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
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
I rescued a stone from a flowing river
wiped it dry and brought it home
-an ordinary stone
It lay on my window sill
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.
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.
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.
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.