Lent

rosary01

I’m not a lent man. Asking me to fast
Or not pour down fizz drinks is asking too much.
Tea and beer though, both drinks on the fringes of bitter,
I would give up. So what makes us passionate
About some things, while we readily give up on others.
I don’t know, but let me tell me you a little thing or two.

Beer, malted barley
Flavored with hops, flowers which look from a distance
Like custard apples or giant seedless strawberries,
Doesn’t make my taste buds go into delirium
Or do a little dance on stage of the tongue.
So I would gladly give that up. And tea,
The aroma, the slightly bitter taste and the dryness
Makes me no fan of this Colonial beverage.
Aspartame-sweetened, caffeine-powered mountain dew
And coca cola though, do make me run to the supermarket
And buy a can or bottle. My sweet tooth, it seems,
Is mightier than my need for a cuppa or alcohol
And that’s is one luxury I cannot spare.

We give up for two things
To preserve ourselves, like
When we abstain from a dangerous practice
Or as a custom or ritual – when we follow
A cultural trend or a Kantian absolute
And that is how humans work. And the memory
Of Jesus alone in the dessert, tempted by the devil
Makes me shudder. Then I look at people
Giving up rituals in the name of religion
Food, beverages, or even sex and I think;
It’s truly amazing what 40 days in a calendar can do…

Lent is a journey from ashes to easter eggs
From mortality to divine life.
And only in the season sandwiched between the two
Does man torment himself with self-denial
And learns the art of what it is
To be unworthy of little pleasures.
Pleasures that become larger with time
When you feel a hand inside of you
Guiding you to the refrigerator
Or the nearest KFC.

And Lent will pass, the waistline will reduce
Diabetes will be delayed and a man
Will look at the duel between yearning
And surrender, and glow like the full moon,
Knowing self-denial is a path of self-discovery
How one finds springs of patience
You never thought you had. Sometimes
We find ourselves in lent. How undependent
We are on the customs of the flesh.

Still lent is a decision.
To do or not to do and it is upon man
To deprive his body or not. Not doing
Doesn’t make him any less a Christian.
Still if you do fast, do remember that
You’re not doing it for god or for Jesus
Or for some dire practice echoed in sermons
You’re only doing it for yourself
To find the bigger man inside of you.

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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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