Other Tongue


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Rat snake at Pazhakulam, Kerala                               Pic: Reena Prasad

Other Tongue


From being hissed at too much, we have become venom

gliding glibly over your bristles, our skin speaking a new language
you cannot decipher without a forked tongue

Feeding you your poison, remaining untouched at the core
Strengthened by the knowledge you lack
Mimicking your insecurities
but also mocking them while being subdued by the weight of your bones

The chains have shifted from soft bodies to minds mired in myths
pampered by obedience and shrunk from disuse
The knots are no longer where they were once put
The fabric has changed and the woman in it has ridden off

Liberty now moves like a breast drummed upon by the rain
and no longer wears heels, fishnet or your name
What you still clutch at is clay of your making
How little you read of what we write on our skins!

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

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

An Anthology of World Refugee Day Poems | Different Truths


Read on what it means to not have a home to return to.
Read on for “We live in the age of the refugee, the age of the exile”
-Ariel Dorfman

The Significant League (TSL) and Different Truths (DT) together offer an Anthology on World Refugee Day (WED), the fifth tie-up between the two.  Sixty nine poems, one be each poet, showcase the hu…

Source: An Anthology of World Refugee Day Poems | Different Truths

Ostraka ( at number 3)
In a massive urn, shards welter with scratched out names
We leave today for siding with life, for making a noise
about the smoke from a pyre lit under us

Out over the ocean
where the sharks have no check posts, no countries
just the seamlessness of hunger and life

I throw my children out of the inferno
They giggle and tumble over dead laps, clutching at nothing

I clutch at everything
from paper money to memories but my hands, once great
at scooping up babies are now giant sieves

I lose them all finally
The lie fluttering over the land
The identity that singes my lips when I plead
Scrap-proofs of my existence- all consigned
to earth as I run, run, run

We step over bodies,
ignore dying pleas and hug the remainders
to make it to another dawn
under the same sun and sky
The choking smoke of yesterday
repackaged as a gulp of oxygen

Over the barbs, into another lying boundary
that creases rapidly, tearing us into scraps
Shaken out like dust from a map
till the world pressing in from all sides
narrows its vision to a pin point
surrounded by a dancing debris of outcasts

Only underwater or in the skies
does life thrive limitlessly. The rest have to flee.
© Reena Prasad
Thank you Ampat Koshy, Gauri Dixit, Deepti Singh (Editors) Arindam Roy and Anumita Roy Chatterjee (of DT) for this collection of 73 heart felt poems.

Page-A-Day Poetry Anthology 2015


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Eight poems in this Poetry Anthology published by Writing Knights Press. Thank you Azriel of WK Press for offering a free copy and Dr. A.V. Koshy for the info about the submission call.
My poems are:
Connecting the Dots
Missing Bits
Rhymes
Walk Away
A Slur on Silence
The House
Bringing Home to Us
Why the Wind Blows Heavy

A slur on silence


Wretched mind connects
words to moods
words to relationships
words to connections
and finds them all to weaken 
by a slip of emboldened thought
or of ill-concealed honesty
Then it rolls over years
of carefully cultivated feelings
a huge orange road roller wheel
flattening out emotions
thinning out pockets of accumulated trust
till even a look damages the sheet
causing a tear in the fabric
Looking through the torn flaps
the world appears ragged
the words forgotten in the mayhem
they caused
©Reena Prasad

Autumn Resurrected


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Photo credit : Internet site. Click on Photo
Autumn resurrected

The path turned away from the bustle of life
We halted, finally alone with the tall trees
The floor, a striped carpet of sun and shade
Around us an orange rain of leaves
You kissed my hands, gently pushed me down
A replay of a younger season
In your dark eyes, a scented image lurked
Of green mangoes and silver-belled strings

I want this scene to break its waters
even if it leaves me irrevocably broken
So there I am under the tall trees
caressed by a vagrant breeze
but it seems this you cannot bear
You are on your knees shoveling furiously
till the assonance of twin coral-crested baubles
beneath a leaf-bejeweled corset
dissolves your peace

I stretch and fill my autumn grave
deliriously content to be slaughtered
by skin, breath and unrestrained vigor
my back cushioned by purple heather
A delicate conspiracy of creation
murmuring its delight in my ears

That was then

Not long now
before you join me under the forest floor
A space waits alongside my imprints
A space to which I sometimes flee
to make sure you haven’t reached
before my time is breeched

Our spring has spilled over several seasons
I am a wistful bloom minus her green sepals
You juggle wildfires-a defiant breeze
whenever we meet
I try to hold on to my cast-off skins
But you devour each one, my fanged king
leaving me bare
A tree birthing itself every autumn
©Reena Prasad

Published in Brian Wrixon’s Autumn Anthology- the last of the set of season anthologies to be out in a day or two.