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Share your poetry on currently unfolding Russo-Ukrainian war in the comments section below.  We received a large response on our first post of poetry on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, and poets are still actively submitting on this topic, so here is your chance again to share your poetry. Please don’t repost any poems from the previous post.

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35 Responses

  1. BDW

    In Chernihiv, March 3rd, 2022
    Radice Lebewsu
    “Lips that would kiss/ Form prayers to broken stone”
    —T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

    A soldier hears the howling wind. A missile hits the ground.
    He rushes from the makeshift camp to reach the heavy sound.
    With hawk-like eyes, he sees the withered grass and broken street.
    His cold heart melts. In army boots, his run is fast and fleet.
    No sooner than he comes to where the former bread line was,
    he has arrived there on his feet, that dead and dying place.
    He looks back where that vulture flew into that hungry crowd,
    but in harsh silence it is now a leaden kind of loud.
    The hung sun shines among no pines, a thousand miles of clouds.
    Below the heaved and heavy concrete slabs, and dozens down.

    Reply
    • Cheryl Corey

      I read that story about an older gentleman who was killed by Russian gunfire as he stood in line to get bread for a female companion who had a medical condition and he helped her out. Was that your inspiration here?

      Reply
  2. Mia

    There have been many wars and
    We believe that some are worse,
    We seem to pick and choose,
    But as long as we remain immune
    We wring our hands and remain mute,
    Whilst struggling to comprehend
    Why innocent children die, for such
    Obviously evil and meaningless lies.
    We attempt to reassure ourselves
    That this tragedy could never happen,
    Here, at home, for we are certain
    Somewhere far away is where
    This unleashing of evil takes place.

    So it was with shock I heard one say
    A studious man at that, that those
    Who die brutally in the Ukraine,
    Must be because they did wrong,
    It’s karma from the past, a debt
    They had to pay from previous lives
    Of slaughter they took part in!
    What a thought, well perhaps that’s
    Why Armageddon’s not far off.
    Yet if reincarnation is believed
    Then why does an omnipotent God
    Send us here repeatedly to fail?
    Does He relish the drama and the play
    With the whole world His stage
    Or does He sit alone and cry, knowing
    That all will eventually come to see Him,
    Yet again full of regrets, for another
    Wasted life not lived as He intends.

    Reply
    • Cheryl Corey

      Mia, in the 2d stanza, line 3 needs correction as the word “the” appears twice.

      Reply
  3. Evan Mantyk

    Limerick

    Prince Putin reads history books
    And knows how an empire looks,
    So he puts up a fight
    Feeling might makes him right
    As he takes all the pawns with his rooks.

    Reply
    • Mia

      After reading this I now find myself thinking of Putin as Prince Putin
      and it will not leave my head. Always the mark of a great rhyme is how it stays with you I think.
      Prince Putin the Emperor and rogue
      Unleashed war and terror
      He fell into a trap,
      For it was all in the plan
      To leave him without any clothes.

      What do you think, or should I shut the doorange on it now
      (still one of my favourite phrases)

      Reply
      • Evan Mantyk

        Mia, the Emperors New Clothes allusion could be a perfect rejoinder to my limerick. Good idea!

      • Mia

        Yes, it was the word empire in your limerick that made me think of Putin as an emperor and then the rest followed. Thank you.
        One of the reasons I like SCP, it is inspirational.

  4. Cheryl Corey

    When Hitler invaded Sudetenland,
    The West didn’t make a stand.
    A bully—yes; but he had clout.
    We all know how that turned out.

    Today it’s Russia’s Putin—“Vlad”.
    He’s not just bad—he’s very bad.
    The senseless, indiscriminate slaughter
    Has led to lack of food and water.
    Women, children, Christians, Jews;
    Every day it’s in the news.
    He is what he is, and that’s that.
    Vladmir Putin’s a piece of scat.

