Skip to main content

Ukraine 4

1 January 2023

So here’s to beginning again
this clouded and drizzling night
which ushers us into the year.
Our formula wishes may be
a hundred per cent sincere
but we know that one human beast
retains his keen appetite
for the flesh of his fellow man:
his season’s immoveable feast.
The murderer says his campaign
is going according to plan.

If history is mostly a fog,
a chaos of motives and chance
where expert observers opine
on the things to be said on both sides,
there are moments which suddenly jog
somnambulists out of their trance
to an imminent binary choice.
Their task is as plain as the day
and discord resolves to a voice.
These lesser offenders combine
to stand in the murderer’s way.

Too late for the diplomat’s show
of shrewdly considered regret.
The monster’s still hungry; his need
is for bombings and torture and rape.
Tonight we refuse to concede
that a desert will stretch in a place
where a nation has recently stood.
The moment has forced us to face
a fact we had tried to escape:
the only solution is blood
in the fields where the wheat used to grow.