My poem LUCKNOW- AN ODE TO THE CITY is my ultimate love letter to the aesthetic musicality of my hometown, the cultural epicenter Lucknow. This has been published by RHETORICA QUARTERLY. What makes it particularly special is that the poem has graced the magazine of my own department, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND MODERN EUROPEAN LANGUAGES, UNIVERSITY OF LUCKNOW, the home that literally raised me as one of its own and which I cherish with a great sense of gratitude and pride.


Also on Friday, March 12th, 2021, I received the betokened opportunity to read the poem as part of the highlighting event of the LUCKNOW LITERARY FESTIVAL, an annual celebration of the city’s rich cultural and literary profusion. An initiative for new and emerging writers, it was such a blessing to be the first poet to headline this august occasion and share the stage with some visionary minds, all from my own department.

It was also distinctive as it was in partnership with our host department and was the only offline event of the fest so in a post Covid world, it sprinkled the amorphous, eternal ethos of literature, creativity and unity among like-minded individuals. It was such a joy to be among friends, distinguished guests, beloved teachers and emerging writers of great potential.

Hence, read this poem as it encapsulates all that its creation meant for this writer. Gratitude. Hope. Unceasing imagination. Spirit of Unity, above all in a communal love for self-expression.



  1. This poem, PJ, is absolute beauty! And looking over the pictures of you, it’s not just your poem that is beauty! 😉

    “The hour of our lives is determined.” I cannot tell you how many times I use the word, “hour” or “hours,” in my writing. I think I use these words for BOTH (as it always is with me): The influence of the film, THE HOURS, which is #2 on my all-time favorite films list (gets close to taking over #1, ORDINARY PEOPLE, but can’t seem to take the spot….yet!) AND the reference so many times in the Bible about Jesus’ Hour not yet come (as in John 2:4 and John 7:6). The thought that “the hour of our lives is determined” is not always easy for me to swallow. It might be determined for Jesus, but is it determined for me? Or do I determine my own….well, determination….as in my destiny? This can bring up the conflicting notion of activity vs. passivity. I meet so many Christians who are passive, saying not to “be the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi) and just wait for Jesus’ Hour to come will all be restored to Paradise as it was in The Beginning. I say, “NO WAY!!!!! I’M ACTIVITY!!!!” This is especially apropos when it comes to animal welfare. Some will say, “don’t worry about being vegan, Timothy, as we will all be vegan when Paradise is restored.” I’m like, “WTF????” No, I will not NOT worry about veganism and protecting God’s nonhuman animals from harm by just “waiting it out” (passivity) until Paradise is restored; I will INDEED “worry,” as in “be the change you want to see in the world,” by being a vegan NOW so that God’s nonhuman animals will not have to worry about suffering NOW!!!! I smoke cigarettes and desperately asking God to help me quit. One of the Christians who gave me the “don’t worry….” message about veganism told me I had to quit smoking. I agreed I wanted to quit smoking but I also told him he couldn’t have it BOTH (there’s that word again!) ways, i.e., he could not ask me to not worry about being a vegan because we’ll all be vegans when Paradise is restored AND, at the same time, ask me to worry about quitting smoking because we’ll all be nonsmokers when Paradise is restored. He did NOT like that I presented BOTH these ways, although I’m quite often a “BOTH these ways” kind of guy. 😉

    Once again, your poetry, PJ, is absolutely sublime! I know I’ve said this before but when I read your poetry, I really wonder if I can call myself a poet. I’ve probably also said that I don’t like to compare, because “compare leads to despair” and, on that note, I think we are very unique poets, as all poets need be. What works for my poetry may not work for your poetry, and vice versa. I mean, I write God Sonnets with animal welfare advocacy thrown in. Not sure there are many (if any) poets out there who can stake that claim to unique fame (fame, for what it’s worth, as far as my “hourly determination” to live by the Spirit [egoless] and NOT by the flesh [ego]!). And your poetry is “stake that claim to unique fame” because your poetry haunts me BOTH: My physical senses AND my spiritual senses! That right there is the sign of a MOST SUBLIME, UNIQUE, AND UNEQUALLED poet as as yourself, PJ!!!!

    Love and blessings,
    Timothy (“Mr. T”)


    1. I meant to type “such as yourself,” not “as as yourself.” Oh, well, typing is “as as” typing does! 😉


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