Stephen Gill on poetry and poets






The muse

that muscles the vision of poets

shape my pen into the plough

that will prepare my land

for sowing peace

wherever its blade touches.

Carpet a comforting glare of the sun

to melt the snow

that is known to freeze hearts.

I wish to harvest

a ripened manna of harmony

of the youthful enlightenment

to validate the claim

that outgrowths

from diversity of landscape

stem from the cosmic order

of the same source.

Fragrance of spring

sustain a structure of strength

with the braces of my lyrics

that will secure breaths together

in a mystical dance

to the tune of the song of the dove.


The blazing blows of the wilderness

fan the smoulders of my spirit

into the burning flames

that will consume from my writing

all that is dross

for the gold of my passion

to shine.







From the conscience of my pen

o master

blossom a richness of pleasing nutrients

of calm energy

for the surge of healthy hormones

to flower the fertility for peace.

From your sacredness

water my passion to sustain

the freshness of the heavenly hues

inspiring in a smithy

of the distinguished diversity

for the court

where cultures clash.

To pacify the frenzy of violence

equip my pen with your amazement

that is fused with vitality.








Strengthen my pen to weed out

the war

the misery

and the hard days of the past

and to help

good to emerge.


Strengthen my words to weed out

the spite

the dark

and the frowning evil of the past

and to help

love to rule.


Strengthen my lyrics to weed out

the bigotry

the cruelty

and the fanatic howls of the past

and to help

justice to shine.


Strengthen my voice to weed out

the fear

the sickness

and the Satanic wrath of the past

and to help

truth to appear.


Strengthen my songs to weed out

the unrest

the snow

and the brutal thorns of the past

and to help

spring to surge.





The world of poetry

is woven with rainbow strings

sorted in the secret caves of desire

to recreate

the source of that supreme grace

that evolves

in the womb of solitary hours

during the creative nights of its conception.


Its beauty---

a harmonious marriage between art

and knowledge---

nourishes the child of a human journey

through varied landscapes

enveloping the nourisher

with an unexplainable calm of the brooks

that flow leisurely through jungles

and hills

along the shores of divinity.


Its creator

cultivates in every line of furrows

a crop of the palpitation of human groans

and a glory that is the essence

of trailing clouds

while weighing the tangled mysteries.


Its sky is studded with diamonds

excavated from the rocky valleys

of human experience

with the sole help

of a primitive knife of the craft

and an ink

fused with laughter and tears.


The soul of poetry

can be reflected but partially

through the earthly mirror of symbols.





He wanted to pour out his soul.

"It is an art," critics shouted.

To learn it

you need great masters.


He made a bowl of himself.

For years

he begged at schools

collecting degrees.

He went to various nations

gathering their stars.

Eagerly, he crammed the gurus.

He burnt the midnight oil

till the bowl was heavy.

He considered himself a scholar

and became proud

though yet a beggar.


Armed with degrees

he tried to defy the world.


he flew in the air.


He carried his bowl to Apollo

who saw it with scorn.

He knocked at the doors of Sarsavati

and a host of Eastern sages;

they ignored his presence.

He approached the Greek philosophers

and the Latin pundits;

they shrugged him off.

He went to Shakespeare and Milton;

for them, the bowl carried trash.


In despair

he walked to the jungle

shedding tears.

He emptied the bowl

sitting on a rock

while the setting sun

made the horizon bright.


Vultures came

and finished the crumbs.

He began to bleed

as some ate his flesh

when nothing was left.



he collected the blood in the bowl

and began to write with a weed

the story of his greed.


Crowds came from far and wide;

they said the man has powers.

They built a fortress around him

and dug a well of sweet waters.


Behind him

they waited with offerings

but he continued pouring out his soul.

He was never proud again.




Away from the life-stifling smoke

from the heartbreak house

lies a solitary isle of art

where I have tended

a garden for my retreat.


Its paths I strew

with the fragrance-laden flowers

I feed

with my passion and my dreams.

My docile children

I watch frolicking in the sun.

They exhale peace

that surpasses all.


A free moth

I converse with fogs

and listen to the rhythm

wrapped in life's melody.

I watch closely

the silk brocade of every colour

in the rainbow.

The wind and the clouds

talk to me

and a tantalising aroma of my muse


the deadening mists of boredom.


In this garden

no more ice of silence

no doors

no locks

and no keys.

The logs

in my soul's fireplace

burn the bigotry beast.


No haste

no worry

no malice

and no darkness of prejudice

lurks here.

Eyes set on my horizon

on calm waves I sail here.





(For LC P)

To assail

or not to assail

that is the question.

Should writers resign themselves

to the stench of your structure

of injustice

braced by the barbs of bigotry

or uncover your ugliness

at the shrine of law and liberty?

