To our dearly-beloved son, now dead


To our dearly beloved son, now dead

for Mahathero Gunasena

In a makeshift vihara in the heart of London
   Bikku then disclosed his parents long gone
Might one dare utter after all these years
   Was it yesterday he would shed dry tears

Somewhere in the saffron folds of his faith
   A lonely boy still lurked wanting his mother
Or brother sister and hope-dislocating father
   Of how they could abandon even his wraith

Just a single line in the inner board of a book
   Over dried blue ink his fingers caressed words
A life he might’ve had in who knows what worlds
   He just wanted to say: ‘See, who so forsook!’

In an unwatched vihara in the heart of London
   A forsaken boy dared break out of monkdom
Might one dare utter after all these years
   Was it yesterday he would shed dry tears

Too late he had come to own up this truth:
   ‘If there’s a Supreme Being leave Him well be
He knows best what He’s doing forsooth
   Mind your own business leave Him well be!’

Should one gauge the measure of a man’s humanity
   From his ability to outgrow imposed attachments:
Such as confines of his community race or country
   But most of all withstand the viral encroachments
Of his conditioned beliefs upon his own personality.

© T. Wignesan – Paris – September 8, 1983 (Rev. 2012)

From: T. Wignesan
Copyright ©: T. Wignesan - Paris, 1983 - (from the sequence/collection: "Words for a Lost Sub-Continent", 1999.)

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