Kyiv’s Not Dead: Letters from Kyiv

John Gordon Sennett
2 min readMar 20, 2022

Poem inspired by graffiti on a Kyiv wall

Photo by Author. March 2022

Kyiv’s not dead, Punk’s not dead
Dark smoke lingers, Kyiv’s air reeks
Air Raid Sirens shrilly let out a screech
Convoys of soldiers rush hurriedly by
Down near empty streets, once bustling
Just over a month ago, the crowds to and fro
Now we shelter in basements with their cats
Sleep defiantly in their old block house flats
They emerge with the sun, not yet corpses
Under the artillery and missiles of Russian guns
The air may be acrid and burn when they breathe
Yet they still rise, go about in the bright spring sun
Stand in line for groceries, not waiting to die
No, they live strong and bold, like so many before
They stand up yelling with their fists in the air
You won’t take us alive, you Muscovite beasts
You can’t get much more punk than that
They’ll rock and they’ll roll, no matter what comes
In other cities, we watch the suffering imposed
Your own soldier’s bodies in fields and in streets
How much honor has an enemy who has not disposed
Of the dead in your uniforms, rotting and bloated
They honor their dead for giving up their lives
What do you do, enemy, but tell still more lies
While the young and old fall on both of our sides
Why have you come here, to this ever fertile land
You never were wanted, thought they’d not make a stand
Where are the heroes now of your once great land
They are all long forgotten now because of a madman
The places fought bravely together, again stained with blood
You have destroyed all hope for generations to come
In Moscow, St. Peterburg, and others far beyond
You’ll be long dead and their suffering will last years
A future black, bleak, tainted with nothing but tears
They are already dead, you have taken their life
What have you received for your brutal wanton slaughter
A place in history amongst murderers, rapists and thieves
Death by metal grinds us down to our bones
If they run out of guns, they’ll start throwing stones