It is a Sunday

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Pic Credits : Dr Santosh Bakaya


It is a Sunday
There is grain on the street
Perhaps a pigeon will come

There are swings in the park
The school is closed
Perhaps a child will come to play

There are bougainvilleas in bloom
There is a breeze that hums
perhaps a butterfly may float here

Here is a street and a park
grain and flowers
swings and holidays
yet something is missing

The man who fed the pigeons
was shot here yesterday

Perhaps love will still come
one day

(C)Reena Prasad
Pic credit : Santosh Bakaya

Other Tongue

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Rat snake at Pazhakulam, Kerala                               Pic: Reena Prasad

Other Tongue

From being hissed at too much, we have become venom

gliding glibly over your bristles, our skin speaking a new language
you cannot decipher without a forked tongue

Feeding you your poison, remaining untouched at the core
Strengthened by the knowledge you lack
Mimicking your insecurities
but also mocking them while being subdued by the weight of your bones

The chains have shifted from soft bodies to minds mired in myths
pampered by obedience and shrunk from disuse
The knots are no longer where they were once put
The fabric has changed and the woman in it has ridden off

Liberty now moves like a breast drummed upon by the rain
and no longer wears heels, fishnet or your name
What you still clutch at is clay of your making
How little you read of what we write on our skins!

©Reena Prasad
Published in the mini anthology on 19th August 2016
An Anthology of Poems Dedicated to World Humanitarian Day


Pazhakulam, Kerala                                                              pic :ReenaPrasad


She waits impatiently for the deep pits can swallow no more

He comes drawn by the lure of quick money. At sunset, the deal is struck.
Three bars of Lux soap, two large bottles of kerosene and coconut oil,
a floor cleaning lotion, jasmine-scented (he insists on it) and 4000 rupees
change hands but no handshakes are expected or given. They vanish into opposite dusks.

She into the house to fasten every window and spray fragrant Oud.
He to the shop to binge on stuff that will quell reason and preserve his sanity.
The night soil stream gallops through sleeping backyards as a well-oiled drunk works diligently,
scooping up and surrendering all his rights, laughing and retching in turn at court orders
spraying kerosene over each load of shit he pulls up till the slabs are cemented back

A moonlight bath with the floor cleaner and a bar of soap
then dinner on a banana leaf left for him outside the locked up house
He opens the last two bottles of toddy dousing the stink of memories
taking home the scent of jasmine, two bars of Lux for his wife and 4000 rupees for his child
which the hospital takes from him once a clean day dawns.
©Reena Prasad

Published in the mini anthology on 19th August 2016
An Anthology of Poems Dedicated to World Humanitarian Day

Kaafiya Milaao with Kamala Das

Kaafiya says.
It’s always our pleasure to read all your poems in our Friday #KaafiyaMilaao (Hindi and English) Sessions. Happy to share a poem by Reena Prasad from the English session as a token of love. Keep loving us. Happy #KaafiyaMilaao”

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.18.27 PMSource: Kaafiya

The full poem is shared below

#KaafiyaMilaao with Kamala Das

How can my love hold him?
He slips through my untuned strings

His song, a bubble at first
turned into a serenading storm
It caught sunbeams in its net,
floated with fireflies at dusk
and spun rosettes around my thoughts
It latched on to the swing of the wind
curved around rainy hills
and then let itself go
in a free fall
over the sheer drop of the cliff
humming with its ebbs of bliss
prying open seashell lips
sweeping the sand
with its longing
Weeping at the silver sliver’s

Etching its lyrics in the ether
it soared, pirouetted and bowed out
in silence

In silence
I collected my pieces from where they
were flung
trying to follow
my pied piper into his song
He is a tempest born of an ocean
How can my love hold him?
©Reena Prasad


Out Of The Blue – Visual Verse

Source: Out Of The Blue – Visual Verse

The August Issue of Visual Verse carries my poem ‘OUT OF THE BLUE’


The ocean lies on my bed
 breathing in conch-whispers

I float up to give it space. 
 It is dry and feverish tonight

and curls around my ankles tugging me down

Its amoebic tips reach my lips 
caressing them
 rudely, carelessly-

its eyes somewhere else
the inattentiveness insulting my softness

An yacht floats out from the depths

People dance to music on the deck

Their laughter floats into the deeps
turning into another language of imagined gods

These people left a world I knew

but they still laugh

Death is much maligned after all

A mast straightens
A flag pours out from a toothpaste tube

in stripes of red and white
and I stand to attention 
listening to an anthem
that plays
 till a clock stops and drags it backwards
and I try to read that script too out of habit

We bleed together
music and mouth

in the aftermath of reversal
We are the dreams of the ocean

We wait for its sonorous waves to take us home

to turn us into seashells

each housing a crawling memory 

©Reena Prasad

Image by Megan Archer

An Anthology of Poems Dedicated to World Humanitarian Day | Different Truths

Happy to be be among the 48 poets who wrote their hearts out for this compelling collection from Different Truths and The Significant League on FB.
‘Jasmine-Scented’ & ‘Other Tongue’ feature at the 4th and 5th slots.
Kashmir, Syria, Patriarchy, Inequity, LGBT rights, Human trafficking, Rohingyas and many other sensitive issues are brought out in these poems.
The anthology is edited by eminent poets, Dr. Koshy A. V.,Sana Rose, Niladri(Neel Kamal) and Urooj Murtaza. Thanks are due to Arindam Roy and Anumita Chatterjee Roy of Different Truths for this stupendous collection.

The Significant League (TSL) and Different Truths (DT) together offer an Anthology on World Humanitarian Day (WHD), the sixth tie-up between the two. Seventy four poems, by 48 poets, showcase the h…

Source: An Anthology of Poems Dedicated to World Humanitarian Day | Different Truths

GloMag August 2016

GloMag August 2016 is here! Happy to to have a poem titled ‘Looking In‘ at page 91. Lots of good friends have sent in their work for this issue. The preface by Robert Klein Engler titled ‘After the end of poetry‘ is a must-read.
“If you say that word’beauty’ one more time, I’m gonna puke” 😆😷
Won’t say it but this one is a b- – – -y of an issue.
Source: GloMag August 2016

Kollam -A home on the banks of Ashtamudi Kayal.         Pic Credits  : Reena Prasad

Looking In

After years of living in houses with numbers,
names seem quaint
I like to read each one on gates
that grow bigger, taller with every passing year
The ones with the highest walls
have the tersest names
‘Vision’ is a mansion with huge, embellished gates
that hit my eyes when I try to see beyond their black sculptures and wrought iron
‘Kovallathu Veetil Kunnampurathu Sasi Nivas’ proclaims a one room shack
barely bigger than its name plate
Some bark at my curiosity,
chasing my footsteps till where their wall ends
Others have lonely, cold noses
sniffing over the hot concrete at my palm
trying to dissolve their jailhouse demeanor
The ones I love best have no walls
or gates
but bushes full of shoe flowers or rose
The bus is a mobile neighbour
The street is their doorway
Children read on the verandah floor
A cow looks in at the window
Fat hens cluck, digging busily in the dirt
The people in them look out and smile back easily
That I can smell and see them eat their tapioca and fish
from the street
is no deterrent to their happiness
or to mine
©Reena Prasad