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P C K Prem






God Is Not Dead


The sun rises

this is morning.

Someone heard the crows’ cawing

in early hours of the morning,

give an inkling

of the day ahead,

in the name,

of Allah and Ishwar.

I am not an iconoclast,

but I demolish images and statues,

and I do remember Aurangzeb

who crushed many idols,

finally bowing before the ‘Lingam’,

so at Kashi he became

a happy man

I remember without prayers.


And I sit on my bed,

listen to the hush of wind outside

tumbles of utensils inside

in hands that resisted mournfully,

to keep aside the body lewd,

that prowls lecherously at midnight,

to catch hold of virginity

the milkmaid protected,

and kept so long to lose at night,

and wash the dirt in ray bright,

the day breaks

this is morning.

My walls are full of gods

Goddesses laugh and bless the day

this reminds me of sixteen Daughters,

thirteen wedded in religion,

I wonder

Murti, Swaha and Sati all stand

and intense drought terrifies,

when Lady Atri calls Ganga

to serve and obey her,

at Mount Chitrakuta,

and now I am pained

at inhuman drought,

it rains heavily

and destroys many.

I am stunned

for this noise is awful.


I collect pieces of broken glass

splintered noiselessly

last night in bits,

with breathless nods,

virginity scrambled with sin,

to find at last the lawful fruit,

at the hands of the brute

who gets up now,

razors and shaving sets,

are on the table

rays enter with the Sun God,

there are strange prayers,

gods on all sides

but eyes are on the bed sheet,

and I see ruffled bed.

Feeling spots of sin

in adjacent room,

in dirty sheets

washed seven days ago.

In a jerk, I keep side Pamela,

that was under pillow

hawker throws the paper

like a stick

it falls on my head,

occupied with the thoughts

of weak milkmaid,

and clever Pamela

this is a meaningful resistance,

headlines open my eyes,

nothing new say routine scandals,

politics and oaths

when ministers fall

defection creeps like serpents,

character weeps for honour,

and a leader laughs,

on auctions of legislators,

and assembly sound

like a bargaining camp,

nods the head

headlines dwindle,

rings the temple’s bell

it is morning.

A time for prayers.


Look outside

man has come from the temple back,

makes offers at the altar of god

who did not see the drama

enacted last night,

when I peeped into the room,

found the stage was not empty.

He does not like a vacant rostrum,

message of Universal amity,

he spreads,

he is lord and a god

and tells the crowd proudly,

each one will be judged,

beware multitude of idolaters,

at last loudly imitates

‘O Allah! Be thou witness”

and remembers the Almighty

as if a prophet at Mecca

on his ‘Pilgrimage of Farewell”

this stage is his Mt. Arafat.

I fear I have become a cynic.

And it was all a dream

of futility.

Spectator when not wanted

was present,

for God was absent.

I am ready,

the man has entered his house,

hums some tunes

I stand with ears erect,

hungry eyes and body ardent

for this is beginning of the day.

The sun is on head

sip tea and a cigar in hand,

ash tray on the table,

paper is here lying unread,

for more is there

murders, rapes and kidnaps,

all at a glance,

incestuous feelings

wrap the paper viciously,

this is enjoyable.

I curse Freud

and investigate the psychic territory

from the animal sphere

of instinct.


I find feeling’s outlet

there is a loud laughter,

I am disturbed,

and the curtain rises,

rehearsals I see

in the next room,

for the night show

I do not feel guilty.

There is no end to this play

and I am out,

screams, shouts and cries,

pierce into ears

and I have shut my ears,

this is a good game,

not for you because you enact.

Today I have sufficient material

night has given much,

mind is amused,

beholds night’s scene,

eyes look at day’s farce,

it is so bright.

I know burning eyes

he often instills fears in hearts,

and tells people of Doomsday,

of Sahel drought

and the Great Flood,

of the sinking

of Islands and Atlantic,

and predicts

a zodiacal catastrophe

for there exists a planetoid.

And an imminent end

so another Nostradamus takes birth

so all start fearing,

and look out for a remedy,

he stands high and I see.

People cry

yet I do not accept,

I feel I also cry with them

to participate lazily

in his mechanization obtuse,

and at last lost in the crowd,

to cry aloud

for this is the day,

of judgment.


I have heard the cries at night loudly

of secrets openly,

here the wind is strong,

and dust collects overhead,

and saber rattling continues on the roads,

un-punched people are dragged into lust,

to lessen the frailties of night’s club,

to dance with roaring applause,

that consumed sins

wanted and unwished,

this continues

and everybody feels perplexed,

nurtured in deluded thinking,

now forgets the path back home,

blind, deaf and dumb,

I see, I hear and speak

strange is the climax.

Efforts carry out the mission

to untangle seems an impossible cry,

out of modernized scandalous revue,

where everybody is aware of nobody,

lest identity should lead

to admission of horrible sins.

Tomorrow’s paper cannot wash out

sizzling crooked headlines,

of rape, murder and incestuous acts,

it will turn out

a treachery with the modern man,

who sees identity

discloses not outside,

collects sins

during day’s hunting,

and explores at night.


He sees in this an age of enquiry

of space and sin,

blind, deaf and dumb,

I see, hear and speak

to the inner mind

consoling always.

Escape is difficult from the chasm

wide and deep

struggles and spreads arms

but much is seen still

with the modern chill.

leader leads a procession

followers wild and chanting,

I feel proud

I am one of them,

that man sits near the leader

in whose eyes are seen,

images of dames

of night’s rock and roll.

But he claims

he is the god.

But would not

send his wife to jungles

and shall open an ashrama

where concubines dance.


