Dilantha Gunawardana


The Slums


A dominion of love on the banks of a meandering river
Where waste collapses down from the sewer
A place where love lives on amidst the polluted land
A miracle of life, of where blood and toil stand

The slums, makeshift habitats of the human kind
Tapestry of slum dog dreams and of the unprecedented find
Where dreams rise from the miasma and the stench
As lovers gather on the banks holding hands on a bench

The human kind, stung my mosquitoes as night falls
Innocence in ragged khaki shorts and in polyester shawls
Of the wide eyed boys and the pig-tailed girls
Hovering in the wind, in broken strands and sweeping curls

Where politicians prosper even in the lassitude of promises
As social workers run amok like ants around the premises
Drug lords creep through doorways to entice juvenile hope
As the human spirit searches for a getaway for an unheralded elope

In these barren lands, on the veranda of makeshift homes
With TVs on wooden boxes and a fragile antenna on domes
As temptation lingers from the booby traps of modernity
To find the soul in a marginal land, to evict in prosperity

Hope lives in rainwater basins and in mud puddles of the monsoon
Of innocence staring at the heavens for a glimpse of the moon
Where hope hangs by a thread yet an enclave of human spirit
As slum dogs out-muscle destiny, with dreams that was once lit

Submitted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Slums

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