Translation

Dreaming

Messenger RNA to protein
Is a translation by a biological apparatus
Called the ribosome. We call this mechanism 
A dogma central to molecular biology.
We translate a sentence into meaning
Or a theory into functional practices.
We translate a book from first print
To translation, we draw metaphors
From living things and inanimate objects,
We glorify realities, fantasize the fairy tale.
We translate percussion to sound
Plucked string to strings of melodies
Stentorian voices to recordings
And laughter to a contagion.

We translate sunlight to a reservoir of vitamin D
Which in turn fortifies our teeth
And gives steel to our bones. We see
The first cherry blossom, the lonely tulip
When spring wakes from her slumber.
We translate pick-up lines into one night stands
Mozzarella cheese into toppings on pizzas,
Fine wheat flour into Battenberg cake,
Orange peel to bitter marmalade.
We countdown calendars, turning today
Into yesterday’s memory.

Our flesh translates 206 bones, 33 vertebra
And enumerable muscles and tendons into
Love machines. We pump from a maddening heart
Sending cascades down dilated arteries
And life blood to our combustion centers.
And we carry the pathology
Of our cataract eyes to our bedrooms
To translate a volume of Braille in embossed flesh,
Into longhand; to archive.

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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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