My skin abhors touch
It forbids it
The tactile glove to explore a crater raw

The python moved his scales
rearranged them, heat dissipating through their mesh
I wasn’t cold though, my blood bounded against his
scales and skin leaping
his tail spooning my waist as he left 
his weight invisibly tattooed on my scapula
Touch me there, you can feel a snake grow

The faintest of butterfly feet on my fingers
with none of the former’s assuredness
Tremulous, a tender quiver of questions
and I am silenced, turned inside out, raw
Explore, suck, kiss, lick, flick
how many feet does a butterfly need to string me along?
With the last it kicked away my fantasies
reducing me to a prayer

A connect from some other realm
at a time when the disconnect was complete
yet my skin refused to let its memory fade
of the leech that wouldn’t let go
of the wolf that wouldn’t go slow
of the man whose nip still throbs

Touch me not
not unless you want to go  
and leave me another skin
©Reena Prasad


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
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”

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

…………. slide
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

The garden beyond


The web stretched some more
and then snapped
No longer did any traitor threads
play hopscotch across life
The stickiness disappeared
The blue was steady too

Viewed from the other side
the ground was even
and the garden beckoned clear
with fresh promises of living flowers
and no shadows of spiders

The mid day sun poured down
The tangle broke, a gate swung open
A butterfly sailed free

into a gigantic net
the contours of which were spread too wide
to be recognized as a lie
© Reena Prasad 11th June 2013

Chasing a dream-2

Chasing a dream….Version 2

The wind chases a crumpled leaf

down the winding, never-ending street

while I play with my truant dreams

running behind to cajole them back.

The wind, also a fellow conspirator

pulls me into the pleasurable depths.

The amused moon watches the terraneous carnival

peeping from the shadows of her celestial pedestal.

As the crepuscular vestiges begin pointing

towards the smiling, selenic beauty,

the smiling pipe- dream entices me again

transforming  gently into a shimmering  butterfly…….

Angel- like wings buoy me up onto a bridge

The satin -kissed fabric  twirls under me

into a soft jasmine-scented carpet,

welcoming my  awe-struck, bare feet.

Breathing in a soul-freshening fragrance,

I start to explore this bridge to paradise

just as the dreamy universe melts into

a  river of ecstatic, humming  memories….

And I swim a thousand eternities

leaving behind my imaginary sorrows

only to meet my blissful reflection

In  Serenity’s lake of hope

wearing a pendant of  happy rose buds.

Raindrops and my smiling pearls shake hands in symphony

As the surging waves recede back into the eternal blue,

I smile in my dream and turn over to dream some more…..

 ©Reena Prasad