Words: 1979 – 2010
Published by: Aadi Publications, 18, Jain Bhawan, Opp. N.B.C. Shanti Nagar, Jaipur – 302 006, (2012).
(A Collection of Poems)
D. C. Chambial
I owe my grateful thanks to the editors of these journals/magazines in which one or more of these poems have been published:
Art and Poetry, Bharat Protiva, Bizz-Buzz, Bridge-in-Making, Canopy, Contemporary Vibes, Creative Forum, Cyber Literature, Deshkal, Eureka, Explorer, Indian Book Chronicle, Indo-Asian Literature,  Journal of Indian Writing in English, Journal of Post-Colonial Literatures, Kafla, Kohinoor, Metverse Muse, New Horizons, Poet, Poetry Time, Poetry Today, Poets International, Reflections, Replica, Samvedana, Scholar, Shine, Skylark,  the Future, The Quest, Triveni, Voice of Kolkata; the Weeklies: The Palampur Reporter, The Himachal Reporter;  the Sunday Magazine Sections of daily Newspapers: Indian Express, and  The Tribune, (all Indian).
Lotos, The Shell (Yugoslavia), Archenoah, Log (Germany), Zenit (Austria), the Mawaheb, Plowman (Canada), Manxa (Spain), Perigramma (Greece), Prophetic Voices (USA).
I also owe my gratitude to the editors of the following anthologies for including my poems in their anthologies: Indian Verse by Young Poets (1980), Modern Trends in Indo-Anglian Poetry (1982), Prevalent Aspects of Indian English Poetry (1983-84), Busy Bee Book of Contemporary Indian English Poetry (2007), Brave New Wave (2009), Poets for World Peace Vol. II (2010), Poets’ Paradise (2010), Capriccio (Germany, 1999), Liebesgedichte (Germany, 2000).
And also to such other publications that I, in the long course of my writing career of more than 40 years, might have forgotten and lost copies of them.
I am also grateful to Dr. Atma Ram, Ex- Education Adviser to the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, Prof. Shiv K. Kumar, Indian English major poet and critic of renown, and Dr Jaydeep Sarangi, a critic, who have not only wrote ‘Foreword’ to my previous anthologies that were published individually but also encouraged me in my interest in this genre of creativity. I also express my thanks to Sh. PCK Prem who has been kind enough to go through my poems and make some valuable suggestions.
I shall be failing in my dharma (duty) of a writer, if I do not express my gratitude to Aadi Publications, in general, and Mr. Deepak Jain, in particular, who took special and personal interest in the publication of this book.

Poetry writing, for me, has been a natural process of creation, as a response to the sudden joggle to my poetic sensibility at the sight of some particular spectacle, emotional response to some reading, prevalent poverty, corruption, and social bias of human beings in the society, and also of gender discrimination, besides the hiatus that our system has created in the society, scams, and siphoning of the public money for personal benefit to get opulent in this country of the poor people who are dying for want of food whereas tons of grain is rotting in our stores.
The poetic process, as I construe, is very much akin to a biological process of procreation. Like the two human beings, male and female, who meet to conceive a child, the external stimulus and human sensibility come together and the idea of a poem, or any work of art, is imagined. After conception, a period of gestation is must, which varies from species to species; similarly, the idea conceived, with the help of external stimulus in a sensitive mind, needs some time for gestation, a period for the maturity of the idea, to develop into a coherent and organic thought. This period or time for the ripening of thought also varies from one creative person to other. And, when the thought has matured in the mind of the poet/artist, he/she becomes desperate to bring it forth, like the mother, who can’t help giving birth to the young one after the period of gestation and embryonic development is over; the artist becomes restless in delivering the poem/artifact, in concrete form, and giving it a life. After the creation is over, the creative artist heaves a sigh of relief and feels satisfied, like the mother having delivered the child. This work of art, poem/artifact, also lives its life and faces stiff struggle to exist. The successful ones live and attain fame, while the unsuccessful ones are lost in the drains of time. The poem/artifact, which attracts immediate attention of the readers and critics alike, can be said to be successful and passes the test of time and becomes “A thing of beauty and joy for all”; and, the one, that gets little or no response, fails to survive and is discarded.
I also believe in the poetic theory, of “plurisignation” propounded by Philip Wheelwright, in his book, The Burning Tree (1952), and consider a poem good that evokes varied responses from the readers and the critics. It not only delights but also instructs, simultaneously.
This edition of Collected Poems has poems of my two more anthologies published separately: The Mellow Tones (2009), and Words, the latest one appears for the first time in the present collection. These are my offerings for the readers and critics interested in poetry. It’s their judgment that counts for all work of art.
February 2011                                                                       DC Chambial

