Day 11

Sunday 6th March 2022


Walking out this blue-sky day,

a helicopter, passing, blurs –

what’s here, what’s there, what difference…


Stop. Breathe.

Unchanged slope of the upper field,                    

familiar march of blackthorn hedge, sheep                                                        


            may safely graze.


            Children, pale in bobble hats

            pressing palms to the carriage glass.

            At Echo Moskvy, truth is gagged              


            welcome to the USSR.*


            Remember, way back, in Leningrad,

            headscarved grannies bowing low,

            sung responses wrung from bone


            Góspodi pomílui

                        Góspodi pomílui


            Hóspodi pomílui



Listen, high in a leafless tree

a tiny bird, unexpectedly –


so small a creature, such a voice

outsinging a murder of crows.



*     Comment made at Echo Moskvy independent radio station as the staff exited in
       protest at official demands regarding the reporting of the invasion of Ukraine.

* * Lord have mercy. Russian, then Ukrainian.



Denise Steele




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