The man is a saint now,

detached from the ‘Maya” of the world,

and gives tongue the day’s food

speeches and scathing criticism,

incisive lectures,

on character’s hideouts,

lit the inner man,

promise to serve people,

to save democracy

crush corruption

and ignite flame of socialism,

and many isms.

Here is promise to keep morals,

and check defections,

this is day

dust is everywhere and in the eyes,

people listen and see nothing

lots of promises,

for lovers are dead, who made promises

this legacy they bequeathed,

to promise and not to keep

to live and not to die,

but let the world die

for this is an old lie,

to keep the pledges alive.


Sermons I hear,

on the threshold of temple,

the sounds of counting beads

the mind hears,

the man makes a notable appearance

a quaint truth brightens him,

and he proclaims himself,

another Galileo

whether I see I doubt.

The man enacted a drama at night,

looks now true and bright

I speak not the mouth is shut

for I was a part of the play,

now stand out as a defector,

only see and whisper not,

I sit in the hotel’s hall

smoke lingeringly

and throw the ash

find everything is bad

music haunts the scene,

orchestra at full swing,

there is a leader and cleric

and a priest of the temple,

I see naked truth in attire new

look at them the vices perspire

I see apparently true.

Here I see unmasked

the rapists, the murderers

and the kidnapers,

cook headlines for tomorrow’s paper,

the priest in woman’s train,

here the leaders succumb,

when nakedness of dancers

throbs in arms,

and he announces choice

forgets promises,

intention of desertions clear

a priest lisps in sexy bosom,

and the leader sucks

lusty blood.

That man remembers the revelation,

a day will come,

‘wherein mankind will be

as thickly scattered moths’

and the mountains, the ‘carded wool’

an unfortunate outcome,

but none remembers, I understand.

My cigar is finished

eyes peeping into the body naked,

the orchestra slows down

nakedness visible with passions,

on the table next

there is measured haggling

currency is scattered around,

makes the purchase

for the midnight hour,

stunned and bewildered,

I look around,

passions controlled I stand without,

on the roadside

trudge unwillingly homeward

to listen to the temple’s bell

for He is a Creator and the Guardian.


There flashes across the mind,

the day’s trash find

with its spirited kind,

and I detect without suspicion,

the treasure hunt

which kept me alive

each minute, hour and day,

and now all is over,

I recollect

vividly I see the day

it is morning.

And so a lasting search

for the keys of many heavens

and earths

for scales are before the eyes.

This is how the sun rises

for many it has archaic blessings,

and I do not have prayers to offer

silence prevails all over,

the road is dull

awfully silent and lifeless,

it speaks of the day’s work

to the mind that loitered in disgust,

see the horror stricken lust,

in broad day’s mist

spread over unmeasured

extend ruthlessly its diameter,

to chassis-like bodies,

that require repair nay overhauling,

for hearts and souls are senile

decrepit and nearing death.

Amidst elections are sermons,

and leaders’ noisy processions

synchronize with temple’s pious bells,

to remind that god is present.


On this road falls the shadow

of age old death,

in torn off clothes,

hide its dreadful face

to give a blow

to dust-ridden bodies,

where perspiration freezes

to make ghostly confusion,

stink of butcher’s drudgery,

better and looks bushy tailed

human figures of muddy awe

out rightly a heap of rubbish,

fail as pieces of base bread.

Everything the rulers propound

the priest’s sermons,

under whose feet they cry aloud

about the dreams unrealized,

and hopes unfulfilled,

find all finely weaved

in leaders speeches full of pledges

in priest’s advice on morals,

slim and delicate.

Beatific images emerge out

Mara and Menaka dazzle eyes

a crowd of temptations arises

know all and avoid people,

who believe without reservations,

face an immense tragedy

of understanding life,

and its sufferings,

and I remember

Gautama’s Bodhi tree and Viswamitra

thus leaders and priests exploit all

and an unending game continues.

Always in ragged clothes

and haggard bodies,

they continue to dream

on the roadside,

rise with wide open eyes

beg to pass the crusty day,

sell with unctuous tensions,

they crushed souls to coins,

scattered over the hotel’s table.


it happens without notice

undesired it gives pain,

and I fall headlong on the road,

thus the reverie ends,

keep aside vanquished spirits,

I stand erect

to take help from an electricity pole,

insects hum

cry for life and light,

and alone I find the way,

to home in a deserted lane

as it looks now,

here the shadows wrestle

inside dim window’s curtains,

and dance to the tune of radio valve.

At a distance I see

a taxi on a secret trip,

blinds eyes

next moment I stand,

before the house and knock

at the door that opens as usual,

fight with the crumbled body,

under a day long torments,

throw it over the bed

lone, tired and worried

soothed and reconciled,

to old fashioned routine

that is life and I sigh,

for I am to rise morning next

peep into the mysteries un-girdled,

I find a scratch on the soul,

that will be healed at night

to make me rise afresh morning next,

that is life I sigh.

This night I promise

not to see the drama of night,

in darkness bright,

shadows of sin may hover over head,

I still hear the temple’s bell

to remind me that God is not dead.

About the Poet

An author of more than seventy books, P C K Prem (p c katoch of garh-malkher, palampur, himachal, a former academician, civil servant and member himachal public service commission, shimla), a post-graduate 1970 in English literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh, India, is a poet, novelist, short story writer, trans-creator and a critic in English and Hindi from Himachal, India. He is also an author of History of Contemporary Indian English Poetry – An Appraisal 2019 in two volumes, As I Know the Lord of the Mountains Shiva Purana 2021, Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana 2023 and ETERNAL TRUTHS –A few pages from Ancient Indian Literature, 2024 in Five Volumes, are his latest books.

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