(My grand-daughter)

Indian English poetry, after the 1980s, has extensively grown, with a large number of poets writing variously. It also looks chaotic with the looming presence of the already established poets. The two features, in fact, make it a complex task to appraise new talents despite the merits they evince.
It is unfortunate that the media backed critics, academicians and scholars continue to appreciate the canon, and often act as detractors, when it comes to even acknowledge the presence of new voices. Their resistance to or rejection of without reading several promising but self-published poets bespeaks their prejudices, if not open condemnation, which needless to say, not only discourages readers and researchers but also warrants ‘death’ of the genre.
Yet, there are some positive signs: there are a few committed editors, poets, critics, reviewers and some academicians who have kept the quest for worthy poets on. They continue to promote new talents and new researches.
Like the several poets of the 1980s and 1990s, D.C. Chambial as a poet, has added to the diversity and innovativeness of the genre and among them he succeeds in establishing himself with his considerable creative output and poet excellences. His poetic oeuvre reflects a rare maturity. As a multilingual talent, Chambial explores the present, putting on the masks of a peasant, a lover, a humanist, an observer, and a reformer, with the sole purpose of establishing peace and order in the society, and harmony between human and Nature. Apart from a wide range of thematic concerns such as corruption, suffering, death, degeneration of values and society at large, socio-political concerns and man-woman relationship, the predominant themes in Chambial are Nature, ecological concerns and eco-consciousness which functions at two levels- aesthetics and mysticism.
Nature breathes and speaks prominently in his multifarious verses. The Nature scenery, particularly, that of Kangra, H.P., the home of the poet, has made a great impression on him. Almost all his poems contain some description or reference related to Nature or Nature related objects. His poetry encompasses the Kangra landscape: ‘dark hills’, ‘mountains’, ‘rivers’, ‘swift rivulets’, flora and fauna, combined at times with its habitat. Nature is so deeply infused in his poetry that one might even go to the extent of designating him as a Nature poet. In his delineation of naturescapes, the poet seems to be akin to the Romantics. For instance:
                                 blent in the grains of sand,
                                 transpires into the hue of marigold
                                 and scent of rajanigandha
                                 and the leaves green
                                 full of hope and life serene.
                                 i’m one with nature
                                 and drink deep from her store.           (‘In Harmony with Nature’)

The lines are highly sensuous and are full-tinted portraiture of Nature with all vocabulary that is necessary for communicating the attire and action of a favourite scene. The above lines remind one of Keats’ ‘Ode to a Nightingale’:
                                 I cannot see what flowers are at my feet
                                 Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs
                                 But..., guess each.

Apart from the positively presented images of Nature one also finds the darker sketches of Nature in poems  such as, ‘Dark Deep’, ‘Marina Beach, Madras’, ‘An Old Man’, ‘The Stones’ and others. Chambial’s Nature poems that contain the dark aspect possess affinities with the Victorians: “Nature red in tooth and claw”. For instance:
                                 Cold and stolid stones
                                 senseless and apartheid
                                 wriggle with
                                 spades and sickles
                                 atop murderous hills
                                 erode into sands                                  (‘The Stones’)

This aspect reflects the poet’s concern for both Nature and Man and is meant to sensitize the readers to the havoc caused by man and man made machines on Nature and its repercussions. The poet envisions humans in harmony with Nature and vice- versa:
                                 I feel the body disintegrating
                                 and flying in the air
                                 above the Himalayas;
                                 flows down to the coolest oceans;      (‘In Harmony with Nature’)

Chambial’s broodings over Nature actually point to two major concerns: aesthetics and mystical experience: his self- conscious use of Nature imagery into the fabric of his aesthetics. The psychological relationship the poet and Nature is the creative afflatus. In terms of aesthetics it can be described as the internalisation of natural imagery and exteriorisation through poetry.
Further, his conception of Nature has affinities with mystic experience as discerned in the works of the Romantics like Wordsworth, S.T. Coleridge, Shelley, Keats. Underlying the whole fabric, the whole intricacy of decoration there is the inspiration/ desire for spiritual perfection in Nature. W.T. Stace in his book, Mysticism and Philosophy, avers that mystical experience can be classified as either extroverted or introverted. In introverted mysticism the environment is lost. Extroverted mysticism is a Nature experience wherein one can sense being a part of something for longer than one’s individual ago and feel connected to Eternity:
                                 I’m one with Nature
                                 and drink deep from her store.           (‘In Harmony with Nature’)

