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)

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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).

False Accusers

Three of us are posing an eternal threat

To ninety seven of you believers

Our reasonable questions unsettle your fate

While your hands are soiled with bloods.

 

You seem disturbed by our immorality

While your prophets, popes and seers

Continue in the name of immortality

Rape culture of glorified gory scriptures.

 

Our short skirts and no bras disturb your tranquility

While you gloat over subjugating women in your fiefdoms

Our demanding rights for the victims of your atrocity

Provoke you to uphold your carefully protected sexist laws.

 

While you continue to claim the Queer do not exist 

You keep on beheading, stoning them to deaths

In your discriminating worldview so heterosexist

Even your chief charlatans, your seers remain all males.

 

All you wise folks that disallow being questioned

Dismissive of our child-like curiosities

Are you our teachers and parents thus inclined

To teach us tales of twisted credibilities?

 

Scripted tales of selective valor, courage, and heroism 

In your books, virtues of forgiveness, vices of hatred 

Only per your convenience, the mythical fanaticism

Rarely invoked, hardly rebuked, and never addressed.

 

Aren’t you our beloved ancestors with unexamined morals

Ethics that suit you, in your condescending overtones

Our wretched past you bestow to us as infinitely glorious

Or are you our stamps of approvals for ongoing consumptions?

 

Those of you who condemn the future as blank and the bleak

Hollow and the insensitive, meaningless and westernized

Pleasure seeking, individualistic, greedy and the weak

Ensuring this reactionary world never has its demise –

 

Have you paused to interrogate how is this even a possibility

Without proclivity for sustaining your active participations 

In sabotaging the biggest anticapitalist movement globally

Have you paused to question your misplaced missions?

 

You still ask of us to restore the faith and keep the belief

In a god you have failed to prove; a god we fail to notice

Masquerades as divine, serves your deliberate mischief

A manufactured class enemy, a tool to justify your avarice. 

 

And if there is really one and He emerges tomorrow

It will appear to be the most sinister of creatures

Hitler and Mussolini combined cannot overshadow 

Far more evil than your beloved godmen and preachers.

 

For the vile men and women abuse and incite once in a while

Even as the supreme God leads centuries of oppressions 

I am sick and tired of your falsehood, your fake forgiving smile

Just keep your god and shove it up where it truly belongs.

 

While you might applaud how holy books call us humans

You raise your kids as Hindus, Muslims and all that crap

And stop the Buddhist nonsense, those non-violent sermons

Since you can’t prevent your Burmese monks’ killer trap. 

 

Even as we go unsung in your goddamn media spin

We are not silent, defeated or subservient to your whims

And those of us who reject any notion of god, religion, sin

May not even declare ourselves as fanatically atheists.

 

We may not even know what it takes to be a skeptic  

To not believe in something we don’t even think matters

So we shall let you flourish while you merely nitpick

But don’t mistake our historical tolerance as our barriers.

 

Don’t take our quest for verifiable knowledge as our ignorance

Don’t confuse our unconditional love for humanity with hatred

Because it is you who spread the communal venoms, intolerance

Challenging you for centuries have indeed left countless of us dead.

 

And even as we have been trounced, brutalized by your fanatics 

In face of your militant gas chambers and violent condemnations

We shall not be vanquished, nor relinquish being your vocal critics

Persist we shall in resisting your dictums, your malicious infiltrations.

 

Every revolution has been waged against the status quo believers

Next in line are your fictitious brands of gods that have sown in your souls

Fears that refuse you to join us and to notice that you too are doubters

That organically you were always born atheists – that once you were just, us.

Socialist Realism

Communism is pure evil,

It offers no freedom.

On the other hand –

Capitalism, is all about

Choice and option.

 

And in our free world,

We have inalienable rights.

To choose life’s recourses –

Between rotting public schools

And swanky private elites.

 

We may pick universal healthcare,

Or join the elite insurance systems.

In pursuit of happyness –   

We may select manual menial jobs

Over executive positions.

 

Foods with pesticides,

Or those organic produces.

We eat or live how we like –

The choice to dwell in slums

Or to reside in ancestral palaces. 

 

Between career woman blues,

And becoming voluntary moms.

As we age, amidst senile decay –

The choice to work past retirement

Or to opt for vacation homes.     

 

To consume the books that tell the lies,

Or to drop out of institutional favors.

Between emerging heroes or misfits –  

Have the choice to swear patriotism

Or be condemned as living terrors.

 

Its a free world and we are its voters,

Elect our destinies from the parties galore.

If realism offered no solace anyway –

Like Paris Hilton’s t-shirt has the solution

We can party and “Stop Being Poor”.

 

Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet