Visions from Far and Near: Souls on Fire

A New Book from Michael Chacko Daniels

Morning in Santiniketan

I have a new book out: a beautifully handcrafted book of 51 haiku, "Morning in Santiniketan," published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata.

In this book of fifty-one haiku, my poetic journey starts with “Morning in Santiniketan” in West Bengal, India.

Santiniketan, or abode of peace, is a small town in the Indian state of West Bengal.

There in the early 1900s, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore started a progressive school set in a natural environment; his goal was to stimulate joy in learning.

The place and time where each of the fifty-one haiku in this book took form were a Santiniketan for me.

 ~A Review excerpt~

(From the review by Melanie Daniels (no relation), April 8, 2011, in Hackwriters at the bottom of the following page:

“Each evening a few of us read aloud our favorite haiku from Morning in Santiniketan to each other. When I asked one friend which one was her favorite, she replied that if she sat with any one of these haiku that it would become her favorite.  That’s high praise!”

Ask your local library to request

Morning in Santiniketan



 Michael Chacko Daniels

Post Office Box 641724

San Francisco, CA 94109, USA


It's free for schools and public libraries worldwide!

A New Short Story

from Michael Chacko Daniels

Hackwriters, Sept/Oct 2010

Grandma and the Old Warrior

Grandma Jacob, dressed in a white cotton sari and blouse, opened the door of her new home on Rural Route 2, South Riverside, on a warm day in 1975 and looked into the blue eyes of the old Polish warrior.

The sounds of birds and bees and wasps and dragonflies, and a thousand other creatures filled her ears - all making the best use of the short Michigan summer.

His feet were planted at her doorstep like two oak trees. . . .

See More


Bits of Excitement:

Haiku, Senryu, Haibun for Our Days

Last year, my sister, Molly Daniels-Ramanujan

encouraged me to write haiku and went on

to provide feedback on over five score haiku, senryu, and haibun

I have written since then,


~ Five Senryu ~

(The Twig, The Spreading Chestnut Tree, Buffers,

Evening in San Francisco, and Waiting for the Taxidermist)

which Grey Sparrow Journal published in

Issue #5, Spring 2010

~ Two Haibun ~

Rainy Day Memories (of Bombay)

which Hackwriters published in June 2010 and

Shadows of Spread Wings

which Hackwriters published in July 2010

~ One Haiku ~

Morning in Shantiniketan,

which Eclectica Magazine published

in their Oct/Nov 2009 issue,

~ Ten Haiku ~

The Battered Suitcase

published in its Autumn 2009 issue.

The Battered Suitcase, the flagship

publication of Vagabondage Press, LLC,

 "promotes intelligent and

imaginative art and fiction." 

Below are the links for your reading pleasure:


Cold Stone

Big Sun Country



Raccoon Picnic

Puffball Lion

Wood Song


Trash Talk

Haiku for Spring 2009


Morning in Santiniketan

Also, please be sure to check the biographical

note in Eclectica @

Enjoy. It's free.

~   ~   ~

My Soul Is on Fire

Hello Everyone.

November 4, 2008 was my happiest day

in 32 years as an American citizen.

I'm still savoring the results.

My friend David says, "My soul is on fire."

My friend Gary asks,

"Can you share why Nov. 4th was

the happiest day in the last 32 years?"

I reply,

"The son of a Kenyan Muslim man was elected

to the presidency of the United States."


I was in Berkeley on the Friday 

after Christmas 2008, about 30 years

after I first connected with

the Center for Independent Living (CIL)

on Telegraph Ave as a

Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA)

with the single-minded objective of

building ramps for wheelchair users

for a year. Little did I know

how long my work would be connected

to Telegraph Ave!


In the clear, cool afternoon,

Telegraph Ave still seemed as if

it were opening windows to many universes. 

The past year has been kind to me:

Several of my short stories were published,

plus this month a poem, the second

published in the United States since 2005.


Here's my latest success with a story

that I've been working on for years and years:

Naga in the Negev 

After repeatedly dreaming that centuries ago he was a famous Bedouin healer in the Negev, Abdoul, son of Cochin Cohn, saw himself living in the Negev and nowhere else, if he were to remain in the land of Israel.  So, on his thirtieth birthday, this descendent of an ancient line of South Indian Jews, collected a few personal items from his parents’ Jerusalem home and walked toward the Negev on his powerful little legs until an immigrant from Chicago gave him a ride. . . .

Read on @

It's free!

The italics got stripped and the paragraphs got

changed in the conversion process at Hackwriters.


And here's the link to my poem

The Flea-Driven Traveler

which appeared in Quicksilver

Quicksilver is a literary magazine published by students

in the University of Texas at El Paso's online MFA program.


My best wishes for an exciting year.

Michael Chacko Daniels 

PS: Feel free to pass my story and poem forward.


About the Author,

Michael Chacko Daniels

I was born in Aden when it was under the British, grew up in Bombay, came to the United States in 1967, studied at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism for a year, worked for The Asia Foundation for four years, and became a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) in the 1970s.

As a community worker in and out of  VISTA, I got to work with and for poor American communities in Michigan and Central and Northern California, and to discover the America hidden from the mass media of the period. For most of the decade, I organized people around housing issues, including fair housing; later, I built wheelchair ramps for persons with disabilities. In the late 1980s, I began helping homeless people find jobs in Berkeley and Oakland and helped organize the Jobs for Homeless Consortium.

Retired from community work since 2005,

I live and write in San Francisco.

My works have appeared in Apollo's Lyre, Cricket Online Review, Denver Syntax, dragonfire, Eclectica, Hackwriters, Indelible Kitchen, Quicksilver, SHALLA Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. Books:  Split in Two (Poetry, 2004), Anything Out of Place Is Dirt (Novel, 2004), and That Damn Romantic Fool (Novel, 2005); all three are from Writers Workshop, Kolkata.



Visions From Far And Near   

Since January 7, 2005, my daily travel has been chiefly up and down the information superhighway, a magical, hypnotic dream path, which has turned up for me--a childhood pal from Bombay, the Urbs Prima in Indis, and a couple of relatives from my parents' birthplace--Kerala, India's fabled God's Own Country, all of whom I'd lost contact with in the 1950s after they set out on their long, exciting, challenging, migratory journeys; plus the wonderful people from two continents who have taken time from their exciting work remaking our small planet to share their visions through the medium of--

US-India Writing Station

Valerie Street

Hong Hunt 

Ian Moore

Peter Kline

Ralph Dranow 

Joseph Kaval 

Quentine Acharya

Amanda Gerrie

Brenda L. Coleman

Edathil Prabhakar Menon

Tricia Holloway 

Judith Anne Buchman 


Mona Lee

Prakash Joshi

Neil Marcus

Marisa Fernando 

Blair R. Williams

Rev. Carol Estes

Gary Ivanek

Dr. Tezuka Osamu

Read More @


Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 11:21PM by Registered CommenterMichael Chacko Daniels | Comments Off | EmailEmail