This poem is dedicated to Lyubov Sirota & Pripyat. Click the links to learn why.
|Published in the final issue of Shadows Express e-zine September 21st 2013. Copy and paste the link
The Garden of Pripyat
Not the peace they dreamed of, or held in time’s ambitious plan;
children, with their special faces, clinging with misshapen hand.
Spring filled flower beds, no weeding green-thumb gardener down to bend,
the once upon a living time; by accident to bitter end.
Exchanging happy ever after, silent streets and empty home,
paper; words in schoolbooks written, broken spines of rotting tome.
Cultural endeavour and church righteousness; the good intention
be eternally turned away from teaching their regretful mention.
Who will mourn or wonder how these human souls were cruelly taken?
As in plague, the war, the flood, no human heart is left to crave them.
Bereft of spirit, ghost or ghoul, no imaginary life.
Just an absent father, children, cats and dogs and loving wife.
Pripyat; now over grown and left alone, by nature claimed.
Shadows of graffiti only statements to the fallout rain.
Leaves by lift of autumn breeze fill open rooms and rusted spouting,
walls and crumbling abodes; no echoed laughter, cries or shouting.
Where the comfort, felt elsewhere, the people living on, unheeding?
Voices of the grieving, wounds of mind and memories receding
Where the record, list and call, of victim, name and known address?
Should resident return one day to hear no one in charge confess?
The lonely vigil, isolation- measurements of air and ashes,
yet she still collects, processes carefully the dots and dashes
Laboratory; timeless relic, grandstand walk to Lenin Street,
missing players, shut off sectors, trees and grass, and slumped concrete.
So men and women of the world in universal language plain
Hurry! Board the tourist bus, the car or non existent train.
To ne'er return, or think of here, the Liquidator’s useless mask,
reminded of Reactor Four and every fireman’s dead end task.
Book and chapter, verse, the letter; none describe unspeakable fears.
To plug our ears, our understanding, covering our eyes, the tears-
any human contact, yearning, forgiveness, love for enemy;
Babushka's fruit no mortal taint, in whispered village insanity?
Where the purpose, goal or reason for the life forever lost?
The souls remaining of the Zone escaped, yet lingering illness; cost!
Will they amplify the pain, the numbness; who beholds the portrait shattered?
Shards reflecting asylum’s ward - Chernobyl’s aged children scattered.
Composer wanted to write the music for this poem. See blog "Looking for a musician... " -
360 degree view of Pripyat:
Huns and Dr Beeker's song:
Use this link to view information about Lyubov Sirota:
Use this link to view information about Pripyat:
Use this link below to view photos and see information about Chernobyl:
Link to Elena Filatova's website: