Proposal

Tell me O love!

How can I express my love for you?

I know not how the great lovers used to do

Did they gift a flower as a memento

Or, their love, did they just kneel down and show?

 

Tell me O love!

Where from can I start showering kisses on you?

I know not where from the great lovers used to do

Did they prefer the cheeks, or the eyes or wide lips

Or, did they use to seal their mouths together and kiss?

 

Tell me O love!

What can I do that the world shall remember you?

I know not what the great lovers used to do?

Or did they write poetry and the world just mourned?

So tell me, O love!

How can I express my love for you?

I’m no lover, can’t kneel down and propose to you

 

So tell me, O love!

Where from can I start giving kisses to you?

I sense your beauty everywhere, where from can I start kissing you?

 

So tell me, O love!

What can I do that the world shall remember you?

I’m no Kaiser, can’t build a Taj Mahal for you

 

So tell me, O love!

What meanest thou by love?

I’m a novice, teach me the art of love.

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet 

 

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Existentialist

When I say this, friends

I say not to measure

Not to value

Not to preserve

Not to suggest

Not to rebuke

Not to profess

Not to confess

Not to advise

Not to admonish

Not to set example

Not to build metaphors

Not to contest elections

Not to win your contests

Not to ruin myself

Not to set you free

Not to indulge in nostalgia

Not to preach principles

Not to escape from you

Nor from self

Not to check proximity

Not to farther away notions

Not to fathom depths

Not to climb stairs

Not to succeed in attempts

Not even to make them

Not to rouse passion

Not to arouse emotion

Not to urge upon you

Not to make you ponder

Not to hurry the tortoise

Not to hasten the rabbits

Not to rule the earth

Not to impose ideas

Not to be immortal

Not to commit hara-kiri

 

This is just to say

That I say

Because I have to say

 

What I say is immaterial

It has lost its relevance

In a world where I am dead

The poet is dead

The lover is dead

The birdwatcher dead

The pacifist dead

The reveries dead

The thinkers dead

The reason is dead

The gandhi is dead

The che is dead

The abnormal is dead

The idiot is dead

The mindspace dead

The misfit dead

The voltaire dead

 

The statues live

The legends live

The myths live

The hero-worshipping alive

The worshippers live

The conformists live

You agree

And you live

 

I disagree

 

Do I live?

You say “no”

Or do you say “yes”?

In any case,

I disagree with you

 

When the non-conformists are dead

How could I be alive?

Is it the grave I created

Or you gifted

Did I accept per se

Or was it intentional

 

Let me live back

And I will answer

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

 

One Life

I have but one life—

Let me enjoy it to the fullest

Let me live well and not simply exist

Let me be free to make rules for myself

Don’t you interfere and pretend to help

 

I have but one life—

Let me love the lady of my dreams

Let me love my country and all human beings

Let me love the nature, those stunning scenes

Oh! selfish world—you don’t know what love means

 

I have but one life—

Let me read all the beautiful writings

Let me relish the magnificent paintings

Let me be a part of all those before I vanish

Don’t deprive me of those moments that I shall cherish

 

I have but one life—

Let me do all the good that I can do now

Let me bring a smile to faces that were sobbing till now

Let me find time to listen to all their worries

Let me indulge myself in answering to their queries

 

I have but one life—

Let me attempt at bringing peace among nations

Let me see to it that none in the world suffers

Let me dream and see diverse visions

Don’t prevent me from fulfilling these obsessions

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet