Monday 11 November 2019

2 Poems by Prabhu Guptara


The twin trees in front of my window

Begin, like us, to be tinged by fire.

Soon it will have caught them, wrapped them, lit them,

And they’ll be aflame –

On this gentle hillside, alight for all to see.

And then the leaves will fall, one by one,

To yield lines that stand stark, gaunt, black-brown

Against a sky layered with dry mussel,

Till white gentles and cools us, and rests us awhile.


I smile,

He looks away.

I laugh,

She is embarrassed.

I throw my arms wide open,

They’re scandalised.

I sing,

They flee.

I scowl

And all is well.


Prabhu’s first published poem was in The Illustrated Weekly of India, in the 1960s. Since then, his work has appeared in Indian PEN, Journal of Indian Writing in English, Kunapipi, Masala, MuseIndia, Poetry24, Ship of Fools, and The Redbeck Anthology of British Asian Poetry. Two collections of his poems, Beginnings & Continuations, were published in the 1970s by Writers Workshop, Calcutta. He edited An Anthology of Contemporary Indian Religious Poetry in English, as well as Selected Poems of Leela Dharmaraj.  In January 2017, Skylark Publications, UK, chose him Poet of the Month, and he is included in Debrett’s People of Today.

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