Thursday, June 4, 2020

Eighteen English Poems by Abnish Singh Chauhan

1. A Prayer to the Goddess

Hark, Mother, hark
trim and harp
giving voice
to my ill-shaped lyre
O Goddess Saraswati!


Inside-out darkness prevails
illusion camps on my mind
fill me with light
pave the way
O Goddess Saraswati!


Small desire I have
to sing a song of humanity
live and die for some great cause
give me such an insight, force
O Goddess Saraswati!


Help me to learn who I am
what is my aim in this world
how to practice satyam shivam sundram.
awake my sleeping conscience
O Goddess Saraswati!


(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 54)


2. Heed! Dear, Heed!

Heed! Dear, heed!
the bell is ringing,
the bird is singing,
there, smiling the sun.


Come and see
the lovely scene,
the sonorous sound
and joy around!


Tell me dear-
do you have time
to stop, to watch
to listen to it?


Do you have time
to know, to think
what life is and
how to lead it?


The bird sings so,
the sun says so,
the bell rings so,
in their own ways!


(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 55)


3. A Paper

Sometimes rises
falls now and then,
twists and strives
to fly again,
from birth to end
a paper— it is simply known.


Sometimes brims its eyes
with hunger-pain,
speaks out its mind
before the insensitive clan,
frets and fumes
a paper— it is simply known.


When entrapped
dances like a spindle
in the broken pieces of mirror,
sees its capsized faces
at intervals, overtaken by events
a paper— it is simply known.


Sometimes burns like coal,
like ashes weeps,
when mingled with soil
it ever sleeps,
gets hoed with ploughing
a paper— it is simply known.


(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 56)


4. Pain Comes and Goes

Pain comes and goes
with the breath I take
or puff out
when it becomes stale
cries my heart,
ever churns my nose.


People see me
as though I am happy
Ihave boundless joy
but the reality
they do not know
or wish not so.


Wind awakes
moves with force
takes my tired breath
to some unknown place
filling the spot
with ever-soaring pain.


Who cares
what is there and why?
They care, but

for themselves
for their kids
for those who are close
in blood or in state.


I stake myself
where I always board
where I always fight
trying to come out
sound and safe
with some scratches on my back.

(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 57)


5. Who Cares For Whom!

Boatmen without boats
meet me by the river—
how long would I go with them!

It is the ever flowing river,
a river of misery,
a river of pain,
drowning many on the shore.


Their taunts I hear
for the work assigned,
wasting my body all day,
sixty rupees are my wages
to soothe the hunger of my kids,
sailing in different boats all of us
beating our drums, as we go.


Borrowing increases day by day
anyhow my life goes,
daily comes the banker
at my broken door
with his flaring tongue,
everyone worries for himself,
who cares for whom I know!


Food and water everywhere—

what can a needy man say?
can his hunger be soothed

by seeing the sight?
no, no, he knows,

his eyes have hope—
the art of survival on this earth.


(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 58)


6. Under the Scorching Sun!

Walls remains tinted with
advertising leaflets,
we always see
passing through the lane,
enhancing curiosity,
craving for some things,
but purse allows us not.

What we earn, goes as it comes
for arranging daal-bhat
or sometimes for the medical cure,
ever rising prices of things
like the mouth of sursa,
an onion more pungent than a chili
makes our eyes flow with tears.

Our mutual efforts couldn’t save
food and water for the coming days,
we get what we produce in the fields—

one third of our total labour,
under the scorching sun,
when added cost reduced the profit
we fail to recover.


The rhetoric on the stage
hides all the misdeeds
of the so-called greats,
the bird was hungry, is still hungry,
fun and frolic for those
who know how to make money
by means fair and foul.


(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 59)


7. He Wants to Mount!


Inserts his foot this fellow

in cracked bamboo

to open his own account,

knows the humble lot well

what is his aim,

where he wants to mount?

Dynamite grows in his fields,
arms to put up for sale,
hounds the humble folk
in the garb of a well-wisher,
his great attachment is with profit
he earns from them.


All the bans are for those
who did not follow him,
trounced before the world
to let them know their worth,
he does what he does
what exactly pleases his mind.


A vanguard in power and pelf,
junk in human bonds,
known as a big gangster,
yet, applause comes to him
showering prizes on his lap,
so ta- ta-thaia he sings!


