2015: Of Incidental Revolutions

What about the promises this new year shall bring
Ballads of scrutiny, merciless calendar sings
Memories slurping away, with bitter windtongues
Cruel time ticking away, sans any arbitrary stops

Moments of endless reflections, for the years past us
Stunning silence of missing airplanes, roaring blunders
What if this, what if that, had we tried our best
Could we have ended this bloody war, that electoral race

A patriotic bunch in India murdering Gandhi again
Revitalized danger, right wing fascist men
Third World Project a dying form of irrelevance
Playground for capitalists, turf for deathly dance

Irreparable losses of beloved poets and thinkers too
Baraka, Seeger, Stuart Hall, Marquez and Maya Angelou
Decomposed pens, gloomy monotones, assessing the future
Racist cops, hopeless masses, Millions March for better

Have the twain already met, since the east seems like west
Signboard reads; One united world take this radical test:
When the monopolists unite across divisions they create
Is working class too fragmented to effectively protest?

Translucent agendas besieging chroniclers of history
Russia, China and Iran appear to be ruling by proxy
North Korea causing homelessness, poverty in Obama land
Free market postmodern feel-goods, realism be damned

Will the year of Ebola recognize a century of Hungers
Queens and Presidents end motionless austerity measures
Will underpaid waitresses emerge as debt-free students
Children grow into nonconformist poets, daydreamers?

Introducing democracy shall no more cause destructions
Free Speech advocates no longer imprison whistleblowers
Capitalism neither crony nor phony, or in need for reforms
Will next year incidentally bring about a few revolutions?

(by Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet)


No Thanks(giving)

Murder the Indigenous
Slaughter those turkeys
Thank the Indigenous
Pardon that turkey
No thanks

Kill the dissenters
Land of freedoms
Celebrate survivors
Build more prisons
No thanks

Demand gratitudes
Columbus to Obama
In lieu of guns, drones
Such Thanksgiving drama.
No thanks

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet, 2014

(Published in Gossamer)

2014: Let Ourselves Prevail

“Where the mind is without fear” and whistleblowers roam free

Prisons abolished; die with them, values all reactionary

Where the world exults in differences, amidst sheer diversity

Supremacism ends; cease with it, any collective adversity

Where ideas spring from challenged truths, broken promises

Perfection wound up; sought after no more are divine images

Where faith is exposed as a hopeless quest, of oppressed states

Reason, power and strength too seen as elite privileged quests     

Where rape no longer a metaphor, nor millionaires act commoners

Celebrities awaken the conscience, not profiteers, accumulators 

Where the admired do not endorse wars, nor dwell in charities 

Corporate czars get caught faking empathies, moralist vanities

Where the homeless are not recruited to clean nuclear mess

Working class emphatically organize, not rescued under duress

Where marginalized empowered, seeking no solace in a pope

Into such a year of radical possibilities, immense in its scope

To undo, to unlearn, to find right here – both heaven and the hell

To end holy patriarchies and capitalism, let ourselves prevail.


Saswat Pattanayak, peoples’ poet.


(the above verse is inspired by Tagore’s poem in Gitanjali).