Posted in Love Poems, poem, poems, poetry, Uncategorized

The Child and the Vulture (Pulitzer Prize winning Photo)

Child and vulture

The skull bones of a child,
Soon to see a headstone, or perhaps not.

The twilight filled with vultures, callous
Eyes like lighthouses, shining a beam

And a little girl child, that sparked
A photograph. How hopeless

Gods are sometimes, even a prayer
Gets lost in the open spaces,

Between the point of despair and heaven.
A precariousness of childhood,

The African child, in a prized photo entry,
Her arms together, while unsuspecting to her,

The vulture looms. The greed
Of the vulture, just as transparent

As the burning hunger of a child.
A visual of prey and scavenger,

In one line of contact, the famished
Eyes of the vulture, the bald head,

And a throat that feeds rotting carcasses,
Looming large, and a child,

Who doesn’t have eyes on her back,
Going on with her usual business.

A toddler, a little girl, at the mercy
Of a defiant vulture. A lone photographer,

Slowly waiting for the vulture
To lift his long wingspan, to catch

A glimpse of two worlds,
A vulture’s gluttony and a child’s misery,

Child and scavenger, and an opportune
Aperture, a click of an image,

That made our consciences sweat.
The serendipity of a moment

That was too precious, not to be frozen,
In a perfect Kodak moment.

A Pulitzer for photography,
And a laissez-faire moment,

When apathy stood more transparent
Than a starving child’s ribcage.



Dr Dilantha Gunawardana graduated from the University of Melbourne, as a molecular biologist, and moonlights as a poet. He currently serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Botany, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Dilantha lives in a chimeric universe of science and poetry. Dilantha’s poems have been accepted for publication /published in HeartWood Literary Magazine, Canary Literary Magazine, Boston Accent, Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry, Zingara Poetry Review, The Wagon and Ravens Perch, among others. Dilantha too has two anthologies of poetry, 'Kite Dreams' (2016) and 'Driftwood' (2017), both brought to the readership by Sarasavi Publishers, and is working on his third poetry collection (The Many Constellations of Home). Dilantha’s pet areas of teaching and research, include, Nitrogen Fixation, RNA biology, Phytoremediation, Agricultural Biology, and Bioethics & Biosafety. Dilantha blogs at – -, where he has nearly 2000 poems.

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