Land of Toddy Tappers – Sri Lanka

Coconut plucker

Through the coconut flower
You reap the sweetest sap you will ever find.
How beautifying is it when
A toddy tapper slants his curved knife
And carves the sap out and lets the drip-through collect
Under a sweet jaggery moon.

A man will collect toddy from a few coconuts trees
And will serve some toddy nectar
Over a little counter, where day-laborers enjoy
A cold sip of fermenting sugars.
A country of toddy tappers by trade
Tapping each-others sweetness
Through a curved meniscus over the chin.

And all we have to show for our quotidian graft
Are some rupees folded in our sarong pockets,
A little house roofed with coconut timber,
And a little island that we call home
Where tanned men drown their embittered existences
Inside a coconut shell, to the therapeutic ephemerality
Of some sweet toddy on tongue.


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.

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