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POST SCRIPTUM_4_2022_18_Special_Edition_Ukraine_Eng

POST SCRIPTUM - Independent MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE & ARTS - Special Edition for Ukraine - English version. POST SCRIPTUM - Niezależne pismo artystyczno-literackie tworzone przez polsko-brytyjski zespół entuzjastów, artystów i dziennikarzy. Zapraszamy do lektury.

POST SCRIPTUM - Independent MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE & ARTS - Special Edition for Ukraine - English version.
POST SCRIPTUM - Niezależne pismo artystyczno-literackie tworzone przez polsko-brytyjski zespół entuzjastów, artystów i dziennikarzy. Zapraszamy do lektury.

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<strong>POST</strong><br />

INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE<br />

OF LITERATURE & THE ARTS<br />

<strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

PROSE POETRY VISUAL ARTS ARTICLES INTERVIEWS<br />

Alireza Karimi Moghaddam,<br />

Charles B. Wordsmith, TUTU,<br />

John Sephton, Kevin Morris, Seth,<br />

Artur Zienko, Andrea Mbarushimana,<br />

Piotr Jakubczak, Michał Zabłocki<br />

Jarosław Krawczak, ChemiS,<br />

Krzysztof Łozowski, WOSKerski,<br />

Danylo Movchan, Agata Dębicka,<br />

Agnieszka Traczyńska, KAWU,<br />

Iwona Siwek-Front, Parvati,<br />

Yaryna Movchan, Allan Murrell,<br />

Agnieszka Litwin, Ola Haydamaka,<br />

Maximiliano Bagnasco, Pieksa,<br />

Seth Globepainter, MyDogSighs,<br />

Paweł Wąsowicz, Yurii Ivantsyk,<br />

JenksArt, Christian Guémy, SEF,<br />

John D’oh, Voytek Glinkowski,<br />

Ilya Kaminsky, Juliusz Wątroba,<br />

George Wright, Maggie Hall,<br />

Bogna Jarzemska-Misztalska,<br />

Muhammad Khurram Salim,<br />

Krzysztof Wiśniewski, Radek Ruciński,<br />

Tatiana Averina, Piotr Kamieniarz,<br />

Renata Cygan, Matthew Dover,<br />

Katarzyna Zygadlewicz, Marcin Zegadło<br />

Ula Dzwonik, Julija Musakowska, ,<br />

Ija Kiwa, Anna Ponomarenko,<br />

Elżbieta Isakiewicz, Ryszard Kupidura,<br />

Ołeksandr Kłymenko, Aleksey Kislow<br />

Joanna Nordyńska, Karol Maliszewski,<br />

Paweł Kuczyński, Ewa Klonowska,<br />

Haśka Szyjan, Ted Smith Orr,<br />

Ann Lovelace, Maggie Hall,<br />

Loraine Saacks, Nick Alldridge,<br />

Robin Pilcher, Kateryna Michalicyna<br />

www.postscriptum.uk<br />

www.postscriptumfundacja.com<br />

fb: post scriptum<br />

4 / <strong>2022</strong> (<strong>18</strong>)<br />

SPECIAL<br />

EDITION<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

1


CONTENT:<br />

4. Charles B. Wordsmith – poetry<br />

5. Piotr Jakubczak – painting “Golgota”<br />

6. Marcin Zegadło – 2 essays<br />

6. Ula Dzwonik – paintings<br />

8. Krzysztof Łozowski – painting “Water”<br />

10. Krzysztof Łozowski – drawings<br />

11. John Sephton, Kevin Morris – poetry<br />

12. Andrea Mbarushimana – poetry<br />

13. Paweł Wąsowicz – illustration “Hope”<br />

15. Danylo Movchan – paintings, interview<br />

22. Michał Zabłocki – poetry<br />

23. Agata Dębicka – illustrations<br />

24. Juliusz Watroba – people to People (?)<br />

26. Paweł Kuczyński – illustrations<br />

