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

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

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

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

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

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