NaPoWriMo 11 : Et tu Brute?

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Gulls in flight over Marmara Sea, Turkey                Photo credit: ReenaPrasad


In an afternoon that wore the garb of dawn

clouds sat upon their gold
and a lone gull upon the hull
As a gull-nado swept the skies,
the boat started to rock

The ones who came with me could not stay long
The ones I found were soon lost
The ones who agreed to row
were nowhere to be seen
I became the boat
and they all-
the sea

Into the storm I went
whirled around by the waters
that had floated me before

The season changed, the migrants left
The lone gull moulted
revealing a black head
Et tu Brute?
well then, let me drown

©Reena Prasad

NaPoWriMo 9 : Cul-de-sac



How cruel I feel
when you let go of the rigid jawline
in the softness of sleep
Your cheek curving up in a dream
Your chin prickly
tattooing an imprint
on my arm
You forget that deplorable vow
of willful insouciance
and breathe your wants into my skin

Cruel because I am awake
able to decipher your body language-
hieroglyphics that conceal
dust devils of unspoken emotions
so formidable that it
latches on as blotches to my retina

and you sleep in a cul-de-sac of dreams
while I quietly transfer the ripples
your warmth evokes in me
dissolving the last resistance
of lazily erected billboards of protest
to the scattered vermillion
being sprinkled over the quiet blue sky
signaling the turn of our love-street
into yet another cup-de-sac day

where you will measure and weigh
every word and gesture
before you let me have a peep
but till then
let me gather you in and sleep
©Reena Prasad

Bridging a fall

A picture tempted me to write a few words. A Photograph by Anna Vauclare. Thank you Shyam  for the prompt and the offer of chocolate 🙂

Perhaps a fall isn’t bad at all

There I lay in the sun losing my peeling paint
to the elements

He came plodding across the woods,
a dried branch in his hand
looking across the stream
to the village where he had found a dream

It will soon be twilight
Once I used to rush past the green
into the reddish orange beginnings of night

Today I am still but he will shuffle across
bridging the gap between youth’s will
and age’s wisdom
This night too shall pass
©Reena Prasad

Un Ex


A poem a day








16. Un Ex

Your fingers are near. I can hear them move around my keys
We visit each other surreptitiously but never meet
I pretend to be an open house
yet never leave any door unlocked that you may find
My  fears are deep for if I lost you
when you weren’t even mine
how can I keep you now?

You could walk in but there is no one to tell you
about the walls I never built
yet confess I must
An afternoon has stolen all my sleep 

On another page she smiles blissfully
your child in her arms
At ease, posing for your eyes
In her dimples I see your smile

My gaze travels to familiar skin
The open buttons over your chest oozing familiarity
The intense shadows in your eyes inviting again
Tousled hair that was once a tug away
begging to be clutched

Once there was time enough for these and more
none could stop us
yet we never began

Now jealousy strikes on a very ordinary afternoon
I watch my numb ghost stumble around in grief

The night avoids my wet eyes
The little one with your hair and lips
I  had wanted ten just like him to be all mine
©Reena Prasad


Dancing over graves


A poem a day

12. Dancing over graves


The poem shot out wings
became a vamp in a feather stole
stilling the breath
before the body could lay claim to it
ran her soft tipped words over erogenous spots
in a ghost that shot red coals from its sockets
and pounced to its feet
She pulled away its covers
jabbing with a supple tongue
at a swarm of Achilles’ heels cowering underneath
The specter now disrobed found a mirror
ogling at its goose bumpy treasures
but nothing to fear or is there?
She taunted, she teased, she pole danced around its spine
her impenitent figure striking a pose that lingered
after the night has been thrust into a bookshelf
The ghost in a feeling frenzy
grabbed at whatever came close
opening its loneliest hideaways, un-sutured bullet holes,
and its echoless coulees for her
She dropped her cape, climbed inside and began
©Reena Prasad

Published in the Mad Swirl: The poetry Forum


Burnt mustard



A poem a day







10. Burnt mustard

In micro pots I scattered chilly seeds a week ago 
sunflower a couple of days back
yesterday mustard

trying to push away a gift of space
suffusing the air with its acrid smell of loss

A vacuum sucks thoughts till I have none left 
to appraise
I am
water draining through loam
spring cleaning myself
though that feels like being robbed   

Arrivals are better at sustaining life
I hug and hold myself from draining out 
through the tiny holes in the pots

There is a creamy curry in a blackened dish
spoilt by attention wandering through
spicy sunflower fields

There too a smell of burnt seeds preceded me
The mustard hasn’t sprouted
yet it has claimed the breeze

©Reena Prasad

Day rising


A poem a day








9. Day rising

She wiped dew drops from her lips
rose from the grass of sleep
and stretched till the greyness split
to free the dawn

some night remained in little eyes
small bodies walked in sleep
brushing teeth
yet the water never touched their dreams
©Reena Prasad



8. Kintsukuroi

they call it
the art of mending with gold
It works on people too-
too fragile to be recycled
and too human to be sewed
An aranjanam and a radiant nettichutti

to offset the paleness that unslept nights
had bestowed
Bangles to hush up the name
she whispered sometimes
to the breeze
Zari edges of her sari to cover up the
unsteady trip of her feet
The gilt to light up her husband’s house
to thaw the strangeness
and make her feel at ease
She entered, right foot first
and was swallowed by obscurity
Her golden padasarams kept beat
to the fading music of her subdued ankles
though an image of a broken silver one
on a bare chest
caused cracks in the mirror
when she looked

©Reena Prasad

*aranjanam= waist chain
Nettichutti= Maang tikka or a head jewel ( see pic)
Padasaram= anklets

Kerala rising

7. Kerala rising

Auto correct will not allow me to write Kerala
without changing it to One Billion Rising Kerala
Nine days of sunshine, hymn chants, drum beats
mashed tapioca and ripe jack fruit scented afternoons
babblers in the backyard, blue streaks on trees
scampering life among bushes, bare earth between toes,
time standing still then rushing by on a bike
toddy dancing on streets, temple fests with Kozhikodan
Kulkki sarbaths, an evening in a super fast KSRTC bus
armed with safety pins and roasted peanuts
watching fat brown cows, yellow chicks and sleepy kittens
herons in paddy fields, cricket in the alleys,
early blooms of Kani konna yellow, brown dry leaves
the taste of cool well water, green mangoes and fresh chips
the bluest of skies, caws heralding visitors, long forgotten fruits
warmth of family, familiarity of the air, heightened desires
a billion of them still rising
and the plane lands in the desert once more

©Reena Prasad
Link to this poem at THE CAMEL SALOON.

A patch of our own

A poem a day







6. A patch of our own

Wave your thousand palm trees

From the air, you are but a stamp
dull green patch of land upon blue swirls 

Nothing moves in me
or in the frame visibly though perhaps

you wave your unfurled dreams
and spew breaths in continuity  

How little a million lives matter 
when a plane crosses over a strange island
in seconds
How much a child’s scraped knee does
just because you feel you can stake a claim to it

©Reena Prasad

Lakshadweep probably... from a flight
Lakshadweep probably… from a flight