(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 60)


8. Crooked Inside

Letters seem straight
out of the mirror
but crooked inside
making delusion
with their stage-show
catching the innocent mind.


Water looks pure in image
in taste saline
for destroying life
comes mercury up in the well,
place to place sits a crazy monkey
holding a razor in his hand.


In a crematorium one can see
rotting flesh and blood,
how long could one breathe
so much one has to think,
how many houses erupted
the roaring-cruel sea!


Swans get down their rosary
now worn by crows,
from the caretaker of the garden
so scared is the branch!
visible red like blood
shredded beet into pieces.

(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 62)


9. Peace Comes and Stays

Desire all of us
to live in peace,
having peace of mind
and peace around.


Peace comes not through
the barrel of a gun,
strategies made in files
or slogans of caste and clan.

Peace is peace,
it garlands him
who loves it
and always adores.


Peace comes and stays
where life is easy,
where love and care,
where no smoke in air.

(A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Page: 63)


A Comment by Marie Shine:


As a poet, he builds a bridge between his reader and the world of poetry. He draws the reader in from the title of the poem and keeps them captive there until they reach the very last word in the poem. Whatever the subject matter, Abnish's work is most inspiring. He is a poet who is filled with passion for the work he produces. His work arouses the reader's senses and he effortlessly draws them into his world, where his words touch the reader on all levels, through the use of visual details and language. The reader is able to feel the writer's emotions, thoughts and intentions. There is a timeless quality of greatness in his work, which is most appealing. (A String of Words, 53)


Work Cited:


A String of Words (Compiled with a Preface and Brief Notes about the Poets by Marie Shine). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2010. Pp. 63. Price: 50. ISBN: 978-817977-387-1


10. On Meeting

A spring bloom
always gives
hope and joy to me.


A hope—
to fly
like a butterfly.

A joy—
to smile
like a baby’s eyes.


turns gradually
in Autumn
making me
sad and blue.


Is it the cycle of Time
or some type of democracy
In this temporal world?


if comes,
never goes
in the world of psyche
where a bloom
opens ever
and closes never
on meeting the BLOOM.




11. Not a Rebeller

A time comes
when his heart and mind rebel
and chastise—
'This is enough.'


But, the force of feelings in him
subsides after a while
as if it is a periodic process
and nothing else.


Garrulously talking at mealtime,
daydreaming while meditating,
falling asleep with the television on
or sitting on internet for hours.


Gossiping in the canteen,
taking interest in rumors,
making rumors
or criticizing others.


Doing nothing properly,
getting annoyed too easily,
lying at sixes and sevens
and on being caught, saying— no, no.


On being fed up with all this,
his heart and mind rebel
and want some big change.


But, it seems to him
nothing is going to change in his life.
He is a slave to his habits,
not a rebeller— yes.


12. Unanswered Prayers

a few birds
in the sky,
a few animals
on the earth,
a few fish
in the river
and a few others uncounted too
with their hearts sad,
eyes wet
and breaths slow and bad.


even the sun,
the weather
losing patience steadily
and the sunflower
suffering with head rot.


silence everywhere
in the temple
in the church
in the mosque
in the Gurudwara
even in the hearts of millions
as diseases are rapidly growing
more than medications
and in between
the prayers are
unanswered till date.


13. A Magpie

Once I saw a magpie
flying low and near
so, I said, “Do not fly,
use your landing gear.”


O little, bright, cute bird!
please listen my plea
either say word for word
or tell A B C.


I know my garb is blurred,
yours is ever glee
for you my heart is stirred
come friend, play with me.


[Comment: I admire the flow, the language and the beautiful end rhymes. A wonderful write, uplifting and I'm touched at the glee this little bright bird could bring. Thank you for sharing this precious beauty in a nutshell.17 Jul by Sylvia Frances Chan]


14. On the New Year

Let us wish you
a very happy new year,
spoke the lurid signboards
hung on the roadsides.


The same words were heard
on the cell phones
on the channels
in T.V. shows
in the newspapers, magazines
woven into wonderful stories
of the old and the new
on the new year.


