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Ukraine Poems

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

History and Ukraine: The Battle of Kyiv 2022.

History, you Falstaffian roustabout,

Warn of despot power plays, whether

Greek or Trojan, Roman or Barbarian,

And the eternal recurrence which will

Befall peace.

Men with toys and invented facts come

Upon the scene throughout the ages whether

Orange stained or puffed up bare chested on

A horse with a studded name and it is angels

For whom we wait.

Peace draws little if any blood, angels are in-

Capable of crime. Their weapons are simple

And plain: reason and heart and the ability to

Withstand pain until the hooded stranger is

History’s remains.

Ukraine, Ukraine, the world sees the Russian

Shame you are enduring. Stay strong. Stay

Steadfast. Traitors, collaborators, hawks and

nuts—all window dressing you must face as

war comes to your doorstep.

The world believes in you Ukraine. We believe

Because to do otherwise would be to throw away

Our humanity, out dreams, our notions of a bit of

Heaven in the streets of the everyday lives we

Lead and cherish as best we can.

History, you Joycean Daedalus, at the ramparts,

At the castle tower ledge, spying the inevitable,

The days and nights of horror, red night skies

Scattered bomb fires next to stars, next to planets

Next to glance of those dying.

Caesar to Caesar, Napoleon to Napoleon, Hitler to

Hitler, Mussolini to Mussolini, Stalin to Stalin—for

Any good achieved in the short-term, long-term mistress

History paints them as nothing more than cons and

May have beens, soiled tissues on the street.

History, you angel of redemption, will open the gate

To place the martyrs, the heroes, and the comic turned

Valiant moral victor at their rightful place, the place

Where men, women and children of Ukraine can live

In peace having made their unforgotten stand.

Movie Reel

Tanks and marching soldiers and planes

Overhead and civilians who may as well

Have targets on their chests.

Hints, preparation, and the timbre of talk

That some call diplomacy but is a shell game

For one set on starting the test.

Expansion of empires and borders be damned

Mindsets a game of chess with pawns and peasants

And would be kings all set.

War, the crunching sounds of artillery landing on

Homes and schools are war even when named as

Innocuous a title as a peacekeeping force.

Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan shock and awe at every

Turn. Freedom the only loser in each of these lands.

The return of terror as if scripted for a movie reel.

Add to this list Ukraine.

There, near the land bridge

Among the willows that hug and

Feed at the river’s edge, along the

mud flats that dip near the water

After rains wash them closer to the

Lip, like the lips of terra cotta water

Jugs with their smell of centuries, of

Toltecs, Aztecs, Incas, Greeks, Romans

And the Atlanteans whose land bridge

Was swallowed by the waters of

March, April, and May and went

with such an ocean flush taking with

it the knowledge Socrates spoke about.

Now the land bridge between Russia

And the West is being swallowed by

The guns without roses that line

The streets of Ukraine and the same

Knowledge, the same unique human

Thoughts are being drowned out by

Indiscriminate bombings and ego

Run a mock. But this time Atlantis

Does not go without a fight, not

Without the courage that futures

Will know about

Emilio Morenatti / AP

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