Freedom Tree!

Tireless in pursuit of democratic rights 

Relentlessly challenging plutocratic might

Braving atrocities, police state’s plights

Awaiting the passage of this barbaric night

 

Freedom Tree!

Free Press shall set us Free!

 

In actions and spirits, journalists united

Radical is our zeal, refusing to be placated

No longer shall we let scribes be oppressed

Duties shall manifest, and our rights protected

 

Freedom Tree!

Free Press shall set us Free!

 

Unjust regimes can imprison us; not our thoughts

They can chain us down, charge us with treasons

Truths we shall expose, fearless in our purpose

With conscience intact, misdeeds we shall oppose

 

Freedom Tree!

Free Press shall set us Free!

 

Too many journalists have been assaulted by State

For speaking out with reason, against fear and hate

We must all stand by our comrades, before its too late

Until justice is served, liberties restored, we shall not rest!

 

Freedom Tree!

Free Press shall set us Free!

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

(Written for Media Unity for Freedom of Press – MUFP, Bhubaneswar)

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A Revolutionary Struggles

A revolutionary knows

the national boundaries are made up to divide, not unite peoples

hence believes in none of that, not to raise the flags, nor to unite banners

 

A revolutionary feels

true service to earth is working for fellow beings, not worshipping false Gods

hence rejects the notion of imposed God, of different brands, various religions

 

A revolutionary affirms

the continuation of progress has nothing to do with statutory movements

hence works to make laws work for people, not let people suffer owing to laws

 

A revolutionary condemns

the racist, communalists, capitalistic superstructures that work out divisions

hence recalls historical assaults lest folks repeat; yet doth not manipulate tensions

 

A revolutionary forwards

the notion of collective workloads, to share, not to compete, to enjoy not to own

hence advocates workers’ rights to unite for strength, not be vehicles for reaction

 

A revolutionary minces

no words as a communist, for the mission is to work towards goals despite many an obstruction

hence realizes that struggle with fascists will continue even after the battle is half-won

 

A revolutionary upholds

sense of social equality even at the cost of individual liberties, for duties hold more than rights

hence propagates the messages of selfless sacrifices even to the face of content reactionary elites

 

A revolutionary learns

that teaching in schools are always thought control, but need to be so for the betterment

hence sides with of the oppressed in the world, not result in joys of personal advancement

 

A revolutionary visits

churches, mosques, temples, all religious shrines to register the torture on hapless workers

hence perceives those who built the edifices did as slaves to the Gods or Kings, not to benefit fellow sufferers

 

A revolutionary dedicates

life for fellow women, children, and peaceniks; for environment and peaceful co-existence

hence militarily opposes any oppression on so-called weaker sections of societies of essence

 

(I am) a revolutionary who experiences

time running out, for the onus lies on the revolutionary to cause revolution

there is no such time as the present which provides the most sufficient condition

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

I am not a South Asian

I won’t be a victim of their myopic definition

Not a subject of their divided and ruled abstraction

Don’t dare call me a lovechild of illegal immigration

Will never give in to their verdicts for societal seclusion

 

Don’t just divide this world up into several borderlines

And compel me to produce a passport to prove my alliance

I don’t hold torches or flags; I wont fight with no “enemy” beings

And I ain’t no reserved pig, won’t dance to their muddy signs

 

They’ve been asking long for me to sign the checkbox of my ethnicity

African-American, Asian-American, Latin-American and any other entity

The terms that they block us by, and those divisions subject to atrophy

They devise multiculturalism and play favorites, so we fight for each legacy

 

The whites of the World are surely united for their common histories

It’s the people of color who are grouped differently by some taxonomies

I wonder why there are no enlisted Europeans-American categories

Even as the Native Indians are made to suffer from some identity crisis

 

The Third world and our diasporic folks in First World have some in common

We have always fought the rulers bravely, to repel the ghastly intrusions

We’re the strongest force to reckon with, as the victims of oppressions

Divide us, calm us, comedy us, and we are soon our own frustrations

 

I know they secretly love to call us Niggers, call us Zappies, call us Chinkies

But they wont call me Asian yet, for where will go the yellow lot Chinese?

