Ukraine (Remove filter)

At the Front

Close now. I think. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

War takes away perspective with its taste

Of danger, its relentless jabs of fear.

Yes, we can see them. Just across the field,

Behind the trees but not quite out range.

Easy prey for our telescopic sights.

They’ll probably never know what hit them;

Two of them are down, the rest run away.


Bloody cowards, just like we wou...

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Splendid Youth


The war is sucking up our splendid youth.

They’re racing to the front; they won’t come back.

Each town and village starts to empty out,

As friends and classmates go on the attack.

They’re fighting for our dignity and state

Of freedom and of happiness pursued,

But consequences, each one plainly knows,

Could be unmentionably vile and rude.

In these now quiet streets the ...

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I wonder if those who lay the mines down

Stay put and wait for victims to approach,

Or, with a surreptitious grin, retreat.

As for the victims, no imagining

The horror of their plight will bring them back.

The miner and mined have done their duty.

In moral terms, they seem so far apart:

One bad, one innocent. But consider.

They are both under orders not to think:


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A Hundred Days

A hundred days have passed since it began.

So anyone who came of age since then

Will know of nothing but this raging war,

Impardonably thrust into our lives.

Are all attempts to look beyond such days,

Anonymously scribbled on the wall,

A futile antidote to these cruel ways?

Or something sinister which may recall

A game which every canny person plays:

To test how far the ...

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The look on Mum’s face told its own story;

Our dad’s weekly letter had failed to arrive.

In its place, as sombre as a scarecrow,

Was a black-bordered missive from the state.

When we left, it seemed like an adventure:

Hugs and backslaps and putting on a smile.

Then the train rides, through cold nights and long days.

I don’t know where we are. They all seem nice

But they spea...

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They’re performing a foxtrot in Davos,

The great and the good are crossing the floor;

While deep in Ukraine, with little to gain,

The dance is wilder than ever before.


The movers and shakers are out in force,

They move their careers and their buyback bids;

While near to Kyiv, with little to give,

Old jackets are shaken to feed the kids.


Designer shoppers and vegan...

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City Tour

Good afternoon, you’ve come from far and wide;

In Mariupol, I shall be your guide.

Do not believe the lying foreign press,

Who will pretend this place is one big mess.

Just look at the improvements we have made:

All that extra space, if a bit less shade.

(And any minor damage has been done

By outside agents who have cut and run).

You see that souvenir shop with its flags?


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Many here will go to heaven,

Though some of us will go to hell.

These places stand on worlds apart,

But who does badly? Who does well?


We think that sinners should be sent

To purgatory down below,

But in a war all lines are blurred;

Good people may not even know


That they deserve an afterlife

Of peace and comfort and of joy,

While devils rise in our esteem


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Day 82


You wake again in dawn’s reluctant light;

The neighbour’s wife and youngster have both fled.

He shivers as he clings hold of his gun

And, unrefreshed, falls on his lonely bed.


War, looking back, can be a lucky break.

Men who once cleaned up a factory floor,

When it is over, build a better life;

At present, it’s a terrifying chore


Of trembling hands, impending...

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My Enemy

I felt a numbness after the event:

A single shot, and this was just a boy,

Barely out of school. He lay, open-mouthed,

And I thought of his family and friends,

His teenage passions, posters on the wall,

His portrait of pride, hanging in the hall.

Suddenly, my mates were surrounding me -

We had blown a hole in enemy lines -

Slapping my back, but I was now alone.

One may a...

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Anger Management

We should not yield to anger,

Nor trespass upon kindness.

There are other ways to staunch the boiling blood.

The sight of yesterday’s Victory parade,

With its wind-up, flat-pack military,

Its gross salutes and guns and strut,

Its little man made out of wax,

Talking for ages through his nut,

Made me grimace at the waste

And at the tragic, pointless load

Of fresh-dead b...

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I thought he would be giving us a wave,

But no. An old gent, looking quite cheesed off.

As an individual, he had good points,

But I don’t want his statue in this town.

He has too much baggage; I’m short on tact.

Anyway, we do not need more clutter.

These damned edifices are everywhere:

Footballers, dogs, forgotten men in wigs.

In some spots you can hardly move for them.


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I once passed a little village

Where locals met and chatted in the square;

Some, most withdrawn, played cards and smoked.

