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Poetry

Poems by Sukrita Paul Kumar

Sukrita Paul Kumar
TEDDY BEAR ON THE WAR FRONT
(News Report from Irpin, Ukraine, 2022) 
					
The teddy bear sits benumbed
presiding over the rubble
Of civilisation
Of compassion
Of humanity
A debris of fun and play

Teddy sits smirking over the  
Skeleton of the cat, her
Bones, a curled cadaver 
Her couch and cushions 
in smithereens

The house shredded by the missile 
Walls cracking and crumbling with the  
Child’s screams as shards
From the tiny throat

Teddy bear, the dumb survivor,
No arms to melt his frozen heart
Watching the carnage with
Big round buttons 
gyrated into unseeing eyes

Wrapped in grief
The gentle wool on Teddy spikes
The bristles stand stiff and sharp
Rivers of tears flow 
Into the turbulent ocean 

And a tsunami of teddy bears 
Marches into the war zone
Looking for children to comfort



TELLING VIGNETTES 
			
It’s dementia…

For grandmother
It’s a staccato war

Ends each day and
Starts the next morning again

            it is a re-wind
                     to World War II 

        the wake of bombing
        kills people seventy years later

*

Pregnant with deadly nightmares 
Moskva the missile cruiser sank

The Black Sea swallowed all her bombs 
Stuffed with a thousand deaths


*

Bullet marks on the walls
        remnants of war
people in homes behind
	unhealed  

*

Ghosts born of bombs
are stripped of death
        Sans the mortal attire 

        They live on to haunt

*




The web of nerves on
      the inert dog’s neck
             pulsates
                     with lifelessness
It’s wartime


*

More live than the forlorn dog
are the shadows of bullets on 
the walls of Irpin

Deep craters on the earth
hold silence
born of the boom

*

They are not moon craters 

       These on the earth mark 
       technology of warfare

       Massive progress
       in hunting and
       getting the big kill

Sukrita Paul Kumar, former Fellow of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, held the prestigious Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at Delhi University. An honorary faculty at Corfu, Greece, she was an invited resident poet at the prestigious International Writing Programme at Iowa, USA. Her most recent collections of poems, are Vanishing Words, Country Drive and Dream Catcher. Her critical books include Narrating Partition, The New Story and Conversations on Modernism. She has co-edited many books, including Speaking for Herself: Asian Women’s Writings (Penguin). An Honorary Fellow at HK Baptist University, Hong Kong, she has published many translations and has held exhibitions of her paintings. Currently she is series co-editor of “Writer in Context” volumes being published by Routledge UK and South Asia.

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