Sonnets of War: Letters from Kyiv

Non-Ryhming Poetic Epistle

Moon over Ivanka Franka Street in Kyiv by Author

No drumbeats can be heard in the simmering distance across the steppe
Just satellite images of tanks, missiles and weapons of mass destruction
Yankee President screams like Chicken Little, a geriatric crying wolf
Will we wake up tomorrow or will our corpses lie in bombed out rubble?
Is the Kremlin now in the hands of a complete genocidal madman?
What will your legacy be, Vova? The one who launched World War Three?
Is that what you want? Because that’s what you are going to get, brother
Orthodox on Orthodox war in a new century steeped in death
Diesel tanks stinking, rise like deadly turtles from the mire
Will you unleash their force upon your own brethren and the innocent?
Freedom is not another word for nothing left to lose to blue/yellow patriots
Cossack blood runs deep, they will stand and fight for their Motherland
Your own stood against Napolean and Hitler, outnumbered and outgunned
Will you be this century’s first War Pig on a total and international scale?

Photo by Author February 2022 Taras Shevchenko Blvd, Kyiv

Bodies burning in fields of sunflowers, wheat, corn and black soil abundance
Once you stood together against foes will you now slaughter your brothers?
How can one at this moment consider committing words to verse, Vova?
Wilt thou then send Great Khimki Wood to high Zamkova Hora?
Will thee be vanquished when Svyatoshinsky Wood come to Sparrow Hill?
A War Poet does not much of a great soothsayer make, doth he?
Many may wish your bloody demise, Vova, but not this poet
No condemnation but that instead you deeply consider your salvation
For rulers of men are called to judgement for the souls granted them to tend
Wilt thou be known for wars and rumours of wars, deaths of innocents?
The Sunday of the Prodigal Son has dawned here in the Heart of Ukraine
As it also has over the St. Basil’s and upon the flowing waters of the Volga
Kyiv is not a prodigal to return to its wicked stepfather, the great Muscovy
No, brothers-in-arms, the Mother of All Rus shall not bow to its own offspring

St. Cyril’s Church, Kyiv, Ukraine photo by Author

Instead, shall you come, your Kyivan Mother will fill her deadly quiver
Open her Scythian soul, release her Amazons and fight those once she loved
No mother wishes to slay her distant children but would rather embrace them
Reconcile thee to the will of Our Father, do not release the death machines
Did you not more than once, fight side-by-side to protect a great Fatherland?
Would you destroy your kin because they seek that which you do not?
Are you not proud of how you all repelled great aggressors on your own soil?
Do you forget the fierceness of Cossacks ready to die for their Motherland?
Beware, they will not quit as your war machines come, their wrath is mighty
If you commit this folly, it will be the end of all that is great about Russia
When you go down in the history books, whose faces will be next to you?
Those of great Czars? More likely those of former enemies and despots
Spring flowers begin to rise here, Vova, and the land has become muddy
We all await your actions against this beautiful, abundant country
Some with fear, others with indifference and many with guns in their hands

Nativity Service 2021, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, Kyiv by Author

Here we sit, waiting for the most Holy Fast in all of Orthodoxy, praying
For our lives will go on whether you come or not, for we know the Truth
You have no power against them unless it was given you from above
How will you use the power that has been granted you from above, Vova?
To bring lambs to slaughter or allow peace among the Slavic Brotherhood?
Would this be the eternal break of the Great Tripartite of Ancient Rus?
The grass begins to grow green as the weather warms on Volodymyrska Hill
St. Volodymyr stands strong, looking East to see if Vladimir’s troops
Dare enter this sacred land to burn over a thousand years of Orthodox history
Ukraine’s troops stand brave and strong, wait for the worst, hope for the best
Not to have to kill brothers and sisters who dare to cross that oh so thin line
Kyiv, she goes on as if nothing is coming, the sun glows, flowers grow
St Michael stands guard, watching the souls in the city under his guard
Knowing she has been through this before and she will survive yet again

Icon of Theotokos, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, Kyiv 2022 by Author

And we wonder, will the Theotokos intercede, spread her veil over all of us?

Most Holy Theotokos, please save us. Amen

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