Destiny Unknown

Everyday heroes share the spirit of many as Ukrainian citizens deal with the daily burden of war.  Taken from recent news and photos, many images fill the following verses.  

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u044 on Pexels.com

Flood of refugees

Fleeing their homeland

Agony fills hearts

Life’s movements unplanned

 

Others staying behind

Daily grind consumes

Helping in war’s effort

Trauma always looms

 

Lives turned upside down

Seeing each child’s face

What future beholds?

Hope’s welcoming place

 

Every day breathes

Transforming each life

Anguish in real time

Never-ending strife

 

Air raid sirens blare

Witnessing war’s tides

Overwhelming scene

Stress never subsides

 

Women and children

Facing world alone

Husbands serve in war

Destiny unknown

Photo by Matthias Derksen on Pexels.com

To End All

The Great War (later renamed World War I) began on July 28, 1914.  The rapid mobilization of armies carried the war forward until November 18, 1918.  This poem shares a narrative voice of those decisive years.

American World War I cemetery near Verdun, France. (courtesy of Pinterest)

Entangling treaties joining nations

Old school diplomacy’s fixation

Glorification of war’s romance

Titanic wills collide, ghostly dance

 

Distant continent boiling over

Single shot ignites war’s makeover

Ill-prepared, mortal combat waiting

Millions now face death, devastating

 

Modern weaponry overpowers

Military tactics of old sour

Now transforming nations’ fertile ground

Mankind’s killing fields, forever found

 

Privileged few making decisions

Common citizens fill divisions

Ruthless fighting in blood-filled trenches

Calling soldiers into death’s clenches

 

Exhausted nations, pushing ahead

World waiting for war’s sunset instead

Men, resources, and will running low

At last, reason stops war’s bloody flow

 

War to end all wars finally ends

Lasting peace stands ready to pretend

 

When the armistice was signed, the world hoped for lasting peace. (courtesy of Pinterest)

English writer, H. G. Wells (1866-1946), who is sometimes called the “Father of Science Fiction,” also provided social commentary.  These words share his sentiments about war:  “It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men’s lives should not stake their own.”  “If we don’t end war, war will end us.”

Sans Hope

Photo by Khaled Akacha on Pexels.com

Clouds of war, envelope life

Humanity’s endless strife

 

Fog of war, shrouding landscape

Breathing despair, no escape

 

Darkness of war, days collapse

Lost in night’s maze, without maps

 

Scars of war, covering earth

Global peace missing its berth

 

Children of war, empty hope

Tender hands without faith’s rope

 

Wounds of war, shall never heal

Hope travels on broken wheels

 

Horrors of war, drained faces

Exhausted lives, gloom races

 

Refugees of war, wonder

Dreams, hopes, and lives plowed under

 

Terror of war, raging on

Tomorrow’s forgotten dawn

 

Faces of war, children grieve

Life robbed by battlefield’s thieves

 

Future of war, never ends

Talks of peace, no dividends

 

Hopelessness of war, cries out

When will blossoms of peace sprout?

 

Photo by Ahmed akacha on Pexels.com

Darkness in War

Eve Conant interviews her mother, who was born in 1934.  Her National Geographic article, “Caught between Hitler’s troops and Stalin’s:  How one family escaped,” captures vivid memories of her mother living in Kiev when Germans invaded the Ukraine in 1941.  This poem attempts to capture the darkness of war, then ending with the light of freedom.  This May marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

brown house on selective color photography

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Memories of war, never fading

Dreadful darkness, haunting many lives

Living as refugees, now homeless

Caught between nations, bloody war thrives

 

Millions facing harsh deportation

Never to return to their homelands

Surviving in freezing factories

Providing labor in foreign lands

 

Escaping from a train, fate calling

Always moving, life stays on the run

Sleeping outdoors, sometimes in cold barns

Blistered, painful feet for everyone

 

Witnessing death, in deserted fields

Scars of war, visions never ending

Eyes and ears skyward, fearing warplanes

On the run, danger not pretending

 

Surviving life’s dark, brutal escape

Recalling this journey’s final trek

Arriving on American soil

Drawing freedom’s card, from life’s new deck

photo of statue of liberty

Photo by TheUknownPhotographer on Pexels.com