Here in Kohuwala,
Everything is changing, like the constant flux of the ocean
The once thriving grocer is like Jonah
Now hidden inside the belly of a gargantuan Keels
Paying penance inside the whale’s tummy.
And the newspaper man who used
To sell near the junction is now battling
The invisible electronic waves that cascade
With no mercy.

And all the while, I see the shoe restorer
Battling away with a wooly-mammoth size
Needle and a tough reel of thread
To stitch the soles that unhinged to time.
He still has a smile on his face, charges
One 100 rupee note and makes honesty blush
At the steadfastness of his labor

And life is like that.
We have change, as merciless as God
Was to Jonah, and we have the immovable
Seated on a stool, at the very corner of town.
And beauty lies not just in mammoth structures
Or the display boards on top of revolving doors
It too is there is an anxious smile that conceals
The levies of modernism.

Kohuwala is no Nineveh,
Just a town with a beautiful equilibrium
Of the past undulating to the present
And the future prostrating
To an indispensable yesteryear.


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. wordpress.com/

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