Poetry

Defiance Blossoms

Does the globe tilt on its axis
when mothers weep?
Is that the sound of artillery
I hear or hearts breaking?

How does the world go on
when a man flips the switch
of his humanity and his own generals
dare not speak truth to power?

We look for snippets of news
Moved by the tales of strangers
Map constellations of grief in the crevices
of foreign faces so like ours

We learn the names of distant towns
cheer for faraway heroes
while sirens wail and eyelids close
under dust and mounds of rubble

Others still, snivelling apologists
for the Russian bear
swollen with moral outrage
and naked self-interest

Tell me, do the powerful
take their power to their graves?
The world continues
in its small, beautiful pettiness

Chai lattes and work deadlines
Swimming lessons and word games
Raucous pubs and laundry piles
Boxsets, bathtime and bedtime stories

Oh the bedtime stories

While over there under another sun
defiance blossoms
civilians clutch guns
missiles land in playgrounds

Trembling hands make Molotov cocktails
journalists bear witness as
a woman offers sunflower seeds to soldiers
a man kneels before a tank

And though war is evil indeed
what do you do when your home is attacked
when your values are trampled
beneath the feet of tyrants?

You pray for more arms and ammunition
You pray that the world raises your flag
remembers your common humanity and acts
before your last drop of blood is spent

In pursuit of freedom
so loathed by
smirking men behind large desks

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