On The Road

The evening pauses at a red light
A man scratches a recharge card with his nails
A cat sits near his feet scratching its ear
He enters the numbers and turns away to talk
Maybe the cat eavesdrops
there is no one else around
The bored cat yawns and then licks its bum
to show its disdain
and disappears into the sunset
No one feels insulted
A green wink and a car whizzes past the scene
the driver absentmindedly scratches his head
thinking of mobiles, cats, waiting wives
and the futility of a life chasing lights
©Reena Prasad

Jungle tale


Let me start
from where you broke off
the bed time tale of a hunter and prey

The fawn in an illusory wood
looks up
A tiny tail-stump quivers

The forests waits
at the edge of a water-hole

Dusk slithers down a tall tree
a gleaming snake-skin hangs there

A distant rumble becomes a roar
the gurgling stream whispers no more

No lilting tune lightens the gloom
A hush of sleep descends on all

Unseen fears nestle in hanging vines
a hungry breath murmurs
down the spine

Hairless palms are suddenly wet
who is the hunter?
who is the prey?

The ape guffaws
he sees stripes
not the polka-dotted flowers

Tawny eyes gleam behind toad-stool huts
a twitching tuft emerges
from undercover

Night has slipped
and fallen in fear
Courage drowns in its black tears

The tiger springs
before you can think
of newer tales to color credulous dreams

©Reena Prasad 18th April 2013

The windmill

Art fromhttp://kofflers.de/doc/Kofflers-81.htm
Art from

I am a windmill
No flapping of my arms
will distract them
as they cycle past smoothly
or wobble over unseen pebbles
I have become part of the vast blue
moving as the sun and the moon do
imperceptibly across the sky
My shoulders massaged by the breeze.

There are newer whirring contraptions with
fancier wings, faster speeds
Go ahead, be snapped with them
I smile sedately, feeling at ease
I no longer need to dance and please
The fair has shifted from under me
the hullabaloo heard from a pleasing distance
Smoke rising straight into the quiet blue
I stretch my legs but stay where I belong.

Do I urge the slower ones as they pause?
Around the corner may lie the biggest catch of all
They run, eager not to be left behind
I am amused as I know
whirring air can make deceptive sounds.

©Reena Prasad 5th Dec 2012



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





(Written for my nephew Rahul )

Looking rather cross, was a hooked beak albatross,

sitting on a rock, atop a hillock,

large wings poised to take off in flight.

Once it thrived in the seas,

diving and fishing in glee

Its  beautiful wings spread,

it flew above the tallest trees.

The wicked fox and the wild rat

Like villains in Nature’s green lap

preyed upon its precious eggs.

Man too, was never far behind

He too forgot to be caring and kind .

Now pollution and hunting have taken its toll

An albatross facing extinction can never be  droll.

The eagle

An afternoon lull 
 A soaring eagle slowly folds his wings
coming down to rest awhile on a jutting rock
Around him, a busy ocean sprawls
sending wave after wave crashing
onto a long suffering shore

He looks around
the sea breeze ruffling some white neck feathers
shakes himself as if to break free of the hypnotising
lure of the sand and sea
crouches down, his sharp eyes ever alert
to a slight movement among the reefs
and there he goes, like a heady zephyr
soaring off into the call of the wild
no time for him too
‘to stand and stare’
and ‘miles to go before his day sleeps’