© Allan Markin

The eyeless apartment buildings of Mariupol
stare blindly into deserted streets
piled high with rubble
blood-soaked remains
of Russian bombs

For now, everything seems silent
but close your eyes and listen
to the cries of the children
the wailing of their mothers
the pleas of the souls that lie dead
in the streets of Bucha

Where is love when human hearts
turn to stone?
not in the rockets that howl overhead
not in the columns of tanks rolling
towards cowering citizens huddled
in makeshift bomb shelters

In the innocence of youth
the thousands of young soldiers
with cheeks as smooth
as the day they were born
march to their unknown destiny
lurking on the ragged line
between living and dying
not long ago they knew love
the embrace of a mother
the warm caress of a lover
the loyalty of a puppy

Now, knee deep in Ukrainian mud
they know only survival
the desperate beast with bloody claws
of our animalistic nature
just beneath the surface of our civility
mirrored in our rhetoric of love
in our living rooms we are voyeurs of violence
patrons of propogandists east and west
victims of a world gone mad.

Allan Markin   April 17, 2022