The place was poor but free from fear or care.


When required, the work was done;

Winters were hard but held a certain charm.

Then all too soon the tanks rolled in;

There was no time to ring out the alarm.


Now, though the buildings are long gone...

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Stop. Go back to your make-believe,

For what is real is hard to bear.

In normal times we take a stroll

And look around and sniff the air,

But now imagination rules,

No entertainment lives out there.


Three heroes in their sailor suits

Dance to the tunes of ‘On the Town’,

While outside bombs and missiles land

And innocence comes crashing down.


The burned-out s...

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Red Sky at Night

Not many shepherds live around these parts,

But down the road the buildings are ablaze.

In semi-darkness, citizens with pails

Run like hares towards the smoky haze.

I stop one in passing. ‘I’m Jan,’ he says.

His features throb with duty and despair;

His younger friend stands polishing a gun.

Our lives are here, but could be anywhere.

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I popped out to the shops to buy some bread;

When I returned my family were dead.

A missile had destroyed our neighbourhood;

From this time onwards, nothing will be good.

I cannot understand these men of war;

I cannot comprehend what this is for.

We had no quarrel with our former friends;

How can these means advance their twisted ends?

Were they at war, my children and my w...

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Knock, Knock!

Knock, knock
Can you hear me?
Please let me in
I'll save you from God
And convert you to sin


I won't abandon 
Or show you no care
I'll give you free horns
So you know that I'm there!


I'll speak in wry tongues
Only you understand
And tattoo your soul 
With my 666 brand!


I'll make you new shoes
(On the hoof, as it were)
You'll be able to trot
Through my pit of de...

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You Will Pay for This

On “Victory Day”  Knee deep in blood


The arms and limbs of the dead

Climb up you

In day and night terrors.

Murdered by you











All silenced by you


Your final solution…

Like the Jews in the ghetto.

All must go


But on your death bed

“Your god” whispers


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Let us pray

I want there to be a God.

I want there to be someone

I can pray to in hard times

And feel the warmth of family.


But when I see all this death,

All this doom and destruction

And reach out for some solace,

Who is there to answer me?


Religious leaders bang on

And pass round the piled-high plate,

But can they stop the nightmare

And bring back sons and daughte...

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'Grieving Ukrainian Mother' (As seen on TV)

The caption caught my eye with morning tea;

Tearful in woe, she loomed large on the screen.

The opened plastic bag revealed her son;

Her heartbreak and distress was hard to bear.

The brother held her in a sad caress;

Distraught, they parried questions from the press.


And I was torn. Should this not be discreet,

This tragedy, and not for public view?

Then someone else, ...

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When the rain stops, and the clouds part,

We venture out to take a look,

And for one brief moment wallow

In some space of blessed respite.

A shower has freshened up this place;

The violent mist has melted

Into compost’s damp aroma,

Birdsong breaks the tuneless silence.

The lives not lived, through their absence,

Remind us of the dry prelude,

Crackling in heat and nois...

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Staged Event

It wasn’t that complicated,

But it had to be authentic.

No point in actors playing dead.

Think about it! They’ll sneeze or twitch

As the cameras start rolling

And give the whole damn game away.

Luckily we had true patriots,

Prepared to sacrifice their lives,

Ready to jump in plastic bags

And take a bullet in the head.

Thousands were queueing round the block.


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My Little Girl



Sssh, it's just the thunder 

My little girl

Pack a bag

Don't feel sad

I know Daddy has to stay 

But he's keeping 

The big bad wolves at bay

Don't cry, don't cry!

We'll say goodbye

He'll come back soon

And bring the moon

And we'll eat it

With a big, fat spoon!

That's more like it!

Giggles & smiles

Daddy can see them 

From miles &...

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UkraineSenseless War

The Prince and King Rat

Once upon a time
in a land not too far away 
People lived their lives
in a free and happy way 

Their leader a Prince amongst men
smart, brave and strong
His countrymen praised him
to them he could do no wrong 

Their close neighbours
came from “the land of make believe”
Ruled by a corrupt dictator
whose mission was to deceive

He was an monstrous ogre
a ruthless, greedy billionair...

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I didn’t have to do this job;

There were many things on offer,

But somehow I fell into it.

