I can hear the flapping of wings in a pitcher of void.
In it, I see
space spread, break
on the peak of the moment.
And so, there’s nothing to it, when I meet the void, casually :
I glide like water
in the unending ocean
The body sways to the rhythm of the planets.
The measures of the breath
can be heard
in the blood
as if ecstatic saints were raining flowers
on the street like confetti.
yet I am
At this moment I proclaim myself a drummer-poet.
At this moment when history is a trance,
an epiphany of marijuana.
Perched on the carpet of this flying saucer,
this silo of piano-notes,
I proclaim myself a combatant in the field of words.
In the acid-rock world flowing by,
having drunk the summer of my hopelessness
here in the field, Shiva lies, after smoking hash
under the moon’s soft glare : I hear winged echoes
of his sleep.
I hack through the gateways of my body and enter those echoes.
The shastras of stupor grow under the eyelids :
You send the Vedic slokas surging like electric current
through your every home
Stillwater, at last I have woken up today to sing your song.
percussionist of the damru,
wailing voice of the navel :
in an African beat, I find myself today.
America, my foreign drumbeats
shall proclaim this today :
I sing here to immortalise
the tender trees of your highways,
the tender trees that hide
and play tennis
in the shadow of your giant chemical plants.
Prabodh Parikh is a poet/fiction writer who mostly ends up writing letters to friends in Gujarati/English. He studied philosophy in the US in seventies and retired as a teacher of Philosophy in 2005. At present he is Faculty In-charge of Art Literature and Culture, Whistling Woods International.
In the early 60’s along with fellow poet Sitanshu Yashashchandra he edited a journal of poetry devoted to surrealist/avant garde poetry. He was also involved in a radical movement called Zreygh which was centered in Ahmedabad.
His lifelong love for Jazz (Village Vanguard, New York), Beer (pubs everywhere) and Sada Dosa (Tiffin services in the streets of Thiruvananthapuram), takes him to different cities of the world, where he also lectures on contemporary Indian Literature, Arts and Cinema. Gandhi and Tagore continue to engage him, as much as, Buddhist monasteries.
He was Charles’ Wallace fellow at the University of Liverpool, and as a visiting Fellow, University of Sorbonne, Paris, he conducted seminar on Aspects of Indian Literature, Cinema and Paintings.
In 2016 he completed a documentary film on fellow Gujarati poet Labhshanker Thaker and presently he in to completing a documentary film on the poet Sitanshu Yashashchandra.
Spring 2020 he will be showing his new drawings and paintings in Mumbai/Ahmedeabad. Also, a manuscript of his Gujarati poems is ready and will go to press in early 2020. A book of his poems translated in English “Stillwater” will be published by Poetrywala in summer 2020.