sought-after ticket
To be airfreighted or smuggled across.

And Sam here is Sampath, like my uncle
Who makes an honest living from Agriculture
Or the saxophonist at Grand Oriental Hotel
Who’s nicknamed “Sam the Man”

Sampath means a treasure or a resource
And in that one word, there is a bonanza of life
Sam to me is love, the most precious
Element on earth that stays unsymbolized
Except for a perfectly symmetrical yam leaf

And we look at a leaf of Ipomoea batatas
Calling it a heart. And it’s a sweet potato
Which tells us, love too is sweet and yellow
Like the journeying sun from the east to the west

And love has everything Sam in it.
– Elevation, fortune and a united state –
And that heart-shaped yam leaf reminds you
That what matters is not what’s out in the open
Just the sweetness below.


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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