This state of being is complete and in its fullest. It is the blissful state where the soul experiences a complete communion with Nature. In fact, it is the threshold of spirituality.
Further, the following lines aptly restate the sublime intuition of oneness:
                                 When you bechance to be
                                 there in the mountains
                                 you feel free. And cry
                                 in the heat of the moment.                              (‘Cruel Hour’)

The poem ‘Misty Reality’ bespeaks God’s grandeur manifested in Nature:
                                 I see the myriad beauties
                                 On this side of the hill
                                 And perfect darkness
                                 On the other.
Willy-nilly flow like water
                                 From this to that
                                 Forgetting about
                                 The colour and creed
                                 And be one there.
Go with a hope
                                 To be part of the myriad:
                                 Who has seen this
                                 Dream become a reality?

In the poem there is the soul’s urge to be a part of the myriad beauties of Nature and to experience the feeling of blessedness and ecstasy through the unitive state but the reasoning mind doubts the accomplishment of this state:
                                 Who has seen this
                                 Dream become a reality?

The interrogative mind shakes the senses from the state of trance. D.C. Chambial appears as a quasi-mystic poet as most of his Nature poems capture and articulate the state of mind which is filled with awe, urgency and fascination. For instance:
                                 A beautiful home exists beyond:
                                 Without roof and without floor....                  (‘Beautiful Beyond’)

Here is an Aurobindonian urge to go beyond spatial boundaries, i.e., in vastness. Being beyond space and time is the highest state of objectivity or reality. Moreover, the lines echo Robert Frost’s ‘Mending Walls’.
A similar kind of experience is reflected in the following lines, echoing Krishna Srinivas:
                                  I feel
                                 A falcon freedom
                                 To fathom
The deepest skies.
And have a glance,
                                 Of the BEYOND
                                 Where  FULLNESS
                                 Abounds all around:
The fullness of Kalpas
                                 And even beyond...                            (‘A Falcon Freedom’)
Here, again one comes across the unitive state where every object dissolves in one, oneness and one envisions luminosity, the cosmic light that is so radiant that one cannot withstand. It is in state that the soul experiences a falcon freedom.
Apart from the themes discussed above the other large themes that might be pursued through Collected Poems include: appearance and reality, the actual and the ideal, suffering, good and evil, the links between art and life, and Nature and human beings.
The imagery a poet uses is one way he gives life to his themes. D.C. Chambial’s poems are mirrored by their characteristic imagery, which is beautiful, realistic, striking and precise. The images that recur in his poetry are of many kinds. Images from Nature form an integral part of his poetry. ‘Flowers’, ‘mountains’, ‘trees’, ‘valleys’, ‘sun’, ‘river’, ‘hills and peaks’, ‘snow’ and the celestial images have been frequently pointed out to create therapeutic effect to the readers amidst sordidness and barrenness. These images also convey the poet’s strong Romantic flare for Nature and also play a vital role in the understanding of his aesthetic ambitions and achievements.
The animal images (such as ‘wolves’, ‘rats’, ‘cats’, ‘dogs’, ‘fox’, ‘crows’, ‘owls’, ‘hawks’, ‘vultures’ and others) are used mainly to depict degeneration, corruption, anarchy and chaos. His poetry also presents a series of pictures of modern city life through images of dirt and animal imagery.
In D.C.Chambial pathetic fallacy is a remarkable feature. The poet personifies the Nature objects to partake of human emotions:
                                 The sun’s gone,
                                 the moon  wails,
                                  meteors play funny tricks.                  (‘Cargoes of Bleeding Hearts’)

The lines display a power of beauty ordaining the sad tranquilling of sky and sunset.
Chambial’s verses also exemplify economy of expression and precision. For instance:
                                 A spark
                                 to ashes
                                 ashes spark.
A star             
                                 to night
                                 night dawns.                                       (‘Evolution’)

This is lyrically mystical and rhythmically spiritual. The poet displays great vareirties, both from poem to poem and within individual poems. He prefers irregular rhyme to end rhyms to create a greater effect, for a sudden tightening-up, for an abrupt change of mood. For example:
                                 Virtue weeps bitterly:
                                 Silently sobs dew, satan smiles
                                 At his success.                                     (‘Virtue Weeps’)

