Songs of the sea


There time lay
like a beached whale

till green moss clambered into its ears
cutting off the ocean’s song midway

till the sea was brought up short
by the sand

Silent boats
drifted into the far haze
having no lifelines to spare

Hymns died within buried conches
Starfish defleshed into frail skeletons

Crabs crept into yielding hollows
to escape the gritty persistence of sand
 

Life ambled on
doing what it did best
 

Trapped sand grains
in calcified shells
daydreamed themselves into pearls
 

while watching the sky
sketch another ephemeral storm.

©Reena Prasad 23rd October 2012

Straws


 If I could comfort

 by sending a happy thought

 to dangle upon your window sill,

  swinging itself up and down like a monkey

  in the hope that you could find in it

  a glimpse of something well loved,

  lost to the hurrying feet of time

 

  for a desire

  to see a fleeting smile,

  a slight decrease in the number of furrows

  seeps into me …

 

  as you tear yourself apart

  to pull out the shining stars

  that gnaw and bite your insides  

  and pour your love all over the table

  to become a specimen

  for   everyone’s delight

 

 They see beauty in the raw sewage

  and applaud all the broken bits.

©Reena Prasad 20th October 2012

A sack full of stones


I rescued a stone from a flowing river

 wiped it dry and brought it home

 -an ordinary stone

 

 

It lay on my window sill

 still, uncomplaining

 

but when the rains came, I got a fright

I heard it croon to itself, one moonless night

 

“I loved the river

I love her still

for her I jumped off

the evergreen hill

She caressed me

healed my wound

made me perfect

smooth and round

and when I thought

we would never part

I find myself plucked

and now languish on this concrete sill”

 

and before I knew what to do

the stone crumpled into grey debris!

 

 Shocked by the events

 I stopped in my tracks

 Never could I imagine

 the intricacies of a fall,

 the depth of a stone’s love

 and that of my sin.

 

 All said, the mad woman returned to her task

 collecting stones from around the town in her brown sack

 Every evening, she sat by the river

 and tossed them in one after the other.

©Reena Prasad

Wind chimes: A collage poem


WIND CHIMES: a collage

 by Reena Prasad, Madhumita Ghosh and Bharat Ravikumar
 edited : Ampat Koshy

The panorama changes, whispered the wind
Time to retouch the faded canvas
Though it still rains somewhere inside
Yet calm reveals a rainbow bright!

Indeed the wind whispers to me tonight
I see your silhouette smile at me
We paint bygone days
In the colours of a rising rainbow
The labyrinth of stratosphere
wraps around me like mist
Within its billowing furrows
I nestle the crook of my head.

Wind is in its element
now a zephyr kissing the leaves
now a storm scattering them
Let it blow finding an echo
for in the heart
is a breeze waiting for release.

Acknowledgement
Madhumita Ghosh
Bharat Ravikumar
Ampat Koshy

Angel


Angel

Deeper, deeper into the darkness
I walk bewildered yet uncaring,
Lost in an inner maze of hard-earned miseries
Brought on by too much love and sharing
The hanging boughs, the whispering notes
Speak to me as if with hope
The moonlight streams gently down
revealing a wistful path ahead
I gather the cold night around myself
Walking towards the familiar dell.

My impatience rustles the fallen leaves
It is the hour when she must alight
Dropping swiftly from her horse
She emerges from the cloak of night
Running, falling, yet wondering at the sight!
Healing angel of mine, I need your glow
I cannot bear the night within my soul.
There she is! My wisps gather strength again
With her hair sweeping the taupe forest floor
She lights my woods with her blazing flames!

I fall on my knees and fervently pray
Even though she appears not to turn my way
Eyes open never to miss a moment
Of her much needed, gentle, sisterly finesse
The thunderous days that lurked around
Seem mere nights before the day,
freshly breaking ground
She swishes her hair, the clouds disappear
Revealing a Hunter’s Moon in a brave new form
The trees fall silent as she spreads
The scent of roses in my teary abscesses.

And as she mounts her snorting steed
I am still here on my grateful knees
Blowing a soft kiss onto the breeze
She floats up gently till I can no longer see
My bleeding wounds have healed themselves
leaving sweet scars of happy moments
My joy, I can feel it rolling down the hill
As morning comes, you too shall be healed
Flowers are nodding as I pray for you
Their softness wiping my tears always true.

The journey we shared has not been in vain
Self-healing angels still live in bruised heavens.

