Don’t Play Along

dsc08487The edge of the bed
No more dreams
Too much of giving
The unspent mile hurts

I wouldn’t know
How could I
Gaping at bursts of green
while an ocean bursts
Bring out the bottles, no more time
Soak in the sun, run down the line
They see you sing, they smirk, they drink
then belt out your words
and strum something

It is you they play upon
It is me, your song tells it all
Then they go home leaving you alone
and cry themselves to sleep
All alone

All alone, do you not see
All of us
The way it has always been
The edge of the bed
No more dreams
The guarded mile hurts
Let it go its way
Just the edge of the bed
I cannot belong
This is no life
This is a sad song


The Naga nemesis


Booing at my human form
they hang from the sprawling tree
Their collective jeer of forked tongues
an elongated, red efflorescence
I smell their venom before I feel
hissing breaths flicking my hackles
I stand my slithering ground
as invincible as them in my dream
though Manasa writhes underneatha
and Shesha cradles
in his thousand-headed glory
the frame of an absconded deity
Kaliya floats unperturbed on a black river
grinning as the poor bend and drink
Vasuki emerges from a deserted womb
his mouth oozing slush and brine

The tree trunk uncoils as I toss in my dream
into several more scaly forms
Their offspring wound themselves round my feet
The hanging ones pull me up with ease
Waiting for the inevitable
I watch the crawling ants below
trying to fight themselves to death
while Ananta’s rapidly coiling form
squeezes their life out like popping sweet peas
still chuckling at the irony
as they swallow me whole
and vomit my poisoned soul
to search for a discarded snake skin
©Reena Prasad 14th May 2013


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

Matchstick dreams

Being dragged
by the scruff of my neck
through a farrago insane
towards fabled fields
by beasts that were once
my wings

trailing thorns
inject heparin
to keep the venom surging
leaving bloody dots
Join the barbs
An outlined dream
under a mouldy tree

Watching meekly
as Life plucks
from synastry-tattooed palms
some  broken toys
that were my world
not long ago
See them in moments
when eyes forget to close

A cliff rears
out of a sleeping sea
blotting out a weary  sun
I stumble back nonplussed
No firm ground to tread
wrenching bluish toes
from a squelchy mire of
murmuring undergrowth

They snort
My flapping horses
Pawing at a lighted patch
of pure vitriol
showing me the bend
where a footpath beckons
Walking towards it
thorns become an arch
to a matchstick house
faraway from home.
©Reena Prasad  March 2012

(Published poem: Just A Dream, Barry Mowles and Friends)2012