poems by U Atreya Sarma from his recently published book Sunny Rain-n-Snow


U Atreya Sarma is a bilingual (Telegu and English) poet, editor and translator whose home base is Hyderabad, India.


Shalom! Shalom! Shalom!


Small, yet beautiful; tiny, yet mighty;

Very ancient, yet ultra-modern!

Forced to be centrifugal …

And two millennia later

Resolved to be centripetal!


Driven from pillar to post; dispersed hither and thither;

Scorned and ill-treated; pestered and persecuted –

Everywhere almost, and all the time!

All these long ages, they kept glued together

With national memories kept alive and aflame!


Gone out as a single colour, only to rebound
And ‘ingather’ in a rainbow!


Barren… yet rendered verdant!

Very little water … but expo farming!

An almost dead language

Of a measly eight thousand words

Revived into a spoken one,

The diction going up fifteen times;

The efforts crowned in no time

With a Nobel for Literature!


They don’t blabber about patriotism

They act it, everyone a soldier!

An islet of grit and hard work

A liberal island in a fossilized sea!


Hardware or software or sciences

They are the undisputed leader!

Standard of life or of living

Patents or entrepreneurship

They are far, far ahead!


Highest educated, highest highly-educated,

In books of wisdom or weapons of defence,

They are awesomely strong –

In body, mind and soul!


Highest Nobel laurels – one hundred and sixty seven!

For a speck of a cast out and outcaste nation

Decimated in a holocaust!


Memory into a reality; mind over matter

Diffusion into effusion; divergence into convergence;

Adversity into prosperity!

And then ardent love of native faith

Yet leavened with freedom and equality

And a yearning for abiding peace and harmony.


Oh! How I admire you!

Oh, little, cute, wonder whiz-kid!

Shalom! Shalom! Shalom!





A tryst with the terrorist


The Prologue


“The terrorist began to speak...”

 “How can a terrorist talk
 When his only words are bombs?”

“Well, he did speak all the same...
Of course, in my haunted dreams”:


The Monologue

Does a lion dialogue with his prey?
He just charges and strikes his quarry.
Why should I tarry?
I’d simply finish off anyone whose face I detest.
I should be the master of all I survey.


The universe is for man alone; the strongest only reign here.
The rest have no place, so them I’ll put to rest.
I am the only best, to decide what is right.


One thought only should do the rounds, in the world;
And that should be mine; I’m a one-track hero.


‘Sword is mightier than word;
Force is greater than friendliness;
Terrorism is superior to humanism.’
This is my credo, I’m an iconoclast.


A single sweep of sword puts my enemy down.
Words would take eons, yet might not change my foe.
I can’t be patient; I’m a bloodhound in a hurry.


Anyway, words are damned duds;
They are only for sissies
Who have time to waste;
Buy I am a he-man of deeds.


I take my victims off guard,
And hit them on the sly
Like a slithering cobra.
Aren’t I from the Devil's line?


The Epilogue

(With double acrostic)

Terrorising nations and people with devilish delight;

Eliminating, side by side, all reason and dialogue;

Reckless in deeds, hell-bent upon undoing all order;

Rearing their explosive heads all over like a meteor;

Only to impose their sadistic tyranny with frenzied aggro!

Reaction to terrorism, as Nature’s law, is bound to occur

In terms of eschatology, ‘Hells-where,’ if not on earthly loci.

Symphony of divergent notes, symbiotic existence of all beings,

           My dear brothers, is the Divine Design, whatever be our (sch)ism!