Arts Illustrated


By Pranjulaa Singh

Arts Illustrated's Poetry Contest, Winner

You think that the reins on my ankles are my chains
I am not a king maker
I am the king
Smoking a pipe and making my rings
You judge with your little mind
I am capable of eating you alive
I drive this world just by sitting here on my throne
I refuse to be your colonial wife.

Fascination drives your curiosity.
Did you ever expect your share of a fight?
I dethroned him.
Yes, I was his bride
You see this photo
He drowned in his own pride

Now, warmth fills my heart
I am finally here for a fresh start
Yeah, I wear my right
On my shoulder
And shoulder the power of an indestructible might
I am above your sight
But don’t you dare raise your eyes.

You see his head was sacrificed
Who provoked my honour in a crowded sight.

You think that the reins on my ankles are my chains
Look again.

Judge’s Note

The visual’s unconventionality presents a challenge. Yet, the poem ‘Reins’ has no difficulty in interpreting it. The poem’s opening lines say: ‘You think that the reins on my ankles are my chains/I am not a king maker/I am the king…’ The ‘head’ that adorns the body is superimposed and the poem reiterates, ‘You see his head was sacrificed…’ The figure in heavy anklets is not ruled but rules, is bejewelled yet in control, heavily clad yet relaxed, and the poet believes, ready to ‘shoulder the power of an indestructible might’. ‘Reins’ celebrates the changing of an old order, and becomes the winning poem.

Pranjulaa Singh

About Pranjulaa Singh

Pranjulaa Singh wrote her first poem at the age of 13, and currently has a collection of close to 800 poems. Her poems have been published in Poetry Nature, Poets India, Image Curve and Nocturne Journal, amongst others. She has also authored an audiobook, Short and Sweet Story, published by Storytel, and is working on her first independent book of poems. Read more of her poetry @poetrybypranjulaa