Poetry: Sreekanth Kopuri

Sreekanth Kopuri
The Barred Dreams of a Ground Nut-Seller

A ground reality,

stares at the

the stone-hard emptiness

of the Sun-filled

village roads


emptied of the daily grind

and cuffed by the deafening 

stillness of a hard and fast

wooden-faced gavel


a quivering, basketful

of silence, he gapes

at the sky's, that blues


the nutty tomorrows

heaping the decayed

windfalls on the

stretching shadows

of their thatched hopes.


He's like a

reminder of debt in

an unopened mailbox,


or a hardened reality

still shut in a rinded dream


waits for the sunlight

to walk into, a freedom

masked far away from

every morning that loomed large

with the mosaic of hopes in


the morning twitters of

the school children,

around his hand-rolled


of their nutty brunch

in the morning break,


the curious peeping calls

jammed in the traffic


the dripping

beach-picnicers' hunger

that would run

for those roasted bites

cracked out of burnt-pods -


all staple crumbs that would

bread and peanut-butter his day




all these fading colors of silence

his paper-winged dreams

buzz around, and clock towards

from the iron bars of his insomnia.


In the dusty verandah

a sudden breeze blows off

a cluster of broken shells

like a clairvoyance.



The Dying Lepers

Bethany Colony, Bapatla


While silence blinks the night’s

eye, emptying the light from

the blinded lamps of the lepers’


thatched hope, scurrying in

and out of the garbage heaps

with mouthfuls for a rainy day,


the leprous goldsmith searches

his face in the sooty mirror of

broken future, and evasively asks


his wife once again, should I still

wait or leave? A reply hangs down

her eye, tosses and creaks on the


telltale charpoy, counting the terminal

throbs of the invisible wooden-faced

clock in her blood, presaging


the end of a goldsmith’s generation.

Somewhere an elegy struggles

to break the suffocating shell,


egging on the enigmatic fate.

What lies beyond those worn

out clay Ganesha and portraits


of all those armed Gods? Perhaps,

the bloody vermilion that cracked

her head every day, the diffused


face of the gold flake king size

cigarette smoke and the truth

know. At least, the innocent


offerings of the coconut bowls,

and the skyward looking incense

sticks are fragrant and sweeter.


A familiar gush flickers the credit

of bank notes on the table, awaiting

a bottle of wine or a terminal journey


to his concubine in the HIV colony of

Bapatla, and the world beyond for the

flaming tongues of the ultimate communion.


Note: Traditional married women of India draw a straight line with vermillion on the head along the parting of hair as a symbol of sacredness.



 To Jean-Paul Sartre

after visiting Sartre’s tomb, Paris


At Montparanasse

I pick a stone

to place above your slab

for it exists unlike flowers, flesh

or the nothing of those

nothing-born maggots.


A Seventy-five-year existence

of hypertensions between

the disappeared carbon rings

turned down an earthly honour

that couldn’t transform

the meaning of an existence


but still the beatitude

of a meanest flower

and noontides give the

testimony of a shoulder

that hasn't shrugged off

the atlas and its pain.


Behold the footprints on the

splinters of a blurred glass

beyond the Whitmanisque

multitudes where The Word

builds life from the melted

clocks, dust and ashes.




At the Visitors’ Auschwitz


It is only the ashen gray the digital

pages preserve in our irrelevant eyes

now our learning fails to feel the


death pulse of this bone white earth,

tired of too many unknown footprints

frozen by the winters of time. When


we buy some meanings from a guide’s

habitual extempore, the shame on the

stony faces of surrounding fence-posts


and their iron knotted questions prick

our numbed conscience, may be more

dead than death that our knees do not


know the sack cloth and ashes that may

bring the bones to life against the crisis

of meaning hardened as the dark blood


that still groans stoj! at our trespassed

cams eager to capture our proud smiles

unfeeling to the shrieking silences of the

ashy graveyard’s pulsating heart beneath.




Another Rainy Morning


An hour more

and another morning

will unwind at my pillow

startle me out 

of this dream

like a thunderbolt.


My neighbour’s cow

will low out the day and

my hand will reach the pillow

for the snooze button.

The routine scribbles

and warm tea-sips

will try to draw out

the alluring fragments

of the last night’s dream


and some tidings will be

emptied by the screens

and papers contesting

for the day’s space.


BIO: Sreekanth Kopuri Ph.D. is an Indian poet. He is the current Poetry Editor of The AutoEthnographer Journal, Florida, former professor of English and Writer in Residence, Athens. He did his Ph.D on the autoethnographic poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra. He was poetry editor of Kitchen Sink Magazine New Jersey. He presented his research papers and recited his poetry at Oxford, John Hopkins, Heinrich Heine, Caen, Gdanski, Banja Luka Universities and many others. His poems appeared in Arkansan Review, Christian Century, A Honest Ulsterman, Chicago Memory House, Two Thirds North, Heartland Review, Tulsa Review, Digging Through the Fat, Expanded Field, American Diversity Report, Plants & Poetry, The Rational Creature, Nebraska Writers Guild, Contrapuntos IX, Poetry Centre San Jose, Vayavya, A New Ulster, to mention a few. His forthcoming book From an Indian Diary is the finalist for Eyelands Book Award 2022, Athens. His book Poems of the Void was the winner of Golden Book of the year 2022. He lives in his hometown Machilipatnam with his mother.

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