Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Nileen Putatunda

War Cry



You have made me

Bleed, cry;

On the eve of

Holy Mother’s birthday,

My silent war cry,

The Guru Mantra,

Will behead and dismember you

With such deafening ferocity

That Ravana and Mahishasura combined

Will consider themselves

More fortunate.




Thomas Fire


Thomas Fire,

You have the gall

To storm

The Sarada Convent

At Santa Barbara;

Know that the trio of

Thomas the Apostle,

Thomas Aquinas,

Thomas à Kempis,

And their lovers,

Will set ablaze the hearts of

Infinite firefighters

Who will whisper incantations

That Ma Ganga will manifest

In California

From countless crannies

Compelling you to cry inconsolably

And disappear into the ignoble dead.



(with gratitude to Google, Wikipedia, OED, Pravrajika Vrajaprana)




Usain Bolt


You sprint

Hundred metres

In less than ten seconds;


A Lilliputian,

Take several more.

Your coach,

Lord Jesus,

Sprints all over

The cosmos

Faster than Time

Carrying our crosses.


(with gratitude to Dr. Kuntal Roy)




Jamal Khashoggi


Beautiful elder brother,

You would have been sixty yesterday,

But the royal Saudi satans

Scared of your intrepid pen

Tortured and killed you earlier this month;

Allah and Durga will combine

To relentlessly punish the perpetrators

Especially Crown Prince Salman

Who will turn into Sisyphus

Even as Arabia and the earth

Will be blessed by your bravery;

But what about Hatice-didi?

She will miss you the most.



(with gratitude to OED, Wikipedia, Google, The New York Times, Basant Rungta)





About the poet

Nileen Putatunda was born in 1978. He has worked in social development. He is trying to love Sri Ramakrishna. His tenth book of spiritual poetry Bangles is forthcoming from WRITERS WORKSHOP. Nileen’s poem books have been reviewed in Prabuddha Bharata, The Vedanta Kesari, Samvit, The Advent, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, The Times of India. His poems have appeared in the journals Samvit, American Vedantist, Muse India, and Mountain Path. Nileen has written in the opinion space of newspapers.

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Published by The Alternative.