28. Haśka Szyjan (<strong>Ukraine</strong>) – poetry<br />

29. Kateryna Michalicyna (<strong>Ukraine</strong>) – poetry<br />

30. Street Art – graffiti artists from all over the world for <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

48. Allan Murrell – poetry<br />

49. Radosław Ruciński – painting<br />

50. Voytek Glinkowski – painting “Conqueror”<br />

52. Ilya Kaminski – essay<br />

55. Piotr Kamieniarz – painting “In the Cage”<br />

56. George Wright – poetry<br />

58. Tatiana Averina (<strong>Ukraine</strong>) – photography<br />

60. Bogna Jarzemska-Misztalska – painting “Three Wishes”<br />

61. Maggie Hall – poetry<br />

62. Iwona Siwek-Font – “Exodus”- paintings<br />

66. Ewa Klonowska – painting “Exodus”<br />

67. Muhammad Khurram Salim – poetry<br />

68. Artur Zienko – paintings<br />

70. Alireza Karimi Moghaddam (Iran) – paintings<br />

72. Loraine Saacks – poetry<br />

73. Matthew Dover – Illustrations<br />

74. Yaryna Movchan (<strong>Ukraine</strong>) – paintings<br />

78. Anna Ponomarenko (<strong>Ukraine</strong>) – paintings<br />

80. Ryszard Kupidura – essay<br />

81. Katarzyna Zygadlewicz – painting<br />

83. Nick Alldridge – poetry<br />

84. Piotr Jakubczak – “War” – paintings<br />

86. Robin Pilcher – poetry<br />

88. Agnieszka Traczyńska – paintings<br />

90. Radek Ruciński – painting<br />

91. Elżbieta Isakiewicz – fragment of book<br />

91. Agnieszka Litwin – illustration<br />

92. Ted Smith Orr – poetry<br />

94. Yurii Ivantsyk (Ukraina) – illustrations<br />

96. Ann Lovelace – poetry<br />

97. Jarosław Krawczak – photography<br />

98. Joanna Nordyńska – Passers by – essay<br />

110. Krzysztof Wiśniewski, Ola Haydamaka - paintings<br />

FREE ELECTRONIC VERSION:<br />

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/<br />

read/67230303/post-scriptum-4-<strong>2022</strong>-<strong>18</strong>-special-edition-ukraine-eng<br />

https://issuu.com/post.scriptum/docs/post_scriptum_4_<strong>2022</strong>_<strong>18</strong>_special_edition_ukraine_en<br />

PRINT ON DEMAND: 24,95 zł<br />

ORDERS:<br />

https://www.wyczerpane.pl/wydawnictwo-post-scriptum,dBA-0io.html<br />

PARTNERZY MEDIALNI<br />

EDITORIAL TEAM:<br />

Renata Cygan (Editor-in-Chief), Katarzyna Brus-Sawczuk (deputy editor), Joanna Nordyńska (deputy editor),<br />

Juliusz Wątroba, Anna Maruszeczko, Izolda Kiec, Wanda Dusia-Stańczak, Renata Szpunar, Robert Knapik, Iza Smolarek,<br />

Alex Sławiński, Paweł Krupka.<br />

Guest appearances: Ryszard Kupidura, Ilya Kaminski, Maria Karwowska, Marcin Zegadło, Elżbieta Isakiewicz<br />

Proof readers: Liz Draper, Andrea McDowell, Arco Van Ieperen, Benjamin Becula, Monika Cygan, Ania Cygan<br />

Translations from Polish language: Renata Cygan, Olga Sawczuk, Arco Van Ieperen, Katarzyna Krawiecka,<br />

Monika Cygan, Ania Cygan<br />

Composition and graphic design: Renata Cygan


Picture on the cover:<br />

Parvati<br />

EDITORIAL<br />

Co wspólnego ze Sztuką ma kurze jajko lub ciąża? Albo zęby? Okazuje<br />

się, że bardzo dużo. Z żółtka „You should można praise bowiem the wyprodukować crippled world” - temperę, Adam Zagajewski dzięki<br />

