Growing Up

growing-up

Your spring.
When you can’t choose the flowers
From the color, name, height of the stalk
Or how broad the petals are. You choose in the sodden dark,
The road taken, with no forewarning, no meteorology forecasts
No compasses, only the chemicals that dance
Stringing you to a Punch and Judy show.

And we were not taught sex education in school
Till we were 16. There were no puppets or socked hands
There were no books written by experts on the subject.
We had to wade in to the ocean
Just like a hatched turtle did, and yet we were ready
Just as fate was for the billowing waves,
The undulating currents. We were the drift wood.

We were only taught catholic doctrine.
The testaments and how the Pentecost was coming of age
How the holy ghost gave the apostles tongues
And flames. And we too found our tongues
And flames and mastered their fusion.
Of how the holy ghost is summoned through
The eye, to the heart, and how the chamber called the heart
Makes the lips lunge and grope,
Of how we practiced in front of the mirrors
Incarnated on a 17 year old lass’s lips.

And it was love, it was an expanse so big
There were no places to describe it, no ocean
Or no galaxy, just infinity carrying you
Until you fall off the ledge, and still you are half strung
To the dipping hormones and the curvature
That keeps getting bigger.

And then we learned that the holy ghost
Made us free and go to the world.
Knowing that there were no bibles to life.
Just an invisible power that holds you with an iron’s grip
And takes you to every rock terrace, every shipwreck
And every lighthouse. And you’re the conquistador
Powered by the spirit, learning that the new world
Is beautiful.

And it only took three ships to find the new world,
Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. The holy trinity
Of heart, mind and flesh making decisions for you.
Not always in the same order. And there were avocados
And bananas in the new world
Yet you know you could only taste one.

Life we learnt is about choice. And the most expensive one
Rules the others. When it’s not about just a kiss.
But how the windpipes and plumbing
Coming to tune to the heart’s reign.
When you realize that love is a beatitude
Of the cryptic nature of chemistry, making the body
Cry out in ecstasy.

[Love that beautiful beatitude]

Blessed are those who mourn, for they are being comforted.

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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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