Pratibha Castle – To the Beach

Pratibha Castle LEP&W V3 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three December 2022.

To the Beach, poem by Pratibha Castle.

To the Beach

a caravan of red ants
escorts her along the track.
It snakes under mango trees,
past the whitewashed bungalow
of last night’s rave.
Palms snatch at the light.
Banyans’ aerial roots
grope shadows.

She pauses by a jasmine.
Sips scent of snow-star blossom.
A butterfly writhes
in spider mesh
on tongue-shaped leaves.
The goggle-eyed spinner
watches at the web’s edge.

Breaking the threads,
she cradles the butterfly
in vaulted palms.
The creature flaps, calms,
as she picks it free.
Blue wings
graze her skin,
an electric memory
of eyelashes
against her cheek.

A parrot squawks.
Kohl bird’s wail
becomes her mother’s song
soaring above smoke
coiling from an altar boy’s censor.

The breeze drops.
Jungle voices fade,
along with jangled thoughts.
Heart-beat waves
sigh beyond the trees.

© Pratibha Castle

Pratibha Castle’s award-winning debut pamphlet A Triptych of Birds and A Few Loose Feathers (Hedgehog Poetry Press) was published in 2022. A retired holistic therapist and workshop facilitator of women’s retreats, and a singer, she studied creative writing at the University of Chichester. Published widely in print and online including Agenda, Blue Nib, Fragmented Voices, Friday Poem, High Window, Honest Ulsterman, Ink Sweat & Tears, London Grip and One Hand Clapping, her work has been highly commended and long-listed in various competitions including Bridport Prize and Welsh Poetry Competition, Binsted Arts, Storytown, Sentinel Literary Journal, Gloucestershire Poetry Society. A regular reader for The Poetry Place, West Wilts Radio, her second book, published by Hedgehog Poetry, is forthcoming later this year. Born in Ireland, she lives on the south coast of England.

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