1.       Spaceman in New York

 Dilantha Gunawardana

Your pal for the happy hour, the bartender,
Pours you a Scotch, so smooth, you forget
You are all alone, searching to paste yourself
On a stool or a booth, to collide with a world different
To yours. You wear a space suit
That keeps you a voyager, passing planets,
That ate in their own trajectories and speeds
Some like Saturn or Jupiter crowded with
Satellites, near and far, while others are searching
For the meaning of amity, of being connected
In shoulder-armistices, absented of heart matter.
Still you’re in constant danger of losing yourself,
To a woman who unfastens your helmet,
Untangles your tether and makes
You float in strange places. And still, nothing beats solitude,
That strange locality, only you can
Enter or vacate, a spaceship made for one being,
That you sit on, as you take a sip of
Scotch in, knowing that in this strange town,
Which is lost it ‘Amsterdam’ to become ‘York’,
Everything comes in journeys, to planets, even galaxies,
So unlike yours.  Aliens that stop you
On the track, with a stare or a glance,
Or brush against your pacing clavicle,
As you rush past, a bag around your shoulder,
On your way to the underground subway system.
And solitude is just insatiable skin,
And an indiscreet heart, which together search high and low
For a satellite like the moon – Selene.
Perfect as a circle on one day,
And toying with imperfection on others,
Summoning you like a space lighthouse
For you travel to the moon and back
Once landed, you vacate your space suit.  In that instant,
Selenography translates to loon.


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 age of 32 and now has more than 1900 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Canary, Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry, Zingara Poetry Review 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/