Life On Earth


In Costa Rica, on a sea of flamingoes float the souls
Of a million crustaceans, exoskeleton-crushed
Death ushered by the iron-clutch of beaks.

Dozens of Atlantic salmon swim to the endless currents
In tide formations, unknowing
Of the abyssal depths below their fins.

And on the Hikkaduwa beach, countless turtles
Dawdle to the merciless ocean, deceptively tranquil
And notoriously vengeful, to respond to fate’s call.

On land, a herd of elephants, plod past thickets of wild cinnamon
Through a conservation corridor, hope afloat,
At finding a water hole to quench their thirst.

While in the African savannah, a cheetah’s heart nears explosion,
At the brink of shatter, in the chase of
A wildebeest, battling palpitation, weariness
And the extinction game.

And beneath such vicissitudes of life,
Below a silicate mantle, a Guttenberg discontinuity and the nickel-iron core,
Atlas lies curved in spine, knees apart, palms aloft,
Scapula and clavicle locked to perfect congruence
Holding a ballerina in planetary motion.

As earth, with turquoise tights on
Dances spellbound to a perfect syndrome
Of circadian pirouette.


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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