    Reply
  5. Cheryl Corey

    I. Hitler

    His pretext was to save the Czechs,
    The German-speakers among the Poles.
    Western leaders gave him heck,
    But Hitler had ambitious goals.
    He sensed the weakness of the West,
    And cursed the Treaty of Versailles;
    Took his chances, beat his chest,
    And gave the West a big black eye.
    He dared to dream the dream of old,
    The glories of a past empire;
    One by one he watched them fold,
    As Western cities blazed with fire.

    II. Putin

    He fancies himself a czar like Peter the Great,
    A man of destiny and greater fate.

    So when he heard that Ukraine might join NATO,
    It went against his fundamental credo.

    He focused on the Russians in Luhansk,
    And then decided it was worth the risk

    Because of what he saw as an affinity,
    Historical connection, and consanguinity.

    To hell with the Accord of Budapest.
    I’ll take not just the east but all the rest!

    While Western thinkers thought—a small incursion;
    At least, that was the stated White House version;

    Putin’s forces massed along the border
    And threatened to destroy the world order.

    And just like Hitler, now he bombs the people,
    From Kherson to Lviv to Mariupol.

    Reply
  6. Mia

    To put an end to war they had a summit in Turkey,
    Attended by those seeking peace and prosperity.
    They tried to broker a deal to end the pain
    Of bombs and bloodshed in the Ukraine.
    Understandably Putin could not attend
    But he tasked his envoys not to return
    Until they learned how President Erdogan does,
    What he, President Putin can’t,
    Get away with it so much that is,
    All with a sleight of hand.

    Reply
  7. Damian Robin

    Two Wishes

    My mind is addled
    My knees are knocked
    My sensible statements
    Go off half-cocked

    I wish that I could
    Change my brain
    I wish the Russians
    Weren’t in Ukraine

    Reply
  8. Anon

    The outrage is clear, on both sides;
    But honestly who would have thought
    That if you rattle the cage of a proud,
    Prickly bear he would wake up and roar.
    That to take Ukraine into NATO, Putin
    Would think it disrespectful and fatal
    For his nation, was well understood.
    It did look like goading, to Putin of course,
    As he has always been vocal in disputing
    Ukraine’s democratic right to wave
    The flag of NATO by his front door.
    Sadly he doesn’t see the alliance as
    Peaceful, or one that adheres to reason,
    Or one that does not go to war unless
    It is to topple tyrants, bring down titans,
    Or to eliminate weapons of mass
    Destruction and win hearts and minds,
    Through war. What’s more the braggart
    Doesn’t believe all thirty members of
    The alliance are all democratic, philanthropic
    Guardians of peace. After all, in his view,
    Some in Nato have got away with genocide,
    Invading and annexing without a single
    Sanction. So now the angry, misguided
    Russki has really become fractious, for he is
    A despot, so democracy means hypocrisy
    To him, despite clear and fact checked
    Evidence to the contrary.

    The upside of this though, for every cloud
    Has a silver lining, is that now a certain
    Man in London is grinning his customary,
    Cheshire Cat grin, for Putin now wears
    The crown, of war – mongering clown and
    Our man in London is breathing a sigh
    Of relief.

    But that’s how it is, all’s fair
    In love and war, old sport; whoever said that
    We gave them the rope so they might hang
    Themselves, is seriously misguided. We are not
    To blame for the Ukraine, we’ve even sent them
    Tanks, I mean, tons of help for heavens sake.

    Reply
  9. Mike Bryant

    The Two Bad Vlads

    (Yes, Russia and Ukraine are BOTH dictatorships, despite what you’ve heard.)

    Putin is an ass, it’s plain to see.
    Ukraine IS a fake democracy.
    Zelensky, though, is tight with Hunter’s dad,
    They’re in the Bio Weapons Business – BAD.
    So Putin’s got Xi in his dirty pocket.
    Zelensky’s got the West and all our rockets!
    Let’s send more weapons, tanks and troops, WHOOOPIE!!
    Yessiree! Let’s set off World War III.

