Saturday 16 April 2022

Three Poems by Mike Wilson

Bands of Blue and Yellow


I hate a bully

but have taken birth

during the bully apocalypse


Love is my slingshot

Words, my soft stones

flung at the gunner

hiding in the heart

of a fifty-ton fist

rolling remorselessly



When you visit Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra


descend the stone staircase

to underground caves

where the monks prayed


See skulls and skeletons

shrouded in ornate robes

laid out on tombstones

sealed from the world of breath

by a pane of glass


Be quiet and hear

how they pray still

candles in an unseen world

summoning light to this one



Slava Ukraini


Yes, Ukraine’s a proper country, Putin!

Kyievan Rus, born a thousand years ago

when Moscow was barely a timber fort.

The Golden Horde, then Lithuania,

Poland, even the Crimean Khanate

and Russia tried but couldn’t break Ukraine.


Tsars and Bolsheviks alike hate freedom.

Erasure through Russification failed.

Stalin starved 5 million to death, but still

Ukraine stood, so Russians, heed Zelensky’s

warning – Ukraine will not forget your deeds

and only in your graves will you find peace!


With or without allies, bells beyond the

din ring deathless words: Slava Ukraini!


Mike Wilson is author of Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic, (Rabbit House Press, 2020), political poetry for a post-truth world. He’s a past winner of Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Chaffin/Kash Prize. His poetry has appeared in many small magazines, including Amsterdam Quarterly, The London Reader, and The Ocotillo Review. Mike lives in Lexington, Kentucky. 


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