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

Bringing home to us

She will come again this July
carrying the earth under her finger nails
and in the brown hems of her underskirt,
sit with hands folded on her lap in the plane
just as she does before her namesake idol
beaming her toothless smile all around
grateful for the plastic bottle of water
briskly handed out without a glance
wearing her seatbelt as gingerly
as a reluctant bomber does
relieved when four hours of captivity
end with a teeth-souring grind and jerk
Her La Senza tote bag, a gift from a grandson in America
tucked under her armpit
like a precious bundle of rolled-up hay
At the first whiff of her presence, we know
our village is now in town
©Reena Prasad

Published in Page-A-Day Poetry Anthology

Kunjumon | Destiny Poets

Kunjumon | Destiny Poets.


Sprawled near the shop door
dangling coir, bright plastics, baskets
flimsy balloon balls, flower pots
and you-
a fallen statue reeking of neglect

Irritating to bustling feet
but they stepped over your motionless form
and left the air fouler
with curses that you inhaled

You were the underworld
without the beard, gun or pot belly
ribs painfully embossed
upon your sallow youth
We fattened up our kids
using your nightmare shamelessly

the luckiest woman of all
three hefty sons she had
A thief, a madman and a drunk but no girls
so wasn’t she blessed!

Septic tanks and cow urine tanks called you
armed with a bottle of the cheapest toddy
you swung down holes
where no devil dared to breathe
scooping up discarded human bits

Our girls under your protective stagger
safe as they quickened their steps
from the lonely bus stop to the
lamp-lit shadows of motherly forms
none would look at their budding youth
while you thrashed out your lungs
and limbs at the road romeos

Kunjumon, you fell out of life suddenly
just like you did everyday
but among the fallen
you still stand tall
©Reena Prasad

The busker


Above the clatter of the cast steel wheels
a song arrives
before its frail box does
A piece of human flotsam in a frayed shirt
offers raucous-sounding words
in tune to the train’s gravelly rattles over the tracks
An item girl’s apparition gyrates
in the narrow mental aisles between colliding knees
Some hum along, popping roasted peanuts
to tide over the breathing pauses
while the artist/busker/beggar
carries his desperation/art/hunger, row to row
pocketing the furtive glances full of disgust/repulsion/loathing
as they skim over his unsightly gifts
With no pretence to art /aesthetics,
he is a latent impoverished bomb,
a damp canvas of  fleshy, leprosy bubbles
but here his song ends and his palm stretches
Loose change from pockets clears the dismal air
The last teats of sympathy and revulsion milked,
he shuffles off the train
humming to himself till the next long whistle
©Reena Prasad JUN 2013

Published in “The art of being human”  VOL 2 anthology .

The fence is too good


We stand close
yet continents away
She adjusts her veil
I look at my shoes
Her black nail glitter
eyes my faded tracksuit
We observe a minute of silence
over the demise of our unspoken words

The door slides open
I hesitate
A piece of paper stamped
onto my identity, reminds me
this land belongs to her
Her abaya sweeps the floor
We go down together

In the mirror within
I try not to lean
on her part of the image
She re-paints her lips|
and ignores my presence
We dash out
balancing delicate shoulder chips
which never shake hands
and our smiles remain hoarded
hers in her hand bag mirror
mine within too-polite lips
©Reena Prasad 14th May 2013

A desert sings


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



The circus came every year
The billboard cars with colourful posters
of fire-eating men, girls with hula hoops
and a sad elephant perched on a narrow stool.
The skinny lion
forced to jump through burning rings
snarled its discomfiture at the roaring crowd
The clown whose mask smiled
while his tired wrinkles and peeping grey
declared a life wasted away.
Painted girls in sheer stockings
smelling of sweat and unwashed hair
lithe on tightropes, their dreams on hold
under the spell of a screaming whip.
Beyond the lighted tent, could you not see?
The dancing shadows of panicky beings
pouring their lives into fragile nets
while a jamboree of town folk clapped
teaching their kids
it is ok to laugh at slaving sprites
and then to go home smugly safe
to a warm dinner and a cosy bed.

©Reena Prasad 5th Dec 2012



Can death cure cancer?

We need heroes, not victims
with broken necks
said the old man
tending to the cactus in his garden
To celebrate life, love and large-heartedness.

A young boy who could have
walked in the sunshine,
sat near his mother
patting her calloused palm
and brought smiles to wrinkles
hidden under grey hair.
He could not find a hero to emulate
for they are a dwindling lot
instead he shot at imagined villains
just as your son would do
if he laid hands on a new video game.
Another bleeding soul
set loose to wander
among the wasted ones.

He sucked a drop of blood
off a careless finger
Thorns prick if you love cacti a bit too much
as do religion, patriotism and other differences
which makes ours an arrayed world
Water them, watch them bloom, celebrate their flowers
But compare them to roses with thorns
and you spread unhappiness all around.

The fighting pawn on the board
bumped because he hung around to see
if he would be rewarded by the dummy king.

©Reena Prasad 21st Nov 2012
Published in the Ichhamoti Review  e journal first issue July-Aug 2013 VOL 1 Issue 1. Link HERE

A book moment

(On listening to Arundhati Roy reading from ” The god of small things“)

She poured her words

over a remembered ache

over wounds made by these very words

the first time I raced over their razor-like edges.



Holding my convictions firmly

as a cloak around me

-a feeble shield against the onslaught

lurking in between the pages of her book

falling deeper into the quagmires of passion

Holding fast to the raw, slippery edges

grazing my elbows as I tried my best to break

a free fall into the depths of a river

with a drowned moon.



Where familiar heartbreaks smiled from

within disturbingly, deep ripples…

And I lost the battle then

Surrendering my meager experiences

Drowning in the waters under which she sat writing

sucking me into her darkness

making me live the deaths, the madness and the bleeding life.



When she knifed through those scars again

I sat smiling with pleasure

hugging my secret wounds proudly

reveling in the re-awakening sensation

of my virgin read.

©Reena Prasad 11th Nov 2012

At the water’s edge

He sits on the grass watching me
like I watch him
I know he is thirsty
And I remember the Snake
and sit even more still
not wanting to repeat a mistake
His reddish throat moves as he tries to decipher
my intentions
He darts a final look at me
My eyes too are transfixed
in my eagerness to see him drink
The water lies still, reflecting
the overhead leaves
He turns around suddenly
dashing back into the shadows
and I sit lamely near the water
watching him go
How little I know!

©Reena Prasad 18th Sept 2012