Now they call me South Asian and I wonder what need is for that tease

But of course we are items stratified on their flawed geographical drawings

 

They can call me at will, a different race and a different ethnicity

But can hardly ever separate me from my shared similar history

With the peoples who suffered being part of one same colony

Ruled and ravaged as uncivilized colored, yet laundered as valued money

 

Spanish, French, Dutch, Germans, English and the Americans

Their ruling elites believing in imperialistic expansions

To sustain the rule, have broken people into rival sections

And now preachers of the G-7 and the self-proclaimed well-wishers

 

Nay, peoples of the world reject the rules of the ruling classes

No more nationalistic agendas, no racial superiority clashes

Won’t take that bullet from them anymore, nor shall we shoot their gun

Working peoples of the world this time, will fight for their own revolution

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

Wake up!

Wake up! Wake up!

Hear the noises

Feel the outbursts

See the chaos

Are they yours?

Isolate self

Throw the Ray-Ban

Face the heat

Time’s up

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Before they progress

Know your group

Be the Union

Make the move

 

Don’t wait for support

or Count on numbers

You alone can

Break them stop!

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Competition

Globalization

Nuclear State

Or just your fate!

 

Throw faith systems

Wishes for feeders

Hopes for believers

Your mind, you make up

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Thought controls

Propagators

No more will you be

Hobson voter

 

Not a party, but the politics

Not to change, but replace

Stop quoting, enuff said

Your own mind, on the top

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Wise words, fools repeat

And the idle, hero-worship

History wont repeat itself

You gotta help yourself

 

Cherish, don’t live in the past

No Gandhi or Lenin will be cast

Title is you, the Star in it too

Movement is yours, just pack up

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

‘Change is constant’ enough changed

They made legal the flesh trade

Sold the dreams, made the bombs

Gadgets too, to make you numb

 

Colonialist’s railroads

Capitalist’s computers

Profit’s the Prophet, profit’s the goal

Ask the self: Can you cope?

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Times have changed

For the worse

Cause the changers

Are ‘they’, not ‘us’

 

Distinguish, then

Don’t change, but replace

Overthrow, not discuss

Enough lectures, now to usurp

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Demoncracy

Plutocracy

Call it a name

live in fantasy

 

Popular dissent

And debates

in its marketplace

Don’t just add, don’t speak up

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

None’s gonna hear

A word you say

Guard your interest

Stay away

 

Identify first the self

Then know ones in distress

No illusions or rosy hopes

That’s the group, and your Cup

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Make it clear, make no bones

No stoppin to the ones

Who know the path and the march

Snatch the rights, win the match

 

They called us colors

And some damned race

Preachers all will pay by the face,

Before the dark night is up

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Religions to annihilate

Hindus and Muslims

Got the war raging

Watched the fun brewing

 

Anything but a human

Coz humanity unites

When you act human

Then they got Gods up!

Wake up! Wake up!

 

Wake up! Wake up!

Fancy divisions

Resting on bloodbaths

Pay them back now

Blood currency works

 

Enough of preachers

Enough Godmen

Enough ethics talked

Enough sanctities held

Enough institutions

Enough families

Enough blind loves

Enough traditions

Enough of democracy

Enough of consent

Enough discussions

Enough debates

Why my poem no more rhymes

Am I a ugly poet?

Enough of the poet

Damn the Wake Up! Note

Damn me, who does not act

Even after waking up

Lend me a hand, as I lend mine

Lets subscribe to the noise

Enough of music

Enough of me shouting alone

Time to act together

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

 

Propaganda

You denounce them as corrupt

They excoriate you for being communal

You deplore all their activities

They fulminate against your prescripts

 

Look, all ye men of politics

I dare flak all your policies

That talk volumes of promises

Aimed at deceiving the masses

 

Least concerned am I to you for being corrupt

Uninterested in communalism, I am no less a patriot

Mark my words – I am no Hindu nor Muslim am I

Never pondered over such topics, a simple human am I

 

Corruption or Communalism does not bother me

You are the ones who forced me to see

These aspects of yours, these dirty games you play

Alas! Still you project yourselves as gods with feet of clay!

 

You keel-haul each other over my problems

Without knowing them well, all your programs fail

Give me food to eat, place to live and clothes to wear

They are all my problems, with me – can you share?

 

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet