War continues in Ukraine, as much as I wish that were not true, it is reality and a very sad fact at that. Putin can call it what he wants if it helps him justify it in his own mind, but much of what goes on in Putin's mind these days is suspect of lapses of both insight and judgment.
I note that many a poet and writer is witnessing this human tardily on paper. History will have no shortage of accounts of the horrific and totally unnecessary loss of life. There will be very detailed accounts of war crimes as at this point, much of what happens on the ground falls into this category. Civilians are being targeted daily. Women and Children are playing a high price as the casualties mount.
It is important to keep in mind this is Putin's war. He brought this war to the Ukrainian people in their own country. Ukraine has had to defend their homeland. They have not attacked Russia. The major reason for Ukraine's problem with Russia was that Russia has feared Ukraine would join NATO. If there was even a justification for Ukraine in NATO, it is because of Putin himself.
Casualties are difficult to factually gauge. Reports are between 7,000 and 14,000 Russian soldiers. Their ground fight has been effectively slowed and stopped in some places by determined Ukrainian fighters. In the meantime, Putin has turned to brutal air strikes flattening parts of cities with heavy losses of women and children. Clearly actions that are war crimes. 10 Million Ukrainians have been displaced, many to neighboring friendly companies.
Small bits and pieces from my January journal--
Yes, we got like 4 inches of snow yesterday and this picture should appear to be a mismatch for a February day.
Sometimes things are not quite what they seem. By that, I mean the obvious. Butterflies often represent an opening, a new beginning, something different than what perhaps preceded it. Often, it will represent a rebirth. Sometimes with religious significance but other times a person can take ahold of their life and find who they are - and perhaps have been all along but didn't realize it. With that realization can come change. The butterfly was once a goofy caterpillar. But that was then and this is now. Even as a caterpillar no one knew it. At some point, deep down inside, one can realize that they were always going to be a butterfly in spite of what anyone thought or said.
So much is happening all about us right now that these times are ripe for witness poetry. Tensions on the Ukrainian boarder with Russia. United States and NATO posturing in defense of Ukraine. The implications across Europe are are far reaching.
The latest Covid variant, Omicron is claiming more infections in greater numbers and a rise in hospitalizations and deaths at the same time.
We seem to be having more catastrophic disasters that most likely are linked to climate change issues.
The conditions of women and children in Afghanistan after the U.S. pullout are cause for concern.
But, these are but a drop in the bucket of things that are impacting people. The human condition is yearning. to be observed, recorded, told for the future.
Poets have plenty to bare witness too. I hope someone is recording these challenging times. It's a poet's responsibility to be a witness.
This time of year always seems to bring a mixture of joy and sadness. The spirit of the holiday seasons no matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or of any other belief denote a massage of love and hope. While there are elements of joy associated with the season, in many places individuals face harsh weather without the normal elements of comfort not do to anything other than current misfortune.
The stark difference between the joy and the sadness do not go unnoticed by most of us. I think poets may actually be more keenly aware of those who divergent emotions and how they apply to real life situation involving real live people.
I am thinking of one such person tonight that means so much to me, though I am sure there are many. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them, that they may find the resources to maintain utilities and be safe from the elements of their weather in living quarters compromised by lack of utilities. And for those on the streets as homeless, too.
I would ask us each to offer our own prayers for these people as I do for my friend as well.
Michael Allyn Wells - notes & musings