The historians, researchers, speakers,
even the poets
came out from their cells,
premeditated and declared
the changes and developments of the world,
but they were unanimously silent on
the mystery of life and death
in the full glory of new year.


Their findings could unfold the only truth that
the world is imbibed in the pole dance
trying to enjoy the days, and the nights as well
from the beginning of its creation.

And, it is happy, sometimes sad
in its short and small journey,
or long and strange journey —

a journey from January to December.


[Enjoyed this. The different meaning of "pole dance" was refreshing, and one I will remember. The world spins on its axis, and we pursue happiness and meaning in the time given us. Have a meaningful, productive, and peaceful new year. 29 Jan by Don Bouchard]


15. Your Embrace

You embrace me
the stored ego melts
like an iceberg.


16. My Silence

My keeping silence
He hears-
He claims so!
He, who never liked
to hear my words
during my life.

He'll hear
my silence
through my defeated heart
when he puts his ear
on my chest
to verify the fact
that I am dead.


17. A Blank Call

Many things were left
to be shared with her
since the first meeting
in a local train.


We traveled
in the same train
for years.


I can’t remember
how many times
we met
but I can recall
how many times
we departed.


One day
she left the train
then I knew
the meaning of a blank call.


18. On Holi


O Lord Krishna!
On Holi
I wish to see
your colourful leelas
in Golok Vrindavan

with Radharani and other friends.

I traverse to your Shri-dham
with full faith and hope
and there only darshan
thronged with pujaris,
pandas and other agents
playing Holi with the devotees
in the compound.

They say—
YOU also live within
I search you there too
day and night
and only see
the endless darkness,
no hue.

O help me, my Friend!
to become vijantah
one who knows YOU
and one's unique colours of soul.


About the Poet:


Prof. (Dr) Abnish Singh Chauhan (1979) is a bilingual poet, critic, translator and editor (Hindi and English). His significant books include Swami Vivekananda: Select Speeches, Speeches of Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose: A Comparative Study, King Lear : A Critical Study, Functional Skills in Language and Literature, Functional English, Writing Skills and The Fictional World of Arun Joshi: Paradigm Shift in Values. His deep interest in translation prompted him to translate thirty poems of B S Gautam Anurag under the title Burns Within from Hindi into English and some poems of Paddy Martin from English into Hindi. He had been invited as Speaker to Ahmedabad International Literature Festival 2016. Besides Harivansh Rai Bachchan Yuva Geetkar Samman (2013) for his Hindi poetry collection Tukada Kagaz Ka from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, Lucknow, U.P., he is the recipient of Pratham Kavita Samman (2011) from Kavita Kosh (, Book of the Year Award (2012) from the Think Club, Michigan, USA, Srajnatmak Sahitya Puraskar (2013) from Rajasthan Patrika, Jaipur, Rajasthan, Navankur Puraskar (2014) from Abhivyakti Vishwam, Sharjah, UAE, etc. He edits International Journal of Higher Education and Research, Creation and Criticism and a Hindi magazine Poorvabhas. He can be contacted at

A Comment by Prof Amar Singh

Dear Abnish

Your unprecedented energy levels, conceptual learning and accomodating personality is abundantly astounding to one and all. Despite your affluent position, authoritative convenience and unparalleled excellent rapport with eminent academicians, how you remain down-to-earth is a subject of reserch. We are humbled, blessed and enlightened to have enjoyed your ingenuity as our extraordinary companion. Your outstanding efforts in transforming the lives of destitutes through selflessness and dedicated endeavours is inimitable.

If wishes were flowers, we would have plucked a thousand for a wonderful person like you. Institutional establishments would have been in shambles, had it not been persons like you. As you celebrate this milestone, we feel elated by your astute prudent directives, unassuming conduct and motivational ethics as a friend, philosopher and guide. Under your enthusiastically visionary leadership, missionar'y zeal and privileged mentorship of immense support, thoudands stand benefited. The impact of your selfless inspiring activism has given wings to the persons of deprived sections of society. May you continue to excel in your pious intentions. God bless you immensely enough.

Dear, you are one of the par excellent, vibrant and dynamic personalities of my friend circle.

Stay tuned connected and blessed.
Happy Birthday, Dear.

God bless you!


Prof. Amar Singh
Department of English
Chhindwara University
Chhindwada, M.