-Reena

Shakti


Shakti

A doldrum drumming of ‘Dhaak’,never.
A rhythm punctuated with cymbal crashes
Artistic divinity conjured up
in swirling ‘aarti’ smoke screen etchings
Fiery red paths blaze into blackish-grey forests
above ‘kumkum’ embellished sixth ‘chakra’ gates
widened into spiritual highways.
A pure face in sarcoline clay
her piercing gaze enters
into culture-clamoring chambers of common cores
rivaling the silver ‘trishul’ tip.
The ‘Sudarshan’, the thunderbolt
All shooting comets of fear
into habitually sinning whorls.

 

Women celebrate the home-coming
of the cosmic energy aggregate of celestial powers.
Her multi-tasking hands work harder than ever
to decimate the rapidly proliferating opportunistic demons.
A dying ‘Mahishasura’ at her feet
mauled by her snarling ‘Manashtâla’
The ultimate fate of a sinner,
a compelling portent to potential ones
Tongues waggle in vernacular rhythms
A thrilling conch call aborts the agnostic season
piously throwing a protective ‘Chaitanya’
to disrupt the soul-gnawing negative energy fields.

 

‘Gupchup’sellers with crispy, puffed morsels
Dispense their sweat flavoured wares
to ravenous, suddenly casteless people
united in their desire to drown
the creaking protests of ungreased joints
pushing the allotted cart of life
in the tangy spiciness of the
black, salted tamarind waters.
A celebration uniting the poorest rickshaw puller
with starched cotton sari elegance
and street artists in their erudite makeovers.
A compulsive, cultural desire sweetening
the ‘Akaal Bhodon Puja’ days
on either side of the Indian rupee.

 

The pitch tunes into unmanifest frequencies,
the crowd surges in feverish rhythm,
Kids make a beeline for the’prasad’
‘Anjali’ flowers shower on countless heads
‘Chaitighodas’ thump away in Ambagan
Stupor inducing sweet white smoke
emanating from burning coconut shells in earthen pots
as the youth sway away to the  comforting’Dhaak
A mythological canvas of resplendent ‘pandals’
Gleaming silver framing the fierce deities,
reaffirming the supremacy of woman power
in a land desperately struggling  to defend
the dignity of its dutiful daughters.

-Reena

The secret garden


The secret garden
The scents and sounds talk to me
I walk hushing my jingling anklets
a butterfly among many honeybees
The search elusive, the garden unknown
Trepidation thudding in every step
Every message the wind has brought
is safely hidden in my folded wings
I can reciprocate but not in this Eden
Do not acknowledge my invisible rustles
Any movement from a bumbling bee
can be a lethal error today.
Savour the words, but in deep silence
admonish your fingers, just do not talk –
The beauty of silence , the joy of unsaid thought
In this mysterious creation, be a mute witness today.

-Reena


SIN BIN


SIN BIN 

 

That lie which lies in your pocket

to save your ego’s face

The grave error of judgment you made

The mouth bashing and slang- flavoured talk

behind a purported friend’s back

The angry lash of tongue in place of compassion

The bribe for priority in the guise of a busy man.

Common human failings.

 

Let us dump them

in a place we call sacred

 

A place where we ask for undeserved favours

Closing our eyes to known remedial measures

Forgetting that He supports only the hard worker,

never the shirker.

A place where we go to save us work

of undoing our  wrongs

Instead of putting a good stitch in place ,

then humbly requesting  His divine support.

 

A place ,pure and revered

Holiest in our books of wisdom

yet overflowing with the trash

Emptied from human and inhuman hearts

Soiled with the impurities of immoral  drifting rafts

Washing away our sins, emptying mental garbage bins

Forgiveness  flows here we believe, like River Ganga

wiping the slate blank to re write fresh atrocities again.

 

For us the temple, the church, the mosque always a sin-bin.

Night angels


Night angels

 

The fangs are bared, rumbling in pain

is the large sea-horse in the clouds

Colic making it turn upside down

Gnashing its block of yellow teeth ,

biting into cotton candy

It lolls its head, wild-eyed in terror

Unable to stand on its mighty legs,

Flailing and groaning in sheer agony.

 

The dream pops like a soap bubble

And I look at the dark window

Just in time to see the moon rush furtively by.

Seconds later she composes herself

posing among the flowery cotton

As if she has been pasted there for eternity

Why did she storm my flimsy fort

Thwarting my secret nightmare before its gory end?

I see tiny winks in the cosmic bedspread

And the silent, sleeping form on the other side of the bed.

 

I get your message,my night angels

It is the hour of making amends!

-Reena