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

the fallout

when finally the winter’s regime
hugged with a gentle vise
once the hectic mainstream
got locked in a stasis of ice

a roar swelled from slander
antheming to sacred shit
both turned into frozen meander
adorned with a bilious split

prickly slush wrapped up tighter
rhetoric and gagged criticism
like a pearl torn from the peak of a mitre
the globe rolled down a glaring schism

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2022

GUEST POST // The Kids Must Grow Up by Cassy Single

No one should ever hear
the sky cracking open with bombs.
No one should live in fear
of what tomorrow will bring.
We think we are evolved.
We have leaders
that should serve the will
of the people.
The people say no.
All it takes is one man
to build enough power around him,
that this one man
holds a people
to ransom.
Politics is dominated
by children in a schoolyard,
small men
whose dreams shape our very lives.
The whole world must say no,
must stand together.
Peace must prevail.
Glory to Ukraine!

by CASSY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

seeds for your pocket

o demon face
may you reach the end of yourself
so that you will know
you will know that no one had to die

your lies have led to a thousand blooms
set alight in the silence
your crimes have made them feel too much
everything and nothing

the bodies you’ve threshed underfoot
are the seeds you’ve sown of your destruction
their scarlet heads now reach and sway
freedom cries scattered to the wind

and the wind remove all trace of you
hie thee into damnable night
your brutal answers went unquestioned
now circling back to haunt you

o barrel chest
may you reach the end of your hollow self
you know that none had to die
you fucking know

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022