A doldrum drumming of ‘dhaak, never.
A rhythm punctuated with cymbal crashes
Artistic divinity conjured up
in swirling ‘aarti’ smoke screen etchings
Fiery red paths blaze into blackish-grey forests
above ‘kumkum’ embellished sixth ‘chakra’ gates
widened into spiritual highways.
A pure face in sarcoline clay
her piercing gaze enters
into culture-clamoring chambers of common cores
rivaling the silver ‘trishul’ tip.
The ‘sudarshan’, the thunderbolt
All shooting comets of fear
into habitually sinning whorls.
Women celebrate the home-coming
of the cosmic energy aggregate of celestial powers.
Her multi-tasking hands work harder than ever
to decimate the rapidly proliferating opportunistic demons.
A dying ‘Mahishasura’ at her feet
mauled by her snarling ‘Manashtâla’
The ultimate fate of a sinner,
a compelling portent to potential ones
Tongues waggle in vernacular rhythms
A thrilling conch call aborts the agnostic season
piously throwing a protective ‘Chaitanya’
to disrupt the soul-gnawing negative energy fields.
‘Gupchup’sellers with crispy, puffed morsels
Dispense their sweat flavoured wares
to ravenous, suddenly casteless people
united in their desire to drown
the creaking protests of ungreased joints
pushing the allotted cart of life
in the tangy spiciness of the
black, salted tamarind waters.
A celebration uniting the poorest rickshaw puller,
the starched cotton sari elegance
and street artists in their erudite makeovers.
A compulsive, cultural desire sweetening
the ‘Akaal Bhodon Puja’ days
on either side of the Indian rupee.
The pitch tunes into unmanifest frequencies,
the crowd surges in feverish rhythm,
Kids make a beeline for the’prasad’
‘Anjali’ flowers shower on countless heads
‘Chaitighodas’ thump away in Ambagan
Stupor inducing sweet white smoke
emanating from burning coconut shells in earthen pots
as the youth sway away to the comforting ’dhaak ‘
A mythological canvas of resplendent ‘pandals’
Gleaming silver framing the fierce deities,
reaffirming the supremacy of woman power
in a land desperately struggling to defend
the dignity of its dutiful daughters.
Reena Prasad is a poet/writer from India, currently living in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Her poems have been published in several anthologies and journals. She is also the Destiny Poets UK’s, Poet of the year for 2014 and one of the editors of The Significant Anthology released in July 2015. More recently, she was adjudged second in the World Union Of Poet’s poetry competition, 2016.