in response to Visual Verse Prompt March


Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2,
the first living creature in space,
the first man orbits the earth.
Space race won.

Late 1960s/1980s
You’ve sent a woman into the space,
but it was Armstrong who reached the moon.
Apollo-Soyuz – a historical handshake.
You’re falling behind in the race…

Your domination,
once profound,
now, is only laughable
attempt to thrive survive.

Industry’s robbed and corrupt.
Livelihoods destroyed,
lives wrecked,
yet government secrets
are protected
and the patriot’s heads
are still lifted high.

Gagarin’s “poyekhali”
is muffled
by the Crew Dragon’s
powerful roar.

Space race lost.

Uncle Misha

This is the first (edited now) piece that I wrote in response to VV prompt from last month. As soon as I saw the photo, it was all fresh in my memory, like it was yesterday…
“Katya wake up! Wake up!”
Someone tugs at my shoulder and my eyes flung open into the darkness.
“Come! Quick!” my brother whispers, dragging me off the bed. “We must go.”
He ushers me into the hallway, where a shape of a duffel bag takes most of the space on the floor. His hands are shaking as he fits me into my clothes. Tights. Dress. Boots. Coat. Then we sit in the dark. We wait.
“Everything’s going to be ok,” my brother keeps repeating, patting the back of my hand, his ghostly-white face tries to smile. I really want to believe him but I’m just a scared little girl, trapped among shadows of the dark hallway.
I don’t know for how long we wait, but when the door suddenly opens, and the blinding light bursts into our apartment, my mouth opens and my high-pitched scream pierces the quiet of the night. My brother scoops me into his arms, and, trying to hide away from the monster that looms in the doorway, I bury my teas-stained face into his chest.
Gradually, my ears adjust to the muffled whispers and my fears begin to fade away with realisation that the dark figure in the hallway is not a scary monster, but Uncle Misha, dad’s friend and colleague. In the charged room, Uncle Misha’s low voice is almost soothing. I loved to listen to his stories when he came to visit for birthday parties and public holidays, but it’s not the tale he’s telling now. His phrases are short and sharp. I want to ask him what’s he doing in our flat in the dead of the night but children aren’t supposed to interrupt when grownups talk.
My brother listens intently, then nods, pick ups the bag and the three of us sneak outside and hide in the nearby bushes, just before the car with no lights pulls-in in front of our block of flats and two men in dark clothes, with faces covered with balaclava masks, rush inside the building.
The rest is a blur, but I remember waking up the next morning in my aunt’s flat, feeling happy for not being sent to kindergarten. I remember us all spending the day watching the news and not believing that the videos of tanks shelling the White House in Moscow aren’t the scenes from an action movie but the actual footage of the events that unfolded in our city on that day.
It wasn’t until many years later, that I learned that on the night of the 3rd of October 1993, the members of the Supreme Soviet, sieged inside the White House in Moscow, issued an order to their supporters, to “deal” with the families of the high-rank commanding officers supporting the President and that our dad’s old friend, Mikhail Safronov, Uncle Misha, had declared himself loyal to the forces opposing the President regime.
I haven’t seen Uncle Misha since that night, nor our father have ever spoke of him again, but even now, sitting alone, in the dark, awoken by the bone-chilling fear and panic, I see Uncle Misha’s battered and unshaven face, smiling back at me from the back of the room. Even now, 25 years later, I still remember the yellow light flashing before my eyes and Uncle Misha carrying me in his arms through the dark, empty streets, leading me and my brother away from the fate that could’ve awaited us.


The Irony of life

It’s the last day of the month and I can safely post Visual Verse picture and a poem that came out of it. There is another piece I did, but I will share it a little later

The Irony of life

Her eyes are filled with hate and loathing.
His own are trapped
behind the visor of ballistic helmet.

A mother and a son
Forever linked at birth,
Have found themselves apart

And when the order comes,
they both will follow it through.
Is the call of duty really stronger than a family bond?


(picture taken from Visual Verse site, credit to the author)


What is love?

Yesterday I went to bed an old me and this morning I woke up a different person. A year older person! A year wiser person? Probably not… 🙂 but still.

Yes, today is my birthday. Today I’m 37. I’ve spend an amazing day with people that I love and now I’m going to finish it with a glass or two of wine.

To say thank you to everyone who found a time to send me a quick message, to congratulate me on my birthday I want to share this poem that I wrote for my Creative Writing class.

As we get older, we tend to philosophise….

What is love?
Love is everywhere…
It’s in the rhythm and the notes
composed centuries ago,
in the tight embrace of marble bodies
of ancient sculptures.
It’s in the silver streak of hair
and faces that grow old,
in movies, books and songs
of every world and culture.
It is in brief, short visits,
and in slow long walks,
in stolen glances,
and in shy half-smiles,
in fleeting touching of sleeves,
and in electric shocks
from unexpected brushing of fingers.
It’s in the quiet whispers
and in laboured breaths,
in kisses and in sweat
that are trapped amongst the shadows.
It’s in the words that shouted,
and those remained unsaid,
in summer blooms
and in the first spring flowers.
It is in smiles and tears,
in angry rows
and in joyful laughter,
In singing of a bird,
in purring of a cat,
in wagging of a tail
a long day after.
It’s indefinable!
Sensation? Or idea?
Illusive… It was here. Just now.
And then it’s gone for good.
It’s a connection, an exchange,
That we’ve spend centuries
exploring and expressing,
yet still cannot explain.
It’s a mystery.
It is an unknown force.
A force that moves our lives,
and makes it hard to handle.
It makes us laugh, it makes us cry,
it makes us feel like fools at times…
It is what makes us strong.

The barley was gold that evening…

(This poem was prompted to me by first line – The barley was gold that evening)


The barley was gold that evening.

The late birds were singing of love.

I felt the Earth move when you said you’re leaving,

The sky crashed on me from above.

The sunset stained barley with crimson,

The heavens have coloured in red.

I stared back at you disbelieving,

It’s been just a year since we wed.

The barley was black with the nightfall,

The bright moon had conquered the skies.

Your shadow had soon disappeared in the distance,

The cold wind dried tears in my eyes.

The fields lost its colours by morning,

The days grew aimless and grey.

The sky mourned with me as the rains kept pouring,

And barely stood cold and ash-grey.

The winter had come that year early,

The barren fields were covered in white.

But just as it is with the barley,

I know I’ll thrive through this plight.