Ostatnio coraz częściej budzimy się w nowym świecie. Zazwyczaj gorszym od<br />

poprzedniego (niestety). Rzeczywistość, w której obudziliśmy się 24 lutego, pozostawiła<br />

nas In the której<br />

w osłupieniu, March powstają issue świetliste<br />

niedowierzaniu of Post Scriptum, obrazy, pełne<br />

i poczuciu we devoted tajemnicy<br />

bezsilności. a lot i of magii<br />

Czy space (tak<br />

wypada to jak topics u naszego<br />

zajmować that arose gościa<br />

of specjalnego,<br />

się kulturą<br />

as a result<br />

i sztuką,<br />

war circumstances. Iwony Wojewody,<br />

gdy za progiem<br />

Artists<br />

naszego<br />

from która<br />

domu<br />

all over umiłowała<br />

giną<br />

the<br />

niewinni<br />

world, sobie in<br />

ludzie?<br />

a porządek gesture<br />

Niech<br />

of i piękno solidarity ujęte<br />

za odpowiedź<br />

with the<br />

posłużą<br />

fighting w matematycznych<br />

słowa<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong>,<br />

papieża<br />

rebel proporcjach).<br />

Polaka:<br />

against<br />

„Naród<br />

the unjustified, W koronach<br />

istnieje z<br />

criminal zębów<br />

kultury i<br />

aggression natomiast można<br />

dla kultury”.<br />

of<br />

Bez<br />

Putin’s ukryć<br />

kultury<br />

Russia, rzeźby<br />

senseless i portrety shedding w skali mikro. of blood Można and give także vent budować to their własne emotions aparaty by creating fotograficzne, works of art,<br />

nie ma<br />

against<br />

the<br />

narodu, nie ma państwa, bowiem kultura w życiu społecznym zawsze stanowiła fundament<br />

whether które wyglądają as a sign of jak protest urządzenia against nie the z war tej epoki or as a – material dziwaczne form pudła for helping produkujące fighters and<br />

victims.<br />

jedyne tożsamości.<br />

We<br />

w<br />

are<br />

swoim<br />

talking<br />

I tego rodzaju,<br />

about<br />

się trzymajmy. niezwykle<br />

a new art of<br />

klimatyczne<br />

humanism,<br />

zdjęcia,<br />

which is<br />

jak<br />

to<br />

u<br />

help<br />

ukraińskiej<br />

discover<br />

fotografki,<br />

the truth<br />

W about obliczu ourselves,<br />

Tatiany<br />

tragedii, stimulate<br />

Averiny,<br />

jaka dotknęła reflection,<br />

która korzysta<br />

Ukrainę, but artyści most<br />

z aparatu<br />

of i ludzie all cause<br />

skonstruowanego<br />

kultury a change jednoczą in our<br />

przez<br />

się way<br />

japońi<br />

zabierają of thinking.<br />

skiego mistrza, Haruhisę Terasakiego. A do ciąży porównał Sztukę Voytek Glinkowski<br />

– cases, nie można these być works tylko are trochę earmarked „w”, bowiem for auctions, prawdziwy the profits artysta of which w Sztuce are donated się to<br />

głos, angażując się w pomoc dla ofiar bratobójczej wojny. Green Day odwołali koncert<br />

In most<br />

w<br />

people<br />

Moskwie,<br />

zatraca. affected Mamy<br />

Mick<br />

by<br />

Jagger,<br />

w the tym war.<br />

Elton<br />

numerze<br />

John,<br />

kilkoro<br />

Pearl Jam<br />

takich<br />

publikują<br />

zatraceńców-oryginałów<br />

zdjęcia z żółto-niebieską<br />

– każdy<br />

flagą.<br />

Madonna niezwykły, potępiła każdy konflikt, w swoim publikując rodzaju. antywojenny klip. Stephen King, Angelina Jolie,<br />

