1947: Lessons From An Absence by Reena Prasad


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Jasmine-Scented


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Pazhakulam, Kerala                                                              pic :ReenaPrasad

Jasmine-Scented


She waits impatiently for the deep pits can swallow no more

He comes drawn by the lure of quick money. At sunset, the deal is struck.
Three bars of Lux soap, two large bottles of kerosene and coconut oil,
a floor cleaning lotion, jasmine-scented (he insists on it) and 4000 rupees
change hands but no handshakes are expected or given. They vanish into opposite dusks.

She into the house to fasten every window and spray fragrant Oud.
He to the shop to binge on stuff that will quell reason and preserve his sanity.
The night soil stream gallops through sleeping backyards as a well-oiled drunk works diligently,
scooping up and surrendering all his rights, laughing and retching in turn at court orders
spraying kerosene over each load of shit he pulls up till the slabs are cemented back

A moonlight bath with the floor cleaner and a bar of soap
then dinner on a banana leaf left for him outside the locked up house
He opens the last two bottles of toddy dousing the stink of memories
taking home the scent of jasmine, two bars of Lux for his wife and 4000 rupees for his child
which the hospital takes from him once a clean day dawns.
©Reena Prasad

Published in the mini anthology on 19th August 2016
An Anthology of Poems Dedicated to World Humanitarian Day

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

GloMag August 2016


GloMag August 2016 is here! Happy to to have a poem titled ‘Looking In‘ at page 91. Lots of good friends have sent in their work for this issue. The preface by Robert Klein Engler titled ‘After the end of poetry‘ is a must-read.
“If you say that word’beauty’ one more time, I’m gonna puke” 😆😷
Won’t say it but this one is a b- – – -y of an issue.
Source: GloMag August 2016

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Kollam -A home on the banks of Ashtamudi Kayal.         Pic Credits  : Reena Prasad

Looking In

After years of living in houses with numbers,
names seem quaint
I like to read each one on gates
that grow bigger, taller with every passing year
The ones with the highest walls
have the tersest names
‘Vision’ is a mansion with huge, embellished gates
that hit my eyes when I try to see beyond their black sculptures and wrought iron
‘Kovallathu Veetil Kunnampurathu Sasi Nivas’ proclaims a one room shack
barely bigger than its name plate
Some bark at my curiosity,
chasing my footsteps till where their wall ends
Others have lonely, cold noses
sniffing over the hot concrete at my palm
trying to dissolve their jailhouse demeanor
The ones I love best have no walls
or gates
but bushes full of shoe flowers or rose
The bus is a mobile neighbour
The street is their doorway
Children read on the verandah floor
A cow looks in at the window
Fat hens cluck, digging busily in the dirt
The people in them look out and smile back easily
That I can smell and see them eat their tapioca and fish
from the street
is no deterrent to their happiness
or to mine
©Reena Prasad

The Wingspan Of Sorrow | Different Truths


A pleasure to be featured in the Editor’s Picks in Different Truths a crossroad of thoughts, ideas and action, a unique webzine founded by Arindam Roy and Anumita Chatterjee Roy.
Do read the whole poem there.
A poignant poem by Reena. It’s intense and sensuous. If I stoop it is to drink deep of you my doppelgänger, black and grey I wear your shades better than

Source: The Wingspan Of Sorrow | Different Truths

Kunjumon | Destiny Poets


Kunjumon | Destiny Poets.

Kunjumon

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

Mariamma
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 garden beyond


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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