The poet also employs assonances and alliterations in abundance that has much of the echoing and wielding effect of full rhymes. The following lines a la Krishna Srinivas are an illustration of this:
                                 In these momentous moments
                                 Time melts
                                 Personal pains,
                                 All is a grand gala of
                                 Guileless beatitude                              (‘Momentous Moment’)

D.C. Chambial also experiments with the stanza pattern. His stanza patterns vary from poem to poem. It could either be a three-liner, a quatrain, a five-liner like tanka, a couplet, or a sonnet form. His shorter verses reflect the economy and urgency of lines.
F.R. Leavis in his book The Great Tradition (1948) states, “words in poetry invite us, not to think about and judge but to feel into or become.” D.C. Chambial’s verses play the same role. Since they are devoid of cerebral puzzles, they provide more comfort and ecstasy. His verses give us the impression of an eye that detects and communicates most simply and effectively.
Dhanbad                                                                                                                             R.K. Singh
Rajni Singh

1.      THE STONES
Cold and stolid stones
senseless and apartheid
wriggle with
spades and sickles
atop murderous hills,
erode in sands,
tarry on
ensor edge,
vacillate  like a pendulum;
pole to pole
in a vain hope of
of dole.


Life —
an  urge to go
to deeper recesses
but annulling force
of buoyancy doesn’t relax
until volcano erupts.

Agastya  gone to south
weary Vindhyas await
in dolorous hope of return.

It gushes to satiate
heat of the soil,
enthralling melody simmers
on the waves:
it is mermaid.
Quest is over.
Storm is calm.


gyrate like falcons
in the skeletal sky,
flow in streams of passions
past emotional hills
and sentimental valleys,
clouds gather overhead
to give myriad shapes
to colliding thoughts.

Image after image
appear on the blank canvas
pregnant with sun and snow
and prismatic glow.

Withdraw in awe
in pleasing dread
to enjoy the blissful
from a distance
in trance.


A cold ball of fire
by and by
sinks into
the sea of mist,
earth and heaven
cover themselves
in compromising pose,
submit to divine urge.


A gush of sobs and sighs
lifted the flimsy window screen
and amidst whirlpool
of warm tearful pearls
spread forth her apron to gather
starry jewels.

Impatient heart tossed
in ebbs and tides
rocked like a tong of bell.

Cargoes of thoughts
lay scattered
near sand-dunes;
greenery leered
to see her tremble
like a blade of grass
and fall down
a rootless tree
in storm.


It has been raining;
lost in meditation there sits
the solitary survivor
post-deluge relic
and recalls:
coffee, beer, whisky,
ball, cigarette and lighter,
lights in fluorescence,
rockets, steps on Moon,
skyscrapers, Skylabs,
even discovered Jupiter’s tail.

A rumble of tremor
shakes the roots
in rhyme and time to mongrel hoot.
Smoke wriggles in blank
From the ash-tray.

A couple in waist-deep dance
in galore of frivolities,
ravished mountains
melt into dark and gloom.

Dogs bark;
she upbraids skirt
to show bottle-legs,
sighs deep.

A dotard lingers,
she giggles.
Roars tractor; plays on flute.
Sun goes down—
a king dethroned.
Smoke shrouds the mango grove
to dance with clouds
on a carbon carpet.

Down there in paddy fields
a song booms to day’s toil
while birds wing homeward.

The solitary survivor
rubs his eyes
out of past dreams,
chants mantras
to invoke another


There was no sound
when you cried yourself hoarse;
in despair fell down,
sound did echo
over hills and in dales.

In either case
there was none
to catch the reverberations
the real message.


Smile on face
goes on pilgrimage.
Dead stones
wail like Niobe
by cold water.
Hot snow and cold fire
fire in the cloud of dust
a fountain of blood.
Lava boils in womb.

Hills tremble, weeps sky …
a stream of pensive smoke
flows into an ocean of despair.

Ashes …

Earth and heaven
in wedlock at horizon.


Roads in zigzag
from various sides
and reach an end,
a blind hole.
No exit.


Argentine peaks of yonder hills
disseminate crystals
of calm, gladness and purity
to the environ around,
collide with sound of sedition
in metropolis.

Lizards and serpents
hiss in an island,
eye at the sky.
Desert has no bounds.

Virgin hills!
Let honey flow
to those who have eaten
the fruit forbidden
and fiddle
with the infant geriatrics
of human faith.