    E.U. sells ARMS, just like the USA.
    Too bad, there will be no one left to pay.

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      Right Mike, liftin’ up the tarpaulin on somethin’ appalin’.

      Your words remind me of Arlo Guthrie’s song
      ” And it’s one, two. three,
      What’re we fightin’ for?
      Don’ ask me, A don’t give a damn,
      Next stop is Viet Nam.
      And it’s five six, seven,
      Open those pearly gates,
      Ain’t got time t’ wonder why,
      WHOOOPIE!! We’re all gonna die!!”

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Yeah, Damian… I can remember hearing that one on the radio.

  10. Mike Bryant

    Zelenskyy on the Nazi Azov Battalion: “They are what they are. They were defending our country … They are component of the Ukrainian military.”

    Hmmmm… should we REALLY be sending weapons to these Nazis????

    Reply
  11. Damian Robin

    Greeting Card Lyric: Old Russian Soldier

    An old Russian soldier, blistered and grizzled,
    Gazed at his foe as the war rain drizzled,
    And wondered what hit him, to his surprise,
    And wondered what flashed, before his eyes,
    And wondered in vain, as his old life fizzled.

    Reply
  12. Damian Robin

    Greeting Card Lyric: My Major Son

    When you were at Uni,
    My wee bony boy,
    Your life was much simpler,
    No troops to deploy,

    No buttons or bombs,
    No targets to smash,
    No homes to avoid,
    No dead men to stash.

    O my sweet boy,
    How life was more sure,
    No enemy to kill,
    No crack attack corps,

    No flak-fire reprisal,
    No reactive show,
    More chance of survival,
    You could have said ‘No’.

    Reply
  13. BDW

    At a Train Station in the City
    by Radice Lebewsu
    “FOR THE CHILDREN”
    —on a Russian rocket missile

    The bodies wait to exit this war’s crematorium,
    but these will not be leaving from that auditorium.
    They lie upon the ground below no Tower of the Stork,
    like petals fallen from a dead, black bough in Kramatorsk.
    If one goes higher, one can see the Sun about to set,
    Kazennyi Torets River en route to the long Donets,
    and if one goes yet even higher, maybe one can see
    a thousand miles away…such fine and lovely scenery.
    But here they’re getting ready for the coming Russian troops,
    the onslaught of the innocents continues forth, forsooth.

    Reply
  14. Dominic D'Souza

    I recently returned to my home in the US after helping my step daughter and children along with her sister in law and child cross into Poland from Ukraine.
    I ultimately got them settled with help from a friend, in Switzerland.
    My families are from Sumy, to the East of Ukraine.
    During my flights home, I wrote the three short poems. I’m sure they may have some technical issues, but I thought they may be worthy of sharing. Here is one of the poems:
    Relief from the Catastrophe

    I saw a lot
    But I really saw nothing
    I felt a lot
    But I really felt nothing

    Consider my home, your home
    No longer
    The sound of thunder
    The flash of lightening
    Now we must flee

    We live our lives
    We fight our daily battles
    But darkness consumes the fragile peace
    Thunder and lightening
    From men who would be gods

    And so the journey begins
    To uncertainty, perhaps hope
    For our children
    For each other
    The obligation overwhelms us

    I saw a woman
    Clothes somehow reflecting her tiredness
    She had no shoes
    Her feet were swollen
    So she continued, obliged to hope

    Why must we feel this?
    It is not our catastrophe
    We are distant
    We are safe
    But we are them, so we must feel

    To touch a hand
    To feel a smile
    This is the gift
    They can receive
    Relief, from the catastrophe

    So brave, so proud
    They are more than us
    They are who we can be
    We are in darkness
    But they bring us light

    Reply
    • Damian Robin

      Thank you, Dominic, for these reflections from direct experience of family trauma, with their glimmering hope,

      Reply
  15. Vyacheslav

    Devil’s strengths

    Bathing in the blood every 4 years for Putin is a great holiday,
    then he starts enslaving people,
    destroy houses and simply runaway,
    and it doesn’t matter if today is Monday or Sunday,
    from missiles, You do not hide in the subway.