Leonardo We received di Caprio, a lot of Sting, materials Mark from Ruffalo all i over wielu, the wielu world, innych so there celebrytów was a need wysyłają to create swoje this<br />

wsparcie. special, historical Warszawskie Voytek edition, Glinkowski teatry which grają powiedział: has dla been Ukrainy. already „Wyrywam Monika published życiu Brodka in różne Polish gotuje klejnoty, and zupę now na kiedy granicy, we are presenting<br />

wychylę Musiał the się <strong>Eng</strong>lish oddaje z ukrycia”. version. krew, Sam Margaret, War jest is a jednym time Michał of z trial Wiśniewski, wielu and klejnotów truth Robert – hearts tego Janowski grow wydania when czy „Post Julia we Ka-<br />

see so<br />

Maciej<br />

mińska many Scriptum”, people udostępniają of a przyfrunął good mieszkania will, do when nas uchodźcom. we z samego pass the Chicago. Przedstawiciele test of humanity Mamy też rodzimej in innych various sceny zacnych ways. muzycznej Together gości we<br />

przekazali have z zagranicy: the power! prawie<br />

z Malezji, Every milion form złotych<br />

Armenii, of protest, na<br />

Albanii,<br />

pomoc every Ukrainy<br />

osobom brick i z<br />

potrzebującym. of Londynu. help, brotherhood Bo naszym<br />

Odbywają and celem spiritual się<br />

jest<br />

liczne support<br />

sięganie unites i licytacje<br />

aukcje<br />

wysoko us, creating dzieł<br />

i daleko,<br />

sztuki, a strong przekraczanie<br />

z których voice dochód against granic aggression przeznacza<br />

dosłownie and się<br />

i w<br />

na hatred. przenośni,<br />

pomoc <strong>Ukraine</strong> Ukrainie.<br />

ku naszej is not alone,<br />

and i Państwa we express radości. this also in the pages of Post Scriptum, because evil, harm and lies cannot<br />

PEN be tolerated. International, organizacja działająca na rzecz literatury i wolności słowa, opublikowała<br />

list<br />

Z<br />

otwarty<br />

rodzimego<br />

laureatów<br />

podwórka,<br />

Nagrody<br />

choć<br />

Nobla,<br />

temat<br />

pisarzy<br />

jest<br />

i artystów,<br />

ogólnoświatowy,<br />

potępiający<br />

polecam<br />

rosyjską<br />

niezwykle poruszający artykuł Juliusza Wątroby Quo vadis świecie? Temat ważny<br />

inwazję Why was na this Ukrainę special i issue nawołujący created? do Because pokoju. it Unia was worth literacka collecting apeluje: these „Dziś wonderful szczególnie works<br />

i ważki – wołanie o pomoc dla duszącej się, wskutek działań człowieka, planety.<br />

myślimy in one place<br />

Cywilizacja<br />

o ukraińskich to please<br />

(która nie<br />

pisarzach our eyes<br />

rozumie<br />

i and pisarkach hearts<br />

samej siebie)<br />

– and naszych to cheer<br />

dopadła<br />

przyjaciołach, up the victims.<br />

nas i trzyma<br />

znajomych, People<br />

jak w imadle,<br />

naszych are losing<br />

tłumaczach<br />

homes, but<br />

a my, w pogoni<br />

i<br />

they<br />

wydawcach.<br />

are not losing<br />

za rzeczami<br />

Przez<br />

us.<br />

błahymi,<br />

ponad<br />

We<br />

trzydzieści<br />

are here to<br />

zagłuszamy<br />

lat<br />

help<br />

w<br />

wolnej<br />

them<br />

sobie<br />

Polski<br />

survive<br />

podstawowe<br />

i wolnej<br />

the war.<br />

instynkty.<br />

Ukrainy literatura<br />

We Warto present jest o jednym tym you mówić, an z anti-war miejsc, a nawet gdzie gallery krzyczeć, nasze of paintings, narody bo czas spotykają photographs, najwyższy, się by najbliżej”. and ludzkość murals, ocknęła as well się as a lot<br />

