Ukraine Tonight plus 4 more poems | Linda Chown

In the Kremlin

In the Kremlin the guards were monsters of the kind 
of secrecy that flattens souls, 
an enormous place for hiding spies and jewels
where the air rang of old czars and killings. 
It was as though i too was masked and silenced
there in that killing quiet. 
That killing quiet.
I tried to imagine a blond czarina playing cards, 
being able to sing her songs in that pernicious silence, 
those halls staggered large and long everywhere,
Lenin outside preserved forever, what a deadly fear
and the polite waiting lines 
all too silent 
and I played Bartok and B.B. King voraciously
loud to obliterate that crippling politeness.

Time In War

We lived in the war pasting coupons 
page after page in the war our parents 
subdued for us, banned in a loud quiet.
banning feeling in themselves 
keeping the lights bright. We lived in a war 
bleeding alone, for there was no tv 
to see. Night radio muffled. The war hit our hearts,
what else? We ate polite weeklong pot roasts 

And knew something was missing. It was fear 
that the world would not be here, nor we,
that the rituals would crash like Alice 
fell through, fell to newwhere-land 

Oh, where will we go when we pass 
into you? Will our hearts even start?  
Who will keep this ritual life going 
with all the killing and darkness?

Anne Frank at least she said, and Joan of Arc withstood.
And we all targets geographical and physical 
And we exposed and frightened, having 
to put a good face on this evil which threatened all
those war days and witch-hunt days and 
always in our ever oppositional living 

And now again as the long days pass casting evil 
Again I wander-wonder alone what I’ll do when
Life turns into a living bomb cast and I’ll have no
Pot-roast or pretense. Writing my
Globetrotting weapon and disguise. 
In out and all about. In rife absurdity.
Calm the bombs and silence the mad.
Let’s feel clear water and soft words all
Green, clad in long love and trust beyond bloodshed
Not hope  but a sudden heartening.

Wall Mural by @2022 My Dog Sighs
Northcote Lane, Cardiff, Wales

One Night after Ukraine

Voice is an old cliche I’m
Not proud to say that closer 
It’s just all getting tighter 
Any way I see mushrooms
I see that angular nose
Spelling the world and time falling:
War cries upon us again harder
Takes it onto us harder.
We’ve watched all this before
Now let us speak 
peace surer & surer
Let no dictator bite the
Worlds chestnuts out and 
eat their way in. Stand up and plunder their bones harder 
And harder harder till our cliches stick true

Ukraine Besieged

Stones unto bones unto trinkets
there was a time I ain’t gonna 
study war no more bones 
no more shocks
Stones onto my big heart 
bones unto war 
no more and like death 
stones us tight into our years 

We have forgotten there was a time 
We locked hands and remembered
Those bones 
those overtones of war
And now there are three wars
Where has all the young love gone
Stones unto bones unto trinkets.

©2022 Olga Shtonda
Instagram: @olga.shtonda

Ukraine Tonight

Poems make  a shape 
they take like magic
in a Finnish prayer 
they reach eternity 
where we’re all marching 
for peace, for each other,
our feet preaching peaceful.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Linda Chown…

…is a writer born in Berkeley who has been socially aware all her life. Years in Franco’s Spain only taught her more about group action and collaboration. Professor of American and teaching World literatures teach her how to live and love. Intensity is her middle name.


Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

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