    Black grace cherishes devilish selfishness,
    nothing will stop his aggressiveness,
    an only force acts against force,
    my mission to find and destroy an evil source.

     

    Reply
  16. Damian Robin

    Greeting Card Lyric: Soldier Boy

    A splattered soldier on the edge of camp,
    camouflaged in worry, dust, and damp.

    He runs up blowup tanks like boarding ramps,
    to where an outline of his unit cramps.

    A city camp of brazen brick, charred wood,
    and clothes all greasy green, with burns and blood.

    He hopes there will be respite in this crash
    of walls and soldier bone and shell-shot ash.

    His heavy helmet like a flowerpot
    of lumped ceramic plonked on hair root rot.

    His mouth is grinding teeth and army grit,
    dry except for slugs of phlegm and spit.

    He’s been living on adrenaline.
    It’s kept him going with a will to win,

    and lust for arms of Russian ration tins,
    and leaps towards where victory begins.

    Reply
  17. Alan S Jeeves

    A Rust-Covered Sword

    _I_

    You may assail me with your Kazak blade
    Then, in a single moment, I am gone;
    In the darkness of the daylight I go,
    My heart beats its last and I am no more
    And you praise your combat skill and prowess
    (Your smile is a wry smile, a soldier’s smile)
    But my tears form raindrops before I die
    That rise to heaven where they are welcomed
    And rain lasts forever (and one day too)
    Then, the sword shall be rusted and futile.

    _II_

    Yet, my pen is of gold, tarnishing not,
    And it strikes at your soul and speaks the truth
    For, its words will live for two thousand years
    (As the words of Jesus are heard today)
    So, you seize my pencil to snap in two
    Though, I hone both halves to write with each hand:
    Now, your tears pointlessly fall to the ground
    Where, there, they dry and are lost for all time.
    A fresh drop of rain will wash them away,
    I know it will come – the raindrop is me.

    Reply
  18. Alan S Jeeves

    NIGHTMARE OF THE EASTERN WIND

    Prologue

    In the end, the bitter end, he who orders
    the death and destruction of another nation
    shall, himself, sleep the sleep of the vanquished.

    I
    Dead mouths of many dreams that sing and sigh
    And call out feebly in the midst of night
    Calling, fearsome as their bleak wanton cry
    And frighting, as the unthinkable fright
    Until the dark of their plight passes by.

    II
    For, cold are the eyes that slumber in fear
    And cold is the heart of the soul that sleeps
    And sour is the taste of the sleeper’s tear
    And dire are the many secrets he keeps
    For, wild is the scream that seeps in his ear.

    III
    The ruler of tracts o’er the eastern lands
    Where red is the sky and black are the days
    And burned are the souls the ruler commands
    As flaming night comes and flaming night stays
    So, then a nation betrays at his hands.

    IV
    Nothing is priceless or free of its cost
    And value is learned when payment is due
    For, battles are won though, wars can be lost,
    (Battles are many yet, victories few)
    And dead mouths sound as a new dream is tossed.

    Epilogue

    Sleep heavy and sleep long as you are,
    at last, held to account for your sins.
    Payment shall be heavy and long
    and shall last for eternity.

    Reply
  19. Martin Mc Carthy

    The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has never denounced the actions of Vladimir Putin. In fact, he is at the core of his ambitions. Do God and killing and the agenda of a dictator all go together? For me, it simply doesn’t add up, so I wrote this poem about it.

    God’s Dictator

    ‘A just and holy war.’ But war for what?
    To kill…to take what others have got?

    To do God’s bidding at any length…
    to invoke his might and strength?

    To bomb everything, every house and steeple,
    and never see that God is for all people.

    Reply

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