W<br />

of<br />

tym z strong, letargu, numerze<br />

moving w którym „Post<br />

poems się Scriptum” wygodnie and prose.<br />

znajdziecie umościła In both<br />

Państwo<br />

versions i beztrosko of<br />

sporo<br />

the wegetuje akcentów<br />

special bez edition, głębszych ukraińskich,<br />

we have re-pofleksji<br />

to collect<br />

cząwszy<br />

managed<br />

od i widoków okładkowego<br />

the works na przyszłość. of<br />

plakatu<br />

almost „[…] Andrzeja<br />

one człowiek hundred<br />

Pągowskiego ulega artists zbyt from<br />

Panna mocno all over<br />

wolna, wierze the we przez<br />

world! własną obrazy,<br />

The genre<br />

weight<br />

które<br />

życiową of this<br />

powstały<br />

siłę, release,<br />

pod<br />

w dominację the enormity<br />

wpływem aktualnych<br />

nad światem of its emotions<br />

wydarzeń<br />

natury i and<br />

i<br />

zbyt sensitivity<br />

są przeznaczane<br />

późno zdaje of the<br />

na<br />

sobie creators<br />

zbiórki<br />

sprawę are really<br />

pieniędzy<br />

dla potrzebujących, po mocne, wojenne wiersze ukraińskich poetek.<br />

impressive! z paradoksów istnienia” – tak pisze prof. Izolda Kiec w swoim artykule „Śmierć na<br />

pięć”.<br />

Poza<br />

We contacted<br />

tym – jak<br />

graffiti<br />

zwykle<br />

artists<br />

u nas –<br />

dużo<br />

including<br />

dobrej<br />

those<br />

literatury<br />

from the<br />

i sztuki<br />

most<br />

z<br />

distant<br />

różnych<br />

corners<br />

dziedzin,<br />

of the<br />

w tym<br />

planet<br />

(e.g., Argentina,<br />

bardzo ciekawe<br />

Oddajemy Indonesia,<br />

wywiady<br />

w Państwa America,<br />

z artystami<br />

ręce Iran),<br />

największego<br />

(i serca) who kolejny, wear blue<br />

formatu,<br />

starannie and yellow<br />

m.in.<br />

przygotowany colors rozmowa Kasi<br />

materiał.<br />

can still Różnorodny, coexist beyond wyważony, divisions gustownie in certain oprawiony areas of life. i ciekawy. We also Polecamy invited many się gorą-<br />

contempo-<br />

show that<br />

Bruswe<br />

-Sawczuk<br />

rary<br />

z maestrem interpretacji Krzysztofem Gosztyłą (gościem specjalnym tego numeru)co,<br />

Ukrainian z nadzieją, artists, że nasze such wysiłki as: Danylo nie są Movchan, nadaremne. Haśka Szyjan, Kateryna Michalicyna, Chrystia<br />

Wenhryniuk,<br />

Anny Maruszeczko<br />

Ija Kiwa, Ilya<br />

z malarką<br />

Kaminski,<br />

abstrakcyjną<br />

Tatiana Averina,<br />

Magdą<br />

Anna<br />

Atkins<br />

Ponomarenko,<br />

czy Joasi Nordyńskiej<br />

Yurii Ivantsyk,<br />

z Yaryna nietuzinkową Movchan. A korzystając wokalistką The power z okazji, Izą is Połońską. with że święta us! Są tuż opowiadania, tuż, życzymy naszym recenzje drogim i felieton Czytelnikom<br />

samych o wolności wspaniałości. oraz wyjątkowo Idąc za dużo radą poezji Stanisława ilustrowanej Lema – bądźmy pięknymi dobrej obrazami. myśli, Jest<br />

