Swill


Freshly-mowed grass fills my lungs
I wonder how long this serotonin surge will last

as I take a breather from living

A  graceful prinia pirouettes in the breeze
I follow– a–hopping –mynah– –across
— a– stretch–of –green
Yellow-eyes –fixed
–on -my gravel-crunching –shoes 

A jet of cold, hose water separates us
…………………………………………………..soars
I continue on land, he squawks and ∧

A Painted Lady quivers on a lantana floret
The sea breeze changes gears
Sparrows argue noisily in brown groups
then stop to hurl abuse at a bulbul
who hopped too near

Black, orange and a little green
A crow on an African tulip tree
warns everyone “Two-Legs is armed”

Suddenly
I
am
alone
and rejected

but shrug it off
because the bucket is filling up again

There is rippling life in the lazy waters.
The bleeding gulmohars have poured onto the greens
Death is vibrant when you know where to fall

There is a gull framed in an afternoon moon
when the singed humans have slunk away
into concrete shadows,
their opinionated juices all dried up

Droplets
…………. slide
…………………off 
………………………
…………………………..cormorant
He hangs wet wings out to dry

A heron swoops and emerges
with wriggling silver in its death-throes

I suck at these moments 
till they explode within the blood
and burst out through stretched skin

The cameras and their human appendages
have fallen off the flaming edges of this summer
for to capture a butterfly for loving it later
within the confines of a memory

with some added effects is to lose it forever

Some days you can’t get me down
merely by throwing plastic cups and half-eaten waste
into the slate gray Corniche waters. 
There is a steady rivulet of sweat flowing down my back,
my thighs stick to damp denims but there is a gale in my heart
                    A baddie passes by yelling something                      
                   he learnt from his days in muck
I smile, the serotonin surges further
glad that I am not in a rut
where that mud can splatter me
I am invincible
∫    ∫     ∫     ∫    ∫
hooked on living
©Reena Prasad

Amphitheater


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 I stood watching the artificial fade
The ships in the sea went first
a dirty blue floating in their wake
Sky scrapers stood shorn of their metallic grins
as glass bore the onslaught of grit

The ground rose
careening into robust palms
breaking their stoic watch guard stance
They threw leafy limbs about
seranaded by a whistling wind
mimicking the swirling hair dance
of the land

Sucked into the terrible beauty
of this tempestuous matinee,
I wanted it to go on
till nothing but sand remained

Sun-warmed towers vanished
into the unfurling arms of a stormy belly dancer who
amidst an army of scurrying humans
stomped her flurry feet and  gyrated gracefully
while hurling dust balls into inquisitive windows

As sand sprang between earth and sky
scenes from an ancient world re-emerged briefly:
isolation, a sudden hush
a desert stretching with uninhabited serenity

©Reena Prasad 10th sept 2013

The desert came to tea


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The desert peeked over our balcony
flapping like a voluminous sari hung out to dry
she howled and beat her fists on the dusty glass
yelling at us to let her in
We sat sipping hot tea, watching her wanton dance
from behind the fibre glass windows that never budged
She hurtled her brown self at every peep hole
tearing off clothes, paper and birds with equal fury
smothering gaps with her grainy hands
We never let her in yet it seemed
there was more sand than sugar
in our tea.

©Reena Prasad 7th April 2013

A desert sings


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Here they travel on lanky beasts
swaying clumsily in a row they go
A range of brown humps in the breeze
sandy their paths where only cacti grow
They stride in silence, the sun dips low
What they think, we can never know

Travellers of the desert, nomads to the core
A long necked train, they follow the sun
Crinkled by the heat the Bedouins of yore
burst into Nabati – a verse home-spun
They reach an oasis, the pace drops slow
The al iksir it holds, we can never know

They seek only the liquid troves
though gems sparkle in the fiery dunes
The life in their veins, it makes them rove
The sun and the sand strumming their tunes
They thrive on joy where nothing grows
what their wrinkles etch, we can never know

A new night sings as another day dies
of old men in turbans, their drums on a sling
As life stirs under the darkening skies
beating their hearts out, they dance in a ring
Vibrant with rhythm their music flows
what the camel sings, we can never know

©Reena Prasad 13th May 2013

Drop of life


 The ghostly figures wait
 A skeleton canopy
The birds have left long ago
The stream is a sandy bed
where a discarded snake skin gleams
a reminder that life has slithered on
leaving imprints in the dust
Trees stands bemused caught in a maelstrom
of swirling hot air currents
leaves have fallen off without any storm
A brown carpet hides a raging thirst
Pleading branches shorn of any splendour
try to reach out to a passing cloud
that wanders lost in the barren sky
-a lone traveller with a thirst of its own
it carries the pictures of the barren earth
to the mountains where the rain god sleeps
forgetting to water his potless trees
wake him up, ‘o’ cloud
for there waits a seed
in the throes of heat
for a drop of water
to welcome life.
©Reena

The mirage in the desert


 

The faith is lost
Somewhere in the blowing sandstorms of the desert.
Every step erased or covered
Where two pairs of feet had left their prints.
No trace of life
anywhere in the distance
Only the occassional call of a lone bird
signalling an oasis somewhere.

Who were the lucky ones
that found the treasure trove?
I am just a candle flame
awaiting darkness as the gusts of winds blow.
The sands of time are heavy
They leave no relics
Oh, it is just as well

Signs of stirring life underneath
will do no good to them
Those that never touched the hot sands
What does shade mean to them?
If such be a life so lonely
well, never to have been born
Suffering in silence for ever
for no light can penetrate these dust storms.

©Reena Prasad
Published in the poetry anthology ” Change” by Xpress publications.
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