2020 Open Call Poems - Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad



Isle and Sea

By Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

You, your eyes
they speak of severing
even three decades on
those voids from your boyhood
still suck at your psyche
hurling you past your watchful walls
into frightened child’s frozen pain.

I, still long
for validating warmth
of first bosom
picking, sorting, raking
through reams of umbilical shreds
a fractured daughter’s narrative.

We, play games
diametrically opposed
individual moves and rules
born from our primal wounds -
you emerge an island fortress
ensconced in your ramparts
I search the zealous waves
pursuing your shores.

And thus we play
isle and sea,isle and sea
year after year after year.


(Ater Amadeo Modigliani’s painting Madame Kisling 1917)

I knew I had to leave
when I woke up that morning
to find my eyes replaced
by spoons of convex slate
the sallow parchment of my skin
drawn tight across shifting bones
a wash of grey creeping
across the ivy of abused veins.

I don’t remember
becoming this kind of woman
one with eyes of volcanic ash
who couldn’t find her pupils
mauling the house, searching
screams ballooning in her lungs
her mouth a shrivelled lotus
its flaking petals
licking mud.


Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is a Sydney based artist, poet and pianist. She holds a Masters in English. Oormila has exhibited her art and accompanying poetry in Kuwait, India, Singapore, and Australia. She is a member of Sydney’s North Shore Poetry Project and Authora Australis. Her recent works have been published in Red Eft Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Poets Resist, Eunoia Review, Rue Scribe, The Maier Museum of Arts Journal of Ekphrastic Poetry, and several other literary journals in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. Oormila regularly performs her poetry and exhibits her art at shows in Sydney.


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