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Vandana Kumar Poetry

Nothing Happens

by Vandana Kumar

Nothing happens really in this city
Where everything has already transpired
It is night
Nobody is up
Asking questions
Or staring at the moon

The generation that argued
Wanted freedom
Did not fight enough
Suddenly packed bags instead

The little kids in the neighborhood
Are a little too little
Their noises are too basic
The kind that
Children make
Crying for food
Or for sleep

The noise of defiance
And angst
Has left the place
The nights are moist
With boredom
And yet it doesn’t rain

No smell of first love
No awkward teenagers asking
Each other out
Talking of movies first
Then plays
Then genres of books
Asking names of favorites
All the while wondering
How and when
To touch each other

The city has only the silence
Of status quo
We know our daily visitors
And our weekend guests
Even though
We ask them to sign in
Each time
At the entrance gate

This isn’t a place anymore
Where rebellion grows under the nails
Like a garden
Where a new strange bird
Sits on a windowsill
Every now and them
One that you keep admiring
As you figure out its name

This isn’t the sort of place
Where magic happens
Fireflies dance
Where the month of July
Could happen at any time of the year
Where it isn’t about its natural progression
Into the month of August

And in the quiet of the night
Love isn’t enough a force here
To overwhelm
The city has its center
And its suburbs
And I can’t tell one from the other

Be Our Guest

How strange that I see
What I now see
So differently!
Once ice cubes melted in whiskey glasses
By the warm glances we exchanged
Across crowded rooms

How odd that I now see our home
As mere house
In perfect array
No longer strands of hair
To tell the tales
Duvets in place
Have deftly replaced
Those crumpled sheets
That made both –
The novice and veteran blush

Gone are the days
When visitors shifted toes
So long was their wait
For us to make it to the door

Beware of my house
Where only
Fine porcelain smiles at you
And the cutlery gets counted twice
Once before you arrive –
Once after you are gone

Killing the Good Bacteria

The weekend would be inconvenienced
We told the children
About the impending pest control
About termite treatment and fumigators

The elder one had no complaints
In that direction
How much more legitimate could a reason get
To abstain from the daily homework drudgery

Much younger than the daughter
The son is at an age when
You can’t, but help question
The status quo

He wanted to know who had given eviction orders
Who gave us authority? He asked
To drive away rodents, ants, cockroaches
To hunt out strange rain insects
Perched on bright lights
On the neighbor’s balcony

We took over forest inspection
Then we crushed every anthill
After precise identification

I tried to reason with him
How termites infested the magic in our story books
How the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica’ hard bound special edition
Turned to dust
In my much coveted book shelf
‘A necessary attack on imperialism” he quipped

I showed red bumps and insect bites
Dengue claimed lives
In our sub-tropical regions
Son was not to be convinced
Just self-defense he said
We sold gated community apartments
At a premium
These creatures all need asylum

He had the last word
It went thus …
Isn’t being different from us
After all
Punishment enough


Vandana Kumar is a Middle School French teacher in New Delhi, India. An educator with over 20 years of experience, she is also a French translator and recruitment consultant. Her poems have been published in various national and international journals and websites like Mad Swirl; Toronto based Scarlet Leaf Review; Philadelphia based North of Oxford; UK based Destiny Poets, Lothlorien Poetry Journal; Saint Paul, Minnesota based Grey Sparrow Journal; California (U.S.A.) based The Piker Press, Dissent Voices; Canada based Halcyon Days, Founder’s Favourites, W-Poesis; Singapore based Borderless Journal, Madras Courier etc. She has featured in anthologies like Houston, Texas based – Harbinger Asylum, US based Kali Project of Indie Blu(e) Publishing etc. The Kali Project anthology is now in the North Carolina Regional Library and it was a Finalist for the 15th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards. In November 2021, a poem of hers featured again in the Indie Blu(e) Publishing anthology titled – But You Don’t Look Sick. One of her poems on women was shortlisted in a competition organized by the Woman Inc. – TWIBB Sakhi Annual Poetry Awards 2019 (results of which were declared in March 11, 2020).

She has been published in two volumes of the World literature series on Post-modern voices and critical thought. She also writes articles on cinema that have appeared on websites and journals like Just-Cinema, Daily Eye, The Free Press Journal, Boloji.com and The Artamour. She was one of the judges for an “All India Poetry Competition” organized last year. She also co-edited the print Anthology that resulted from this competition.

The Writing Disorder is a quarterly literary journal. We publish exceptional new works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We also feature interviews with writers and artists, as well as reviews.



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