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ISSN: 0974-892X


January, 2023



Of This Time

P C K Prem


Word is a sacred asset

on the crowded mall,

near the church ancient

of peanuts and grams roasted,

in warm winters,

as monkey on feet

extend frowning hands at visitors,

colliding with lusty glances

in passions cold,

when the white man refused,

to see a soul,

in bodies brown.


It was a non-existing wedge

between cultures,

of people denying man to live

in prayers with no wish,

to think of statues erected

on crowded crossings.

ii.   Of This Moment

A hymn a crowd sings turns into posers,

many scorpions,

and temples surge with natives

thump noisy whispers,

and it is a patchwork

of moans, prayers and grimaces,

ironic oblique looks

while disciples of monkeys’ god

prowl around munching grams,

to enact a historic scene,

in a theatre of absurd gaieties.

iii.  Of This Obscurity

Meanings transmitted make out

lethal phantoms,

for a few moments more men, women

and children close eyes,

and construct scenes,

of joyous gnomes

as if landing from the blue

on the spacious lawn,

before many vermilion painted

tall stony figures,

and form grisly rainbows

with multi-layered torsos,

spitting fire.

iv.  Of This Prayer

Aromatic and lightly sour bouquet,

spatter around as if

a whole beauty of earthly breast,

and the world

not imagined,

opens before the eyes

and the praying forms,

oblige smiles on the lips

that listen to mantras and chants.

Tingles of bells incessantly charm

blissfully it drives silly pack,

to a smoggy coma.

There the beauty of a woman

unlocks ecstasy,

to find a vacant grave

when a firm string prolongs,

to exhaust fortitude

of a hungry pit.

v.   Of This Priest

In saffron with patches snaky

observes beauties of curves,

and mumbles amorous words none hears

in solemn shades of temples.

This pundit nurses many love scenes

with the damsels,

and next moment

looks at the huge statue of god

and sighs, groans and yet sings

rhymes of glory,

with watery mouth.

vi.  Of This Secret

A mast of hymns bursts out,

the great laughter of liking for body

as gods look on a new prayer

composed for another,

shadowy daytime to dole out

gods bequest

after people pour whispers

at bathed feet,

the wily priest with dozens of religions

and sermons,

in extracts showers soft touches

on fair ladies,

with detached looks at others.

vii. Of This Pillar

A legend of a blind king

crushes an iron sculpture

and black is born to warn an arc idol,

the golden awning, the granite floor

and the chandeliers with huge

brass bells,

where the naked feet

the covered head and the burning flames,

remind mortals,

of a bloodstained field

that appear red.

This is all I view around

and forget the ancient man,

on the death bed.

As I am engaged with a pundit

to strike a bargain,

philosophy assaults the head

with blows and it bleeds,

and I run away as wicked feelings fill

an empty brain.

viii.   Of This Vision

Closed eyes put up images

of bloated bellies,

half smiling lips and truths in plenty

to create illusions.

An idea emerges

to fill up space in time.

Guilt speaks out without prompting

and I feel crushed.

Fierce little words invade

and I analyze vainly.

A cauldron burns energies

of stirrings of gods,

while searing heat burns and re-burns,

as the body refuses to agree

where tragedy occurs.

Still I derive pleasure

from the closed eyes.

ix.  Of This Feeling

Of hindsight, a man is just confused

hungry and thirsty.

Suffocates and yet feels relaxed

at another time.

Lips murmur a secret prayer

as eyes observe,

and eat up beauty around.

Awful experience wanders inside

with witches gory.

I wonder what I do

in the abode of god

crying for identity.

Muttering hymns in delight

of fervent fable,

I cry why I close eyes.

x.   Of This Stage

Of ancient sin, I try to materialize

a logogriph to baffle,

as I revisit Mahabharata

and get relieved,

when I see Bhisma

that sin is not new,

and penance is primordial.

I am probably a newly born saint

of an old age in times new.

It is a classic tale of lie

and pretence in a warrior in fears

survives in an era of deception.


Of temples filled with crowds


sponsored by the state mostly

to capture booths and ballots,

in an age of dons in religions

and cons in politics.

And I watch

the priest standing alone

singing love songs of yore.

I laugh with the song

and walk out in disgust,

to weave another story

of sins in the shrines of gods.


P C K Prem (P C Katoch of Garh-Malkher, Palampur, Himachal, a former Academician, Civil Servant and Member PSC HP, Shimla), an author of more than sixty books (English and Hindi) is a Poet, Novelist, Short Story Writer and a Critic in English and Hindi from Himachal, India.