Swan-ing

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When we were small
We learnt about the fairy tale of the ugly duckling
And I too was one – too shy, too cowardly, too mindful
To ever dance to the rhythm of the heart
And yet they say that the sinews will muscle up, pin feathers will bloom
And the duckling will become a swan
That will master the float and the flutter
In a breathtaking white garment
That will glitter in an arras of a million lucid droplets.
And I too became that swan, a lone duckling
Till the twilight of a protracted summer,
When I finally mustered enough courage
And spine-steel, to make love, a little adventure.
A swan’s tale that no Hans Christian Anderson penning
Can ever dwarf or crush. She was a pen
Who became my muse, a woman
Of outer mystique, with a vermillion beak
And an oblong neck, who with an open heart
Saw beneath the façade of my hideous
Untouched cadaver of flesh, and made
A lantern with my heart. A pen
That wrote my life script – an unlikely fairytale
Of a duckling that learnt how to be a swan.
One day, the fairy tale will abide, to a song of fade and wilt
And there are no black swans to a swan song
Just a still-graceful white swan
With rigid stiffened wings who finally forgot how to fly.
At that instant, I will only remember “love”
The beautiful black swan that climbed inside my heart
To dye my flesh and bleach my skin.

Note: The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.

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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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