Part 1: Denial and fact
I never understood all that about
“shit got too real”
Until some real shit went down.
This isn’t trauma, not as such
just a textbook case of bullets, blood and burning rubber
Elsewhere defined as a riot or a revolution rather.
It’s wishing for some other place
Between the days of being practical and being scared
It’s the hours of possible danger, of
Keeping it, together shaped by decisions.
And the hours of staying safe and making provisions
Strange, it’s true how only afterwards the hands will shake. ,
By the way, this is in English because in English it seems easier to take
This isn ’t trauma, not as such
just a textbook case of it all looks neater
in a foreign language with some silly slang
That way it almost doesn’t resemble
the mess of things you thought you knew
You think, you suspect but you don’t know - until you do.
About people, about the country about powers that be
This isn’t trauma, not as such
Just a textbook case of many things you wish you didn’t have to see
But what Of the eccentricity of the brain
That in a pang of panic and laughter does this:
The hard hat-check, check- the shirt and the cut up mat
Giggle. Pip’s Gondorian armour .
Then: “Get a *** medic, *** now”.
And what of the swearing and the running ?
Of the bandages, the wounds and tourniquets
Of the guys’ determined faces?
Look, the wounds are in the eyes, the pain is in the wrinkles.
And, surely, what
Of the racing s thoughts and shallow breaths ?
Like «please let me stich this up well.” Or at all.
Of the” look sharp” and the “hah, no slow motion speed? “
When the smoke clears, there you sit thinking
“You must act normal in front of the kids” .
And what of that man’s PTSD?
What of convincing yourself of how ok and capable you can be
Ten minutes before hearing “look, I’m fine, agreed .”and answering “I see.”?
And, what of the “wow, this “normal” of office, home and drinks at seven”
seems weirdly twice as normal today, therefore
please I need this normal some more?
It still isn’t trauma, not as such
Just a textbook case of an after and a before
Part 2 An after and a before
An after marked by the smoke and the soot,
And *** Kreschatic is almost my street
A Before in the streets with the slowly falling hush,
and the faces grown tense
And the conversations in buses grown dense
With rumour, speculation and worry
Look, everyone, but everyone is calling home
So many people not wishing to be alone.
An after when the country grieves.
We watch: there are people with candles lining the streets,
when the coffins arrive . They say heroes don’t die.
I know it is not possible to write a sequel to a person’s life.
There was a never a story, and this isn’t one
People shoot, people fall, martyrs are made …
But however hard you look the angels don’t bother to have a side claimed
Before: I see families crying.
That there is trauma.
There are no textbook cases of loss and someone’s loved one dying.
But it is their grief l will not claim it as mine
There are hospital hallways with the wounded,
Many badly hurt, and of course
Mothers trying to save their boys.
An after of mothers both angry and sad.
A before of violence stupidity and too many people dead
And yet don’t forget another before, a beginning, of the shining eyes
and the rock show and the colorful drawings.
A beginning of hope and Europe and hobbits.
Followed by an after of masks, hatred and guns
An after of power, when all is said and done.
An after of games of the threat and the loot.
Always paralleled by an after of hoping ,
of what if we could,
A before of fearing “well it’s all gone to hell”
An after of take a deep breath, it isn’t over yet,
So do what you must and see what you get
This isn’t the end of the world and here is why
It is nothing more and nothing less than the curse of an interesting time.