hedgehogs in the fog

blue sky, yellow grain
winter’s leaving ukraine again
a ploughman’s cycle without end
i say life for all & death to kings

god’s got his tombstones all in a row
dominoes waiting for the drop
it’s all i can do not to cry a river

here in the dark breath is adjourned
i’m checking notifications again
you were last seen five hours ago
does god really think no one’s looking

so i’m trying to remember instead
the shape of hope & all that’s to come
& the hedgehogs we saw in kyiv

the warm hearth of your mother’s kitchen
your father’s childhood in chechelovka
our river walks & your brother’s games
the shadow cat i left behind in dnipro

so i’m trying to remember instead
shared sun salutes in an upstairs room
it’s all i can do not to cry a river

do you remember the hedgehogs of kyiv
i wish them well in forever sleep
& stand with ukraine in the fog of war
i’m thinking of you & the shape of hope to come

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

PERFECTION IN ACTION // Operation Vexillology

“Blue is sky and yellow is wheat!”

“Nope! Yellow is sun! Blue is water!”

They glared each other down from opposite ends of the table, ready to fight. Of course, they’d need a running start—the table was so long it crossed three international time zones.

Ready, steady, GO!

Somewhere at the epicentre of that domestic warzone they suddenly noticed something. It was Putin entering the room.

When they finally left said room, they were kicking something around that looked suspiciously like somebody’s very tiny balls. And they were no longer incensed by one another’s stance on the flag debate.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022