Sunday, March 17, 2024

Then You Have Loved

 —Poetry by Vandana Kumar, New Delhi, India
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain

Drops on windshield
the rains
still slow
been at it
since a few hours now

I like the haze
that keeps me
from seeing the ghettos
repeated head counts
after calamity

a decade ago
we still could use fuddy-duddy clichés
call our cities
‘melting pots’

I resist the wiper
as long as I can
larger drops
stain the car
the radio is on
nebulous days
when smokescreens
take us away
from city ghosts
the clarity of by-lanes.


It isn’t the sort of cold that moves
static all around
I look for a pizza cutter
and ice cream scoop
I imagine making triangles
out of the dense fog
and consuming it
to make visible spaces in the atmosphere

I imagine the ice cream scoop lifting the fog
splashing it
into dessert glass

it is a decadent country
of stale debate
on fresh television screen

the Winter from another eon  
seems to have seeped into the bones
so quietly
there are no surface breezes
I am wary
a Winter without its wind-chill
is no Winter at all


You, in vermillion attire
with a slit that starts from the waist
and runs as long as the river Nile

how I wish you smiled
just for me
and not
for all the pirates of the Pacific

With rings on fingers
on the hand, right
on the hand, left
are you a prisoner?
Of one of the men
whose harem you head?
Do you play out your politics in bed?
For an entire tribe?

You in your dress, oozing red
I wonder just how many doctors
run to your rescue
press the nerves
kiss every pore
suck out the blood stains

it is a day parched
such thirst
single malt
quality unquestionable

come to me
Oh woman, in scarlet or cerise dress
become every dirty thing
I want you to be.


When you hate the Winter
Oh! Those teeth that chatter
and several inches of snow
several days of it in a row  

the season harsh so
isn’t the best thing for the libido
the layers of clothes you must negotiate
the mere thought of undressing can wait  

if the parts of you down there —right under
refuse to cooperate, don’t wonder
such a bummer!
To leave the steamy sex
for Summer!  


There will be a mesh
after the hernia you got removed
it won’t reoccur
you are reassured

gall bladders
one kidney
one ovary or two
without it
sooner or later
we half-learn to survive

but with all the dangers fraught
O have your heart
right out
in your throbbing hands

and walk along the sidewalk
the one with leaves strewn
some freshly fallen
some dried
roads with egos waylaid
all that matters
to the heart that walks outside of you
is giving
even as it puts itself at risk

like leaving your home
front door unlocked
or entering wars unarmed
for battles meant to be lost

no collateral allowed
the rest is mere convenience
or serendipity
when put to test
your favorite clothes
also tear at the seams

walk into the night
no candle-lit home around
to help navigate  
for hounds might bark and pounce  
conditions and consequences
only for the meek
sit and watch your heart wrecked
unable to distinguish
night from day
or the dance of one season
into the next

know that then
you have loved
and loved
and loved.


Today’s LittleNip:

your hand
touching mine.
this is how

—Sanober Khan


Vandana Kumar first appeared in Medusa’s Kitchen on Feb. 19 of this year. She is a French teacher, translator, recruitment consultant, Indie Film Producer, cinephile and poet in New Delhi, India. Her poems have been published in national and international websites like
Mad Swirl, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Piker Press, Dissident Voice, Borderless Journal, Madras Courier, Outlook, Ink Pantry, Backwards Trajectory, The Daily Pointers, Synchronized Chaos, and, to name only a few. She has been featured in literary journals like Fine Lines, and anthologies like Harbinger Asylum, But You Don't Look Sick, and Kali Project, which was a Finalist for the 15th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards. 

Vandana was a jury member for the All India Poetry Competition organized by Cocoa-Butter, and she also co-edited their debut print anthology that resulted from this competition in 2020-2021. She was the only Indian of 40 participating poets in the INĐIJA PRO POET 2023, a festival held in June, 2023 in Serbia. Her poem was translated into Serbian in the Pro Poet anthology published there. Her debut collection of poems,
Mannequin Of Our Times, was published in February 2023; it was awarded The Panorama International Book Award 2023 and The Mighty Pens Awards 2023. She is also a Pushcart Prize-nominated author-poet for the year 2023. Thanks for today's poetry, Vandana!


—Medusa, wishing us all top o’ the morning and a happy St. Patrick’s Day—
 Vandana Kumar

A reminder that
Poetry of the Sierra Foothills
features Frank Gioia and Paul Godwin
this afternoon in Camino, 2pm.
For info about this and other
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click on
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