Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Welcome to P C K Prem!


….a long poem in ten parts by p c k prem, India

                                          OF THIS TIME
                                  (A poetic documentary on a Modern Man)
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
thumping noisy whispers,
and it is a patchwork
of moaning 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 chanting.

Tingling of bells incessantly charms
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
he 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
crushing a iron sculpture 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.

And an idea emerges
to fill up a space in time.
Guilt speaks out without prompting
and I feel crushed.

Fierce little words invade
and I analyze vainly.

And a cauldron burns energies
of stirrings of gods,
while searing heat burns and re-burns
as the body refuses to agree
where tragedy occurs.

And 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 Bhishma
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
surviving 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 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) is an author of more than fifty books. A post-graduate in English literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh, he has brought out nine volumes of poetry besides five books on criticism, two books on ancient literature, six novels and two collections of short fiction.  Creative writings in Hindi include twenty novels, nine books on short fiction and a collection of poems. Recipient of several awards, Katoch Prem is a poet, novelist, short story writer and a critic in English and Hindi from Himachal, India.

Tonight I will start the music with Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "The Inflated Tear."  As you'll see on the video, he is playing several instruments at once:

His "Volunteered Slavery" is from 1972:

This is his "Serenade to a Cuckoo":

Here he plays with McCoy Tyner and Stanley Clarke:


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Claudia Messelodi and Angelee Deodhar

Tonight I have haiku in English and Italian for you from Claudia Messelodi.  These pieces originally appeared in her 2016 book, Blue Moon (Arcolibri Publishing House).  She wrote the haiku in English and then translated them into Italian.  I follow this order below.

The verdant fir limbs
relentlessly whirl and wheel -
whispers of the wind.

Agili abeti,
turbinii di danze al
soffio del vento.

First day of Autumn -

beds of leaves and our hearts
only one colour.

Ventun settembre -
letti di foglie e il cuore,
solo un colore.

Autumnal soulscape -
sea and sky converge into
a barren bare blue.

D'autunno il cuore -
acqua e cielo di un solo
azzurro scalzo.

Ochre horizon -
on straw-yellow ripples, boats
glide towards the night.

Orizzonte ocra -
su onde di paglia, barche
verso la notte.

Dandelion beds -
the limpidness of March once
again on my path.

Denti di leone -
lucentezza di marzo
sul mio sentiero.


Claudia Messelodi lives in Italy where she works as a foreign language teacher at a secondary school. She is the author of five poetry collections. She loves writing haiku and other short forms of poetry both in English and Italian and sometimes in other foreign languages too. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and publications over the last few years and was also honored with several awards.

Angelee Deodhar sent these haibun to be published around the time of the Indian New Year.


winter evening
the beggar’s breath
joins smoke from the fire*

The homeless sleep outside, trying to preserve body heat under a pile of cardboard boxes or layers of clothes. Some die. About 700 a year in the United States. When I read this report, I was reminded of the dreaded  winters of Northern  India where temperatures plunge below zero degree Celsius, and the death toll rises into the thousands.

In the warmth of a homeless shelter, they would survive, but they can’t always get a shelter bed. Hungry, suffering untreated pain, being dirty, carrying all of one’s contagious belongings, the worst of all is the lack of shoes that fit. Shelters rarely accept their animal companions. Many people prefer sleeping outdoors to giving up their beloved pets.
whirling dervishes
in a  homeless body
white silence
Notes :Moirai often known  as the Fates,were the white-robed incarnations of destiny

           *Haiku for E.S.Lamb   
Previously published in bottle rockets 2015
Image courtesy

Haibun :Highlighter

While proof reading and editing, I listen to  the music from yesteryear ,remembering how we danced all night. Now all I do is tap my feet to the tantalizing music …till my grandson insists I dance with him. I oblige and we dance slowly till he realizes I am quite out of breath. We stop, bow seriously, to each other till he kisses my hand; at three and a half he is quite the charming gentleman!

And then he dances solo ,whirls, twirls, dips and bows, then dances en pointe to a free rhythm,waist, hips legs, arms, moving smoothly till the climactic flinging himself into his dad’s arms!

                     gran'ma    and the antique clock    both cuckoo

Painting The dancing lesson by Thomas Eakins Watercolor on off-white wove paper

Let's dance to Gaetano's Italian Jazz Band's "Mambo Italiano":

Here is Roberto Pregadio's "Chuvinha":