behold the dark

November 25, 2011

behold the dark

 who could believe

 that light

could end life


that intense brightness

could illuminate

the essential darkness





there is a lesson in the dark


you hold hands

when you can’t see

with people

you don’t know


and come together as a world



GJV Prasad

written after reading accounts of survivors of the atom bomb

pst trauma

May 5, 2009

post trauma

sometimes life is a dog’s
bared teeth
and bounding energy

who can know
its smile from its snarl

life is interpretation
of god’s will
in dog’s deed

gjv prasad

respect (for dj)

May 5, 2009

respect (for dj)

breathe deep
the world within
respects you

in space
dark silence
worlds on screen

you type
the world
to connect respect

roller blade
of love

life of water
you float
in joy

to learn
you from
we have much

respects you
the world within
breathe deep

gjv prasad

This was Nattu

August 9, 2008

This was Nattu

This was Nattu
I said sifting through
The ashes and bones

No, said Gopi,
His lifelong friend,
Only something
To remember him by.

We cast a leaking pot of memories
Into the ocean
Right next to the sanctuary
He had made his own

Like waves in the ocean are we
Said someone
Always there
But only for moments
For ever and almost never

The rest of the ashes
We carried in a plastic bag
To the hills he so loved
And immersed in the holy river

The plastic bag retrieved
At the last minute
(“Let us not add to the pollution”)
Had some traces of ashes still

Nattu always wanted to live life to the full
Till the end

We washed the bag out
In the cleansing waters
Hope he breaks free of the chain
Someone said
As the river rushed to meet the ocean

So that was that

Why are they holding this havan
Asked Poonam
Why are talking of him
As if to remember him
Is an effort

Four years have gone by
And finally gone
Are the dark circles
So cruelly painted
Around her eyes

Why are they praying
For his soul
And our peace
When he is here with me
As he always has and will
Poonam asked
In bewilderment

He is here

And that is that




GJV Prasad


August 6, 2008



The girl who fainted in fear

Before the flames seared her


By a weight

Heavier than smoke

And turned

To ashes and bones


What were her last thoughts?


What was the last breath

As the mob lobbed kerosene bottles

And set the coach on fire


Did she sigh

The name of her God

Like the mahatma


The mob so secure in its fury


Did the people with fire

Take the name of their Lord

The sacrifices offered

At the altar of their cause

Or did that not matter a bit


As the flames reached the heaven

Of one faith or the other


Blood, hate, and tears,

They must have sweated


What is God to make of them?


And what can writers do

What could anyone have written then

The poetry went up in smoke




And then the people of faith

Exacting revenge in numbers

For sins committed or omitted

For being there


What did they think they were

Foreigners in this land of temples

Have to be taught once and for all

Where they belong –

Not here not here

If here only for our sport


The blood leaked into the roads

Dissolved the ashes

Gathered in puddles

Printed itself onto feet

And tramped the beat

Of journalists and TV crews

As murderers strutted into view


It was good said the teacher

Now we have our pride back

You know what Ghazni did

To our temples and Gods

We have paid him back

Ten eyes for an eye

All thirty two for a tooth


Ah glorious it was

He said

The making of our Gujarat

The water of mother Narmada

And their blood on our hands

What more can we pray for

Blessed now is our land


We, the men of God


What are we to make of all this

And what could anyone have written then

The poetry tainted beyond belief



GJV Prasad

Poem for today

June 10, 2008

The Season of the Cicadas

(Washington DC, 2005) 


They strike no terror

Though a woman

Loses control of the wheel

Hits a hydrant floods a street and is the news


The world has changed

New countries new boundaries

New governments new deaths

And Presidents struggling to survive


The years underground

Hasn’t changed the mission

Programmed into their genes

All answer the call to death


The dogs of war

Have been loosed round the world

Killing is the habit of faith

Worn with ease


They are killed for pleasure

Boys fry them dogs eat them

Now out in the open

They do not hide or take precautions


They finally found a war they all like

Moral simple and straight they think

Sixty years after

A monument to the dance of death


It is their Woodstock

Days and nights of music

Acting out the message of peace

Moult mate and die


Photographs from the Middle East

Shock and sicken the soul of a people at war

 Waiting for a cause to unite

To die for in reason passion and season


A nation envies the cicadas