To be or not to be

that is the question

whether it is rewarding to toil alone

on the rocky island of writing

and raise a crop for self-appeasement

or slaughter the wolves of hunger

in the domain of your prejudice.

To die in the dark

is not for us.

Writers must use their coin

that is the Lord's wish.

Should poets

let the flower of hope be wasted

by the sickles of racial winds

is the question now.

You bathe

in the bounteous glearn of the public purse

clipping ambitious wings

of self-exiled guests

that shames the courtiers of Apollo.

You debase the name of the nation.

Be soft now

unfair Ophelia

fear the fire of that undiscovered land

from which no traveler has yet returned.

Should a writer who has breathed his whole life

under the fragrant canopy of the Muse

be so banished from her court

is a question now ?






Poets free

the birds of their blood


weave purrs and growls

with a single loom.

They are cats

walking in the darkness of solitude.

Poets give birth

to the agony of joy:

the children

raised by airy beings.

Nothing can replace those births

not even the letters of acceptance

that are the arrows of chance.






Novelists portray conflicts

and plots;

they are actively engaged

with their characters.

Their frequent visitors,

the ghosts of the past.

Fiction writing

not a lonely art.


Their words

flower, fire and wound,

light, boon and guide.

The pen of tyrants

turn them into dreadful,


rotten and distasteful

to breed

destruction, greed and confusion.

They are the adders of today.







Poets are adventurous

they dive with swimmers

dance with singers

and enter

the souls of tyrants

as they paint


in the seas of thoughts


the waters of emotions

with the delicate oars

of pens.


They catch unaware

naked creatures of waves.

To civilize

they cloth them with images

stitched with words.






When dearth and sword

and hope despaired

sound their notes

poet is acclaimed

and sought.


When dusky night

flood and thunder

send their rage,

the candle blaze

a wind-trembled leaf

shrinking flesh

image of Daedalus

leads the way.






My songs

toughness of the shield

tongue of equality

struggle for peace

for human rights.


My songs

beauty in living

hope for warmth

and thirst of prosperity.

The rainbow of my joy

link distant islands of disharmony.


My songs

find the rhythm of life

within the castle of grace

cannot be abducted.

They are

the pride of the crown

rubies of bliss

above jaspers and emeralds.


My songs

path of my home

breathe for truth.

They flout the regency of rust.


My songs are the brooks

that flow leisurely

through the green valleys

of blessedness.

They root out terrorists

that sail on the currents of cruelty

to find their god.

They are the agony of my soul.






How often

I have flashed

the light of her name

in my doleful tunnel


within the palms of my intent

the toxic insect of emptiness.



the jealous winds outside

smite my windows desperately

like a being insane

while inside I am at peace

with her.


Like the waves

my fingers

caress those regions,

the sapphires of her grace,

where the thief has not yet

wrought its ruthlessness

and which are preserved

even today

in the chest of time.


This moment

I am enveloped

in the fragrance of her smiles

which are known to diffuse

even in dark autumn nights.






Where are the poets

those pilots of words

who would stop

the march of madmen?

I wish

those bards could lead

flashing the swords of their lyrics

to end recurrences

of blood-covered scenes!


Where are those philosophers

mightier than cannons

who would stop

the games of chess?

I wish

those sages could teach

scheming players

how to love and live!


Where are those artists

our painters and pacifists

that would stop

the ravages of the village

by the fury of the explosives

of their brush?


I wish

those souls could release

the birds of light

to sing and smile!


Where are those

guided minds

to replace now

the guided missiles?

I wish

those humans could breed

a crop of serene beings.

I wish

someone could inform our masters

that a fanatic mind

fathered by ignorance

and ugly-faced doubts

is a death cradle

and that

these wars choke innocents

in smoke-smeared fields.






Don't be surprised

if for a long time

you hear

from their chambers

the silence

that pervades a graveyard.


Writers are not inactive;

they have to write in their mind

before pounding on typewriters.


They strain

under a roof of humility

standing on the unshakable ground

of determination

in the strife-ridden bazaar

for artists.

These dormant buds

blossom presently to ablaze

with prismatic appearance

in the garden

of unparalleled beauty.






It all started

when I was enamoured

with the wildflowers of the muse

on the bend of the road

of a cold night.


While walking hungry

I saw an unlocked house.

I tiptoed

into the kitchen of the books

to grab warmth and nourishment

for the baby

I carried inside of me.

From that day

I never looked back.


Relentless robot

I kept walking.

I heard doors closing behind me.

Dropping tears

on the breast of the dust,

I heard another door banging

and then another.

I kept walking

because of the baby

I had inside.


Outside the chamber of comforts

I set the child free.

I borrowed some drugs

from the passion of my pen

to repose

beside the fireplace of fancy.

Sitting within the walls

of my writing,

I forgot the cold.


Copyright Stephen Gill