Juliusza<br />

Wątroby<br />

co Let bo czytać, me po quote co jest być an co złej? extraordinary oglądać, jest o poetess czym pomyśleć. Papusza: „I am coming so that you do not make the<br />

dark night in broad daylight”.<br />

Serdecznie zapraszamy do refleksji.<br />

Editor-in-Chief<br />

www.postscriptum.uk, fb: post scriptum, e-mail: redakcja@postscriptum.uk<br />

Publisher: Post Scriptum LTD, Watford, UK<br />

account number: IBAN: GB82 LOYD 3096 2657 4<strong>18</strong>1 60<br />

UK: SORT CODE: 309626 ACC Number: 574<strong>18</strong>160<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

3


ODE TO A RUSSIAN HOOLIGAN<br />

Dedicated to Marina Ovsyannikova<br />

Just another news broadcast<br />

About Russia’s special military operation<br />

And then this crazy lady walks across the set,<br />

Carrying a banner, which reads<br />

‘Don’t believe the propaganda,<br />

They’re Lying to you here’,<br />

Signed ‘Russians against the War’.<br />

‘<br />

What I wonder will the babushkas say<br />

In the ocheret to buy kalbaca,<br />

“She must be mentally unbalanced”,<br />

“Or maybe a stooge for those Ukrainian fascists”,<br />

“Surely our great leader Putin wouldn’t lie to us”.<br />

The babushka at the end of the line keeps silent.<br />

Her eighteen year old grandson<br />

Is currently sitting in a tank<br />

Outside the city of Kyiv.<br />

“She’s just been fined,<br />

They should chuck her into prison and throw away the key,<br />

That’s what such traitors deserve”.<br />

Behind the sausage counter<br />

A young woman wraps up the meat<br />

For her rather disgruntled customers.<br />

She wants to tell them about the text<br />

Her boyfriend sent her,<br />

Showing pictures of bombed out buildings,<br />

People fleeing their homes,<br />

And how the Ukrainian soldier he captured,<br />

The same age as himself<br />

Wanted to know why Russia<br />

Seemed so intent<br />

On destroying and killing fellow Slavs.<br />

She wants him home.<br />

They were going to get married in the summer,<br />

But who knows now, when, if ever,<br />

Her handsome groom will return.<br />

She wants to scream at the babushkas<br />

Don’t believe what the national state TV tells you.<br />

In Russia these days, the only people<br />

You can rely on to tell the truth<br />

Are those they call ‘hooligans’.<br />

After all, who should really be thrown into prison?<br />

A brave lady, who could no longer stand all the lies,<br />

And risked her career and freedom to let the people know<br />

What was really happening in <strong>Ukraine</strong>,<br />

Or our strong leader, who happens to be<br />

Guilty of mass murder?<br />

POEMS<br />

WHO IS THE REAL FASCIST?<br />

If you want to make a person seem evil and frightening<br />

Call him or her a fascist<br />

If you want to make people seem scary and threatening<br />

Call them fascists.<br />

So easy to call people names,<br />

To obscure the truth,<br />

To hide the facts,<br />

To paint yourself as the virtuous hero<br />

And your enemy as a terrible villain.<br />

Looking at the newsreels from Mariupol,<br />

At the flattened buildings and deserted streets,<br />

Hearing about the 300.000 civilians still trapped<br />

Inside their besieged, broken city,<br />

Still bravely refusing to surrender,<br />

Despite their enemy’s awful ultimatum,<br />

I find I have to ask myself<br />

Who, here, is the real fascist?<br />

Fascists believe they have the right,<br />

Due to their strength and power,<br />

To impose their will on those lesser nations,<br />

Who do not have the honour or good fortune<br />

To be born of the right nationality.<br />

Fascists like to invade other countries,<br />

To show who is boss, to pretend<br />

That they are destroying peoples’ lives<br />

For some greater nationalist glory.<br />

Fascists are very good at lying,<br />

Good at locking up or killing<br />

Those that dare to tell the truth.<br />

According to Putin, the war in <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