Sixty Winters and Summers sixty
I have seen:
bald hills and white mountains
from the yard of my thatch—
not flinch even an inch.
Spring comes from a ring
to deck the valley
at the foot of the hill,
clouds thunder and blast
over the rafts.
The Sun and Moon
have their natural course.
Why should I,
then, stir
from my stance?

The buds and petals
who I stalk
brand me an old prig.
I am not Polonius,
dear Hamlets!

12. LIFE

Life is music
attuned by
maestro divine.

Pleasant to those
who pick
and dance with the song.

Jargon to those
who fail to find rapport
on the steps of melody and heart.


Every night the Moon
comes and goes
lives and re-lives
by degrees.

Each fortnight
lean thread to full moon,
full moon to lean thread
in an unending rehearsal
on the stage of firmament
enacts His glory.

(for Jayaprakash Narayan)

The bird flew very high
on its last voyage
to perch on the citadel of fame
and sang a note from the peaks
the valleys reverberated.

The flame flickered and burnt on
in storms and cyclones
and like a light-house
on the ‘perilous seas’
guided the ship.

Light flashed
in the welkin
of the troubled land
to put the digressed pilgrims
on the right track.

Mountain of courage stood
till the last breath was out.
Invincible to all the attacks,
harboured a forest
of harmony rooted in disharmony.

The pillar stood fast
supporting the mansion
rooted in the lore
of rich inherited faith,
bright hope.

Salubrious air and pollens
of crystal free thought
for the cultivation of a rich crop
of rich and prosperous people
free from the weed.

Bird is dead!
Flame is out! Light has gone!
Flutter is in my mind,
gleam, through my heart.
Halo is around my soul!

16.       A CAPTIVE

How desperately
I’ve tried and tried
to break the chakravyuha
of cobweb
around my transparent self
by fencing with shields and sabres
of words and figures
borrowed from fanciful fantasies.

Words envenom sorrows,
figures weave a cocoon of bliss
and captivate my trans-poised self
in the soulful effulgence.


Do not make me a pet
like a bird in cage
or puppy in the lap
nor enthrall
in the manacles
of your hands.

Let me roam
far, far away
on the bank of a placid river,
on the hills clothed with snow,
sleep and dream
on the flossy moss
by the brook.

Let me fly
beyond the outskirts
of time and space
to where maiden bliss
kisses off
cares and concerns.


A swarm of gnomes
from an infernal lake
towards the Sun
strange and horrible sounds.

Jackals, wolves, cats and rats
agog to see
rising betaals
to pin stemming rays
from the Sun.

we are engaged
in catatonic sciamachy.


Through the window
I see trees dancing
to a frantic rhythm
nurtured on mountains,
deep in seas.

Yellow leaves
irresistibly fling themselves
before the fury of the wind.
Heaven denounces
hypocrisy, apathy, selfishness,
lewd indulgence in sensuality.

Icy gush of wind
from silvery peaks
slaps my cheeks,
slams the door,
the moment
I try
to pry…

Thunder, lightning,
codes of conduct
when man
resolves to play beast
and revert
to prehistoric ogres
one another.


A spark
to ashes
ashes spark.

A star
to night
night dawns.


let me flow down.
I bet, hard as rock.
The heat of dreamy eyes
melts me
into a molten sea.

Hold up
and let me drop
inch by inch
glucose in veins.

Frozen lake
awaits loving hearts
to come and softly spill
the honey of their hearts
into the placid pool
of dreamy eyes.

Agony anchored deep in heart.
Who doesn’t know
emotions red flow
from eyes in wait?


How tightly
pinned on the table;
magnetic rays
from your luscious lips
transfix heart
on the cross;
every tendon tense.

to quench thirst
that singes mind
like forest fire.
Smoke rises,
jealous air
blows the cinders.

one by one
like the big, old deodars.

calm and quiet.
Poor ashes!


Soft and serene petals bloomed
in dales of heart, wither in awe;
weep, plunge into whirlpool of despair.

A familiar soprano manacles mind.
Earth revolves and sinks down
into mire of smoke.

Pearls down marble cheeks.
Unable to collect
in a palette
to weave them into a mosaic
on the canvas of time.

24. DAWN

Victory over gloom
Of the night,
Gleeful smiles,
honey’d music
of divine singers,
prayers of innocent hands
burn frosty incense
in the censer of virgin pool
and blush
as open palms join
for Dhaulagiri.
Dendron heads stand
blood red before the altar;
a morning
of live hope dawns
to uncover ‘n’ absolve
sin of din.