a canto a canto (a canto for the ukraine)

canto
canto
canto

mariupol
has died

canto
canto
canto

burned
while
still alive

canto
canto
canto

missiles
in the night

canto
canto
canto

praying

praying

praying
for the light

~

kirill

iliya

a little girl
unnamed

a woman –
a body –
with her ankles
tied
together
as neatly
anyone can do
for the dead
in a time like this . . .

what kind
of time
is this . . .

a tarpaulin
is a shape
that is a body

is a man

quickly
quickly
get them all
into the grave

a solitary grave
to take
so many

cover them
and run

~

canto
canto
canto

kharkiv searches
for her bodies

they lie
here . . .

somewhere
just a little
below

canto
canto
canto

long ice
descends
to place
a kiss
upon the snow

canto
canto
canto

the city
was . . .

is

completely gone

canto
canto
canto

and the metro –
underground –
is all . . .

to call
a home

~

the situation
here
is

very bad . . .

we are
terrorised
by shelling

dozens

dozens
have been killed

we have
no medicine

we have
no more food

we have no water
any more

we do
our best

all of us

we do
our best

but every day
is another asking
:

what did we do
to deserve
to be so
forsaken

~

canto
canto
canto

kyiv
is still a place
of safety

canto
canto
canto

kyiv
will hold on
with all its life

canto
canto
canto

until
the missiles
strike it down

canto
canto
canto

oh why
must good things
always
die

always die

~

yuri lives
on the thirteenth floor

his building is
untouched
in the heart
of kyiv

his family
have fled
to sweden
with his blessing

he remains
as a man
of age
to take up arms
in the territorial
army

he believes
the war
is because of the enemy’s
hatred

citizens
on the street

on the road
are waiting –
holding their
metaphorical
breath –
for the catastrophe
is surely near

it is coming

and yet . . .

and yet
if we can get
our hands
on food

on water

and yet
while we breathe
we cling
to life

and yet
and so
we somehow
get used to it

a new kind
of normal
until . . .

the next missile screams
and shrills
and falls

too close

and then
another somebody
dies

~

Why? Why? Why?’ descends into despair, Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka and Lori Hinnant, AP News .
The Devastation of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Masha Gessen, The New Yorker.
Reporter’s Notebook, David Gormezano, France24.

3 thoughts on “a canto a canto (a canto for the ukraine)

  1. What a horrible time to live in and we watch “long distance”! How are you meant to feel for people whose circumstances you do not know personally Such beautiful work

    Liked by 1 person

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