Is merely a special military operation,<br />

And anyone who says otherwise<br />

Is guilty of treason.<br />

C h a r l e s B . W o r d s m i t h<br />

Underneath the bombed and flattened Mariupol theatre<br />

In the shivering uncertain safety of the basement,<br />

The victims of Putin’s special military operation,<br />

Try to work out how they might get some water.<br />

Unlike this poet, their only focus is survival,<br />

But, if some do survive, if perhaps<br />

One day some act in a future play,<br />

Called ‘The Siege of Mariupol’,<br />

I think we know, who the evil criminal will be<br />

And which side will appear as fascists.<br />

4 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


ARTISTS FOR UKRAINE<br />

P I O T R J A K U B C Z a K<br />

GOLGOTA 22<br />

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M A R C I N Z E G A D Ł O<br />

Mindfulness’, such a fashionable<br />

word. Like a hashtag. Instagram<br />

is full of mindfulness linked to<br />

similarly named posts. I urge you,<br />

though, to take it seriously and to<br />

focus on the here and now, especially<br />

when a script from World War II<br />

movies is playing out not so far away.<br />

Or something that reminds you that<br />

the Balkan War thirty years ago was<br />

a conventional conflict in Europe, the<br />

bloodiest since 1945, which also happened<br />

when we lived normal lives,<br />

while in some pits in the forest the<br />

corpses of women and children were<br />

covered with layers of loose earth.<br />

So, mindfulness. After all, the last few<br />

days have been devastated by a reality<br />

in which most of us have deigned<br />

to have delusions. Mindfulness, which<br />

I understand as squeezing the entire<br />

content out of the „here and now”,<br />

sucking the flesh from everyday life,<br />

touching the surface, feeling the flavours,<br />

inhaling the icy air.<br />

Go for a walk with or without a dog<br />

and focus on the fact that you are taking<br />

step after step. That you may have<br />

the cold honey of the March sun on<br />

your face, or leaving the metaphorical,<br />

be glad to hear traffic, that people<br />

around you are not only talking<br />

about the war, that perhaps the rain<br />

and snow have just caught you and<br />

that is the greatest discomfort at the<br />

moment. That no sniper would shoot<br />

your skull on the way to the store, and<br />

that a volley of bullets from a handgun<br />

would not softly pierce the bus<br />

your child was taking to school.<br />

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I don’t want to pretend this doesn’t<br />

