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‘Where have they all gone?’ and other poems

By: Vanaja Malathy

Where have they all gone?

    Where have all my dear and near ones gone?
    their memories heal and reinvigorate my mind
    and at times stifle and sting my heart.
    i feel I am standing in the midst of a barren land, all alone.
    the world looks blurry
    and I have no desire left to feel worthy of living
    frail and weak I lay on the bed
    sans enthusiasm and energy to face the world.

    Soft and beautiful fingers grip my palm
    lift me carefully
    walk me forward
    on the rugged paths
    on the snowy lanes
    on the sandy paths
    I look up to see the face of the kindly touch
    the soul of support

    It’s the pretty face of my granddaughter
    a young beauty, a smile of an angel
    a complacent countenance
    the little one whom I walked
    a few years ago holding her tiny fingers’
    who gaped in awe and
    clung to me for my endless stories
    giving me proud moments to have been her support.

    Today she stands as my pillar of strength and courage
    my zeal to live returns.
    God smiles and cares through the family and
    extends His Divine touch to heal loneliness.


    Treasure lost

    My adolescent grand daughter
    came back home from her visit
    to the prosthodontist
    for a cosmetic correction.

      With flushed cheeks
      and swollen eyes
      she looked piteous.

      we thought the ordeal painful
      gave her chilled ice creams
      hugged her in succession;
      the mouth being plugged
      she barely spoke.

      All on a sudden, a burst of wail
      her sobs sure increased
      tears flowed into rivers
      leaving us all dumbfounded.

      The tooth doctor had plucked a couple of
      unwanted teeth from her jaw
      to carve that pretty smile on her face
      and presented the teeth in a cute little pendent
      to wear it around her neck,
      alas, the numbed patient found it missing
      the locket of her treasure.

      Her sorrow knew no bounds
      we promised her a necklace
      with her birthstone locked in
      and plenty more she would cherish
      but to no lure of her mind.

      A bright search in the car and the clinic-
      she found it at last
      to our great relief.
      she jumped in ecstacy
      adoringly wore the necklace around her
      and darted into the street
      to show her friends of her bounty.
      The teeth that had shorter life in her jaws
      found a smarter tombstone in her pendant.

      Reminded me of The Glorious Dead
      Who finds a preeminent place in the Cenotaph in Whitehall.


      A doctorate in English and an educator for decades from India.. A smooth drift from academic writing to Poetry writing. Vanaja Malathy considers poetry as her fabric of existence, poems to breathe and as a vent to her emotions. She also loves to paint, sew and read.

      Her poems have appeared recently in The Nightingale Poetry Journal, The New-England Monthly Poetry Digest, The Poet’s Showcase,, The New International Poetry Digest, and The Literary Yard.

       Her Interview in the latest edition of Author Talks is published in The Literary Yard at


      1. What better way to express your emotional journey than through poems. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and letting us be part of your journey. Lovely capture of emotions into words. Always amazed with your way of linking small things to life and thereafter!!!

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