Thursday, March 17, 2022

Poetry Friday - Thinking of Ukraine


         Poetry Friday is with Ruth, at her blog, There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town here.  She is writing from her new home in Asunción, Paraguay. While I've read about other wonders Ruth has shared so far, this time, a bird-watching excursion with her brother sounds fabulous. And she's written about it to share! Thanks for hosting, Ruth!

         I find that I am unable to gripe about anything, sitting here in my home with heat and food. It is snowing again and very cold. I am sad, feel helpless to do much for the Ukrainians but I am donating, writing my representatives, watching the news for hope. I've been re-reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of The Mind. Even the title feels like a small getaway. Here is a poem he wrote long ago that feels as if it was written for today. 


             In woods where many rivers run
                                              among the unbent hills
       and fields or our childhood
                                      where ricks and rainbows mix in memory
although our ‘fields’ were streets
                              I see again those myriad mornings rise
      when every living thing
                                            cast its shadow in eternity
            and all day long the light
                                                 like early morning
                    with its sharp shadows shadowing
                                                                   a paradise

the rest is here on


  1. Thanks for the Ferlinghetti fix -- it did feel like a much needed refreshing getaway. It's so hard to process the war in Ukraine; a heady mix of outrage, heartbreak, grief and sadness, frustration, helplessness. It's had to fathom such out and out human cruelty at this level in the name of ambition and power.

  2. “Every living thing casts its shadow on eternity” is a phrase I will think about today. Thank you for sharing this, Linda.

  3. Small getaways can really help!

  4. Linda, I am sorry that you are so sad but lately this seems like the norm when thinking of the world. of this unshaved today
    with its derisive rooks
    Thank you for the poem that I have not read before.It is a bit difficult to read but I am managing very slowly.

  5. The events unfolding daily in Ukraine leave us, quite understandably, depleted of hope, Linda. The lack of humanity is an affront to our sensibilities and our sense of what is just. For this reason, we naturally seek solace in small diversions. It is quite normal. I can't help but think how absolutely fortunate I am (by accident of birth)to live in a peaceful part of the world. The poem you have chosen is but a short time retreat and you have every right to embrace it.

  6. Gosh, one could read this poem over and over and pull more out from it. I love the sounds of the words rolling into and out of each other, thanks for sharing it. And thanks for your efforts and thoughts those are important too. I like Ruth's suggestion of a small getaway, though it is hard to think of anything being hard on ourselves presently with the war raging on in Ukraine–embracing and being with family and good friends can be a refreshing mini getaway.

  7. This is how poetry is a refuge right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  8. I'm with Janice -- I love that phrase. We need to attend to what kind of shadow we cast all the way to eternity...

  9. There is a wistfulness in this look back-- don't we all desire those "myriad mornings" - whether in woods or fields or streets of our childhood, our own paradises -- respite from the world's realities?

  10. "this unshaved today" and cawing rooks...This makes me feel all rough and broken but also so grateful. Thank you, Linda

  11. "Myriad mornings' - so much better than the 'myriad mournings' which seem to surround us at present. I am sorry you are sad, though I can relate. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem.

  12. This poem makes me take a deep breath. It asks me to stop for a moment of childlike wonder at rainbows, even in the midst of such heartbreaking news.

  13. Thanks for helping me steal away for a few moments, Linda. I hadn't seen this one before and it's lovely and wistful.

    "...when every living thing cast its shadow in eternity" — such a feeling of connectedness and memory.


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