Orchestra

Orchestra

Your body is an orchestra.

In the middle you have a percussionist.
The heart with open valves bloating like
A helium balloon and pumping
To let oxygenated blood flow down the aorta.
That is what keeps man on his toes.
The live-wire, elan vital, the keeper
Of the flame.

And above the diaphragm, you find two
Porous cheesy angel wings. We know them
As lungs. This is where you perform gas exchange,
When inhaled oxygen is ferried across
To the blood stream, in exchange for a good dose
Of carbonated gas. The wind in the windpipes
Is what makes this troupe truly woodwind.

And on the right side, you have the detox center
Filling with metallic ions – cadmium, lead and nickel.
A place where metals are purified and given
A detox. This is the locality where
Bailey’s Irish Cream and Morgan’s Spiced Rum are made
Into little innocuous products by a brass entourage, detoxing
An old-fashioned guzzler.

Down below you have the bean-shaped strings.
Strings of nephrons packed together
To form two kidneys that excrete urea
And uric acids, to cleanse the body
Of pollutants and decay products,
Plucking the water out through
Convoluted tubes and secreting a little cocktail
Of potassium from a monkey plantain
You gulped down at breakfast.

And in this orchestra, no player is less significant
Than the other. They work miraculously
Together, to play an opus called life.
What keeps man from being a carcass,
A lifeless piece of music-proof protein on bone.

And this orchestra keeps track of
Little percussion moments
When palpitation bangs like a gong
Or when a round of tequila
Salts a little sequence of memories
Or when a little cigarette bites into a little cheesy crater
Like a house mouse does, or even
When a coke is guzzled to the last drop
To hydrate, on a scorching summer day.

And life is what we do with it.
What tunes we play with that orchestra.
The waltzes of love and the oratorios of faith,
The marches of time and the symphonies of dreams.
And every tune will be finely articulated
By every tap, pluck, wind and whistle.

We are only as mellifluous
As the melodies we play, as we make
Our feelings jump an octave.
We are only as alive as the octaves we ascend
The cadences we bridge, the staccatos we accentuate
And the scales we rise to. Life will always be
A euphony of musical notes we play,
As we learn the hymns of our inner self,

When songs of innocence transform
To songs of experience.

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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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