☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.




-          P C K Prem (India)


Scene I

To execute a man was a playful music

a kind of nectar,

with an ethereal vanity

it makes people weak.


It finishes if wishes to govern,

I knew whoever is

if not, the coronet will be trampled

in a specious land,

as people whisper prayers in lexis hushed.

Scene II

On a stinking white cloak

physicians on attendance,

throw winks around and laugh

and I still wanted to live

and see the conspirators, friends, sons

and women of the harem,

want shares in epitaphs after death.


Streets full praying for a long life,

a riddle like a Chinese nod I tried to unravel

to write a poem under strain

I felt, was awful.


I faintly articulated, lips tried

to make circles,

found words flowing out in gushes

like a seasonal rivulet of dirty water.


Scene III

I observe a son closeted with the ministers

and relations in turn

all walk out putting up scared

and wishful faces as a son tells,

write suitable words to be inscribed

as an obituary on the gravestone.


Son thought I was unfit like Zafar

or like a spineless ruler I was forced

to sign papers,

to smother peoples voice

before a dark era of Indian history,

proved dictates of destiny

where men are just string-puppets.


Stunned, I feel burnt up

and the soul cries for relief,

in a crowd of cheats infinite

it is alleged as a world phenomenon

and before walking out

son tells not to write a poem,

but a befitting elegy for poetry.


He believes it an idle man’s fancy

correct I knew he is,

for frequent changes in poetic idiom disturb

he often tells.

Scene IV

A wad of notes bulges out of the pocket

as if buying an edit in papers,

and I find eyes dripping tears

as a nurse stretches me on the table.


I feel wrinkled face drenched

and hands wet,

as I listen to a limerick dead before birth,

a real verse is difficult I know,

in an age of cons and blogs

that invade fragilely plastic fingers,

while computing is filled with virus.

Scene V

Words on the mobile read, I am dead

‘Long live the poet ruler, I hear words

on the table,

while nimble fingers remove diamond rings

and necklace,

and I hear within deafening sounds

as cons get up for the ensuing chaos,

quietly I return to present though anguished

to celebrate death.

Scene VI

I take tea silently and stand distressed

before a window,

with a paper in hand and a haiku for a grave,

the document slips out

and falls into a pot-hole,

near a citrus plant growing

in a black sandy soil,

almost a gutter with polythene

littered around.


And next second a long–tailed dog

from a distance appears, sniffs, snuffles

and with a lifted hind-leg pisses

and runs away.


Alas, a funeral song goes down the drain

with the tearful eyes,

a picture of death

….I had yet to see.


I heave a deep sigh and get up

as I scatter around,

and walk into the dark lanes

in little pieces

of memory in search of a man

of verse and distinction

of music and love who died

a moment ago.