Bhumika R‘s trio of poems.

Concentric Circles 

A geometry teacher 

in my school 

had taught 

about concentric circles

many years ago. 


 I have long 


how to calculate. 

I am not really sure 

how many circles 

are there 

when I stare 

into the mirror 

to examine my eye. 

My calculation ability 

seems pathetic


The innermost circle 

seems the smallest 

while the ones 

around it seem to get 

 bigger and 


But they are hazy


 the camera lens

in my phone

cannot ever

 capture them. 

But I can see 


constantly increasing 

concentric circles

through the newly

 purchased mirror 

 nailed to the wall. 


 my calculation inability 

is to be blamed, 

for losing count 

of those concentric circles. 

Narrowing my eyes 

I look sharply 

into the mirror 

and feel 

both stupefied 

and amused 

at the hazy circles 

of various sizes 

as they continue

 to increase 

and swirl 


in a calculated, 

mechanical rhythm.

The language of unhealed wounds 

In what language

do scabs of old, 

unhealed wounds 

choose to speak? 

Are they mere patches 

of dried skin?


 simply a stubborn scar

that has chosen 

to stay, 

reminding you 

of old wounds? 

Sometimes beneath 

a dried scab,

is a 

blood and pustule 


seeking to dry, 

seeking to heal 


failing miserably,

in each attempt. 

Never mind, 

every unhealed 


will either


its own language 

to speak 


simply choose not 

to speak at all.

Fermented snack 

Words wrapped in pashmina

and laced 

with a class two preservative 

is offered 

at the altar 

of a dying world. 

Will the words rot 

or ferment?

Altering their flavour 

and turning them acidic.

A numb, 

dying world,


in a laboratory 

with controlled conditions, 


of its own slow death. 


 these words 

are now fermenting.

 an acidic smell emanates

 from the pashmina-wrapped package. 

 A sharp-flavoured, 

tangy snack

that a hungry passer-by 


chewing each bit, 



watching the world, 


crawl towards death.

Bhumika R completed her PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. She has worked as an assistant professor in the School of Humanities & Sciences at Shiv Nadar University Chennai, Jain (Deemed to be) University Bangalore, Shri Mata Vaishnodevi University in Kakryal, J&K and as a language instructor in the Department of Humanities & Social Science, IIT Jammu. She writes poetry and short fiction in English. Some of her poems have been published in the Visual Verse, IACLALS newsletter, The Pine Cone Review, and platocavesonline. Her short stories have been published in the borderlessjournal, aainangar literary magazine, doublespeak and eastindiastory and gulmohur quarterly. She also translates poetry and fiction from Kannada into English and vice versa. Her Kannada translation of Malsawmi Jacob’s Mizo (English) novel is slated for release around September 2023 and her debut poetry collection is tentatively slated for release towards the end of 2023.

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