Most days it’s pretty routine:

Emptying the bins and the bags.

But yesterday, everything changed;

The cameras and microphones

Screamed indignation at the world,

While the crows and vultures circled

For a sniff of plastic-wrapped flesh.

Unfamiliar with our task,

We tidied up, ...

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In the Silence

The cars outside my window

Rumble to and from places

Without a care in the world


The children scream out Mehmet’s name

To come out to play

And when he does

Their little faces light up  


In Mariupol there is just silence

A bird sarcastically chirps

A dog sniffs round

But there is nothing to eat


The rumble of tanks has gone

The screams have ...

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The Air Of Spring

Last week the pretty trees blossomed 
it felt like spring was in the air
Now it feels more like winter 
those fragile blooms scattered everywhere 

The sunshine brought out bright colours 
the butterflies, bees and flowers
Now the gloomy grey has returned
as we dodge harsh, wintry showers


If I could be a super hero
I would be the “Air of Spring” 
I’d sprinkle rays of hope an...

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Blue and Gold

Harrogate 21/3/22


It’s when I see the kites

a family are flying on the Stray

and notice how they glint in blue and gold

belatedly I catch on, how today

the bichrome of the flag of the Ukraine

has never been completely out of sight:

I’ve seen its vivid tones unrolled


not just where you’d expect:

flourished on the apex of a pole;

sellotaped to windows or on do...

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Missile Ways

Missile Ways

What's up the sky and the Russian planes?

Before they're splashed by Stinger missiles

Whoosh! Missile away go go go kill a jet

Or chopper bring it down in the water

Let the crew freeze or drown

Some burn alive or get killed in the crash

How dare they invade Ukraine!

Teach them all a lesson forever

Some things not to be forgotten

Like Duncan in Dune 2021 d...

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Tupolev 141 Drone




Tupolev 141 Drone

Those old drones and planes and choppers all sat there just waiting to fly to war. Polish the metal fuel them up kick the tires away they go. No crew just needed just a memory of flight. Something part of their fabric like their wings or engine. A thing part spirit part elemental that exists beyond human comprehension though we built the machines.


Now t...

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The pretty lady screams


Putin’s bombs just murdered her baby

What life will the young mum have now?

In a shattered country war death hate killing

The bastard waited decades for this


And acted not caring the cost

Of Russia’s neighbouring nation

Plus thousands of dead Russian soldiers

Let the traumatised lady be an example


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By Sixes

By Sixes

With this book we have to make a difference

The weight of worry and seriousness is huge

This has not happened before not this way

And very soon all things could happen

They try to control it but can they?

How do you control so many soldiers?

Along with the other shooters

Planes ships launchers tanks and more

Myself I've never felt this way

Except briefly in t...

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Vivid Orange



Vivid Orange

Sky black burnt like sack cloth by the fires

Endless fires vivid orange flames

Always orange as is the screams

Now invisible for they are dead

Bodies black ash blown about

Wind whipped up by the flames

Orange wind this way and that

Like the war win lose win lose

On and on till it simply ended

All dead nobody left to fight

Pull the trigger dro...

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20 Cents




20 Cents

The guy gave the war concern 20 cents

This was enough to buy ten bullets

Which would kill ten enemy soldiers

If fired accurately by a good soldier

He'd give more if he could afford it

But he was jobless and skint

20 cents was all he could afford

Bread and coffee cost money

Even if cheaper thru the VA

His benefits were little not enough

So he...

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In Silence



In Silence

The English ex SAS Special Forces member went to the Ukraine to fight. He travelled light and took just a small back pack and a head full of skills. A gun was a gun and a bayonet a bayonet. He was trained to use most things as weapon especially military articles.


He decided to go to the Ukraine after the Russians invaded proper in early 2022. The Ukrainian Army too...

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ukrainewarrevengerussiaenglish soldier


On Putin's hands much blood does stain,
From the dreadful invasion of Ukraine.
Russian tanks and armies have been sent
To destroy lives - much of whom were innocent.
Senseless and evil - it must be described,
As many Ukrainians flee or try to hide.
Putin - a man the world must surely despise,
As we hear his words, which are full of lies.

While Ukraine still tries to show resistance,

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Stuart VannerUkraine

What is it I see?



what is it I see?

