Dereliction of Duty!

Wars can’t be arrested
Not by an entire poetry collective
I count all the poets
Of ancient Greece
I remember those
Of ancient Rome

I recall Sappho and Anacreon
I recall comic poet Alexis
Who softened?
Who laughed?
The military barged in
The city states were fortified

What has the smell of a first rain ever done?
To world leaders
Fighting over the status
Of prisoners of war
This earth’s poetry doesn’t need a day
It’s had eons

The bomb looks prettier
Than all the imagery
Of a butterfly sitting
Upon a slender little finger

Blue skies of poetry
Go home
Pack yourself into a musty bed box
In a home that doesn’t belong
The skies today
Smell too strongly
Of war

Vandana Kumar 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 of repute like ‘Mad Swirl’, ‘ ‘Grey Sparrow Journal’, ‘The Piker Press’, ‘Dissident Voice’, ‘Borderless Journal’, ‘Madras Courier’, ‘Outlook’, ‘Ink Pantry’, ‘Backwards Trajectory’ etc. She has featured in literary journals like ‘Fine Lines’ and anthologies like ‘Harbinger Asylum’, ‘Kali Project’‘But You Don't Look Sick’ etc. Her cinema articles appear regularly in ‘Just-cinema’ and Daily Eye. Her debut collection of poems ‘Mannequin Of Our Times’ was published in February 2023. The book has been awarded The Panorama International Book Award 2023. Read other articles by Vandana.