The Lost Tradition by Sreekanth Kopuri

The Lost Tradition
       After August 15, 1947

Humanity slithers past
hungrily with fangs

dripping hemotoxin
of fanaticism in search of

its prey while democracy
on its last journey

to the burning ghat
drags its wounded feet on the hot

dunes of the deserted nation–
the communal knife lancing

open the pregnant wombs
of different faiths, and alien

children molested to death
in the streets of mother’s right hand

immersed in a pool of blood
as the red lotus rises in

the bliss of victory.
The live cremation

of the stainless missionary,
with his two children, stains

a great tradition today
and makes a great country

look small, crumbling
its stately honor to dust

on mother’s left hand.
No longer is the nation

a sacred unravished bride
but an absurd fanaticism,

seduced, pulling her hair
running mad into deserted streets.

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Sreekanth Kopuri is an Indian poet, current poetry editor of Kitchen Sink Magazine, Alumni Writer in Residence, Athens and a Professor of English from Machilipatnam, India. He recited his poetry in University of Oxford, John Hopkins University, Heinrich Heine University, and many others. His poems appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, Christian Century, Memory House, Heartland Review, Lannang Archives, Tulsa Review, A New Ulster, The Rational Creature, Nebraska Writers Guild, Poetry Centre San Jose, Underground Writers Association, Atherton Review, Word Fountain, Synaeresis, Wend Poetry, Vayavya, Ann Arbor Review, and others. His book Poems of the Void was finalist for the Eyelands Books Award Greece, 2019. He is the recipient of Immanuel Kant Award for his collection of poems on Silence, 2020. An independent research scholar in Contemporary Poetry, Silence, and Holocaust poetry, he is presently working on his research work “Silence in Contemporary Ecopoetics of Transcendence.” He lives in his hometown Machilipatnam with his mother.

Editor’s Notes and Image Credit: Independence Day, in India, is a national holiday that is celebrated annually on August 15. Independence Day marks the end of British rule in 1947 and the establishment of a free and independent Indian nation. It also marks the anniversary of the partition of the subcontinent into two countries, India and Pakistan, which occurred at midnight on August 14–15, 1947. (In Pakistan, Independence Day is celebrated on August 14.) Also, the red lotus flower is the national flower of India and represents the purity of body, speech, and mind. The image is that of red lotus flowers at sunset [wallpaperkiss/photographer unknown].