In this place down below

Where rich tides of life 

ebb, and then flow


Where beauty & horror 

Rub shoulders like friends 

And the dominant species 

Both destroy, and defend


What is it I see?

When the colours of dawn

Turn, too soon, to darkness 

In a gathering storm


Not made from the seasons

But the breath of i...

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The mouse and the Lion

How much harm is inflicted by ambition and power

that carrying war in itself,

sheds blood,

tears and grief


How little does evil and hatred care about

slaughtering children and elders

or the present and the future of a country


How absolutely insane may corruption and ego become

to smother, desolate and crush a garden


Ukraine, you have been orphaned,

but ...

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Let's Show This to Putin


People milling about


At a makeshift hospital a mother cries for her child

Cameras follow through to the operating room

Where the child lies

The doctor screams at the camera

He sounds like he’s saying I’ll smash your face in

But when the translation comes

He’s saying

Show this to Putin

Because the child has died



Last week they...

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Ukrainewar poetry

Armchair Generals

Armchair generals
Firing other people’s bullets
With other people’s sons
Express sympathy
With the refugee
Who would be welcome here
If they weren’t such a risk to national insecurity
And Lincolnshire is full, says Leigh
Even if they’re willing to pick fruit

What has Liz’s dressing-up box
Got for us today?
Fighter pilot? Tank commander?
Recruiter for La Légion étrangère?
She’s unlik...

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In the world of her

On the threshold she stood,

Of the house where her life smiled.

Waving wildly her small arms at him,

Of whom she was the only child.


Inside sat the lady of the house,

Silencing her sobs and drinking up her tears.

Careful not to let the the happy bird know,

Chasing her was the worst of her fears.


All laiden with arms covered under his coat,

To not let the little...

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war to peaceinnocencepeacelifehumanityloveukraineRussiacrisisworld wars


I wake up to coffee

My failing eye sight

Classical music  gently calming down

The beats of the coming day


My cat encircles me

Wanting food

And then with trepidation

I turn on the news



They are waking up to

An underground shelter

Darkness all around them


Hearing in the distance

The slow thunder of tanks


And the loss of thei...

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Two Hands

Two hands pressed against a window pane
as the packed train departs the station
A mother holds her child close and tight
heading to an unknown destination

He watches blinking away the tears
until the train is far out of sight 
Mother and child escape the danger 
Father stays on to fight the brave fight

For the first time in their family life
they will not be together tonight
There wi...

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Beware the bear, my father said,

and he’d been taken to its lair,

read the truth, and clawed his way

from its clasp, a gasp from death

where all breath slows,

in Siberian taiga snows.


Beware the bear,

that funny, honey, sunny-featured creature

which, as a host, will greet you

to its land of ice and hut-filled woods,

with a hug and, open-armed,

insist your stay...

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Here Comes The War


Upon the hand that wears the ring

Upon the land where locusts sing

There lies a shadow that begins

To make fools of foolish kings


By fear, hunger, hate and pride

By secret tears never cried  

By flood, famine, fire and rod

By supplication to their God


Here comes the war

Over the border

Right to your door

Here comes the war



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UkrainewarRussiapowerweaponsWWWNATOhistory is a virus

The Sirens Ringing Out

The sirens are ringing out

Did I wake up to 1939?


Bits of paper waved in the air

As a bomb rips through a house


“we’ll hit them in their bank accounts”

But no statement can save a child’s life


The sirens ringing out

Wailing across a Kyiv square


A mother in Donetsk a sister in Odesa

A cold chill running down her spine


“It’s hopeless”


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Golden Eagle, soaring high
Shot down in flames
From hate-filled skies
Raining people
Watch them die
What the hell is going on?
Luggage scattered
Bodies shattered
Children's toys
Bruised and battered
They shot a fucking plane down!
Innocent lives of hundreds gone
Families broken
Left to mourn
The loved ones
Who won't make it home
Division - at what cost?
A politic...

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My Long-Suffering Ukraine



We live in an unpredictable world

Where everything is so much twirled.

Each new day brings a surprise.

And how easy is it to realize

What can turn into bad or nice?


The evil today is a plan of some possessed

To destroy those who were by God blessed.

To turn into the colony Ukraine,

And the main: Ukrainians - into slaves.

The empire of greed craves the grav...

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