apply to me, although I cut myself off<br />

from it to some extent. I try to run<br />

away from it a bit, although I know it’s<br />

not entirely fair. I’m at an age when<br />

I’m not driven by adrenaline, which<br />

stems from the extraordinary nature<br />

of events. I know this is not entirely<br />

fair, but I still have a breath of a quite<br />

specific depression on my back, from<br />

which I am recovering and my fears<br />

are soothed into peace with pharmacological<br />

support. Anyway, thanks<br />

to my friends, I had and have the opportunity<br />

to participate in real help<br />

for those who need it, so my escape<br />

is more symbolic than real. Perhaps<br />

I just need it so as not to overdo it.<br />

I don’t know.<br />

So I take Homer for a walk and we just<br />

keep walking. I am glad that I am walking,<br />

that I exist and breathe. That I can<br />

still expect that in the evening I will<br />

read my books, and my lovely Wi will<br />

read hers next to me. That the kids will<br />

argue and scream, but eventually, at<br />

night, I will hear their breaths - steady<br />

and deep. That Homer’s snoring will<br />

cease when I cluck my tongue and the<br />

hamster no longer bothers us when,<br />

between one and four in the morning,<br />

it tries to prove that it can tear apart<br />

its cage and it will never die.<br />

I am writing this tearful text because<br />

I think about all those for whom these<br />

trifles ended a few days ago, and for<br />

whom the blocks of flats and city centres<br />

they know so well have become<br />

a battlefield.<br />

Nothing makes more of an impression<br />

on me than a prefab skyscraper<br />

hit by a missile. Exactly the same<br />

as the ones that filled my childhood<br />

and my youth in the neighbourhood,<br />

which kept growing like a blur, flowing<br />

into the next units.<br />

Now I can see, whether I want to or<br />

not, how bomb craters are steaming<br />

after my neighbourhood was hit by<br />

missiles that blew whole blocks into<br />

the air. I see it in the undefined future,<br />

and the spark is this high-rise<br />

building made of the material that I<br />

run into on the web.<br />

I don’t want to look at myself this<br />

way, but I know that I owe it a little<br />

to those who experience it, and<br />

I owe it a little bit to these images<br />

imprinted by a narrative well-known<br />

from stories about what happened<br />

once – how the Germans came,<br />

then the Russians – because I heard<br />

it hundreds of times while eating<br />

a crispy cake at my grandparents’<br />

house.<br />

So, I count on mindfulness and focus<br />

on what I can still get from a reality<br />

where some Kremlin prick placed a<br />

question mark. I walk and feel. I try<br />

to feel as much as possible. Homer<br />

is once behind me, once in front of<br />

me.He watches me carefully as if he<br />

was about to say: „ Let’s go back for<br />

dinner, man. Your two legs may hurt<br />

– I’ve got four! Get it? “ [MZ]


PAINTINGS<br />

Ula Dzwonik<br />

The experience of the war triggers<br />

in me a series of family stories,<br />

all family myths from two wars<br />

which, separated by twenty years, left<br />

a mark of trauma on my relatives.<br />

That is why the bombs falling on<br />

Ukrainian cities bring back memories<br />

of my grandfather in bombed Lublin.<br />

On that September day, he was several<br />

tenement houses away from the<br />

place where the poet Józef Czechowicz<br />

died in a barber’s chair, in a building<br />

hit by a German bomb. Photographs<br />

of refugees remind me of my<br />

great-grandmother and her daughters<br />

on the train to the east, where the<br />

families of professional Polish officers<br />

fighting at the front were evacuated<br />

from Częstochowa. Ligia and Krystyna.<br />

The first will be my grandmother,<br />

the second will be murdered by the<br />

Germans in Auschwitz, where she will<br />

be sent for issuing false documents to<br />

Jews from the Częstochowa ghetto.<br />

And also my grandfather on the Buchenwald<br />

assembly square and my<br />

mother’s mother suffering from typhus<br />

in the hospital in Sandomierz,<br />

when the thunder of the Soviet offensive<br />

can be heard outside the window.<br />

And my mother’s father, who wanted<br />

to join the partisans, to Jędrusia,<br />

but ultimately did not go, and a few<br />

years later watched the operation of<br />

“Vistula” as a conscript. I see him in<br />

the photograph in a faded blouse of<br />

a field uniform, by a radio station.<br />

In this sense, there is no escape from<br />

what has been happening in <strong>Ukraine</strong>.<br />

It is already inside me, and it works<br />

at full speed with images, series of<br />

associations, sequences of myths,<br />

imprinted fears that they will come,<br />

burn, drive us away. And yet, these<br />

are stories that do not stick into one<br />

reality with a smartphone, Facebook,<br />

Instagram, and the world available<br />

at your fingertips. It doesn’t connect<br />

with pictures of Ukrainian teenagers<br />

with knee and elbow pads and Kalashnikovs<br />

hanging from their necks.<br />

They are wearing the same clothes<br />

from the same chain stores as their<br />

peers in Poland. The only difference<br />

is the presence of a gun and someone<br />

teaching them how to shoot.<br />

And yet those in the photos of the<br />

Warsaw Uprising were so similar to<br />

these Ukrainian boys and girls. We<br />

have just got used to the fact that<br />

the war is black and white, and the<br />

photos are in poor resolution. War<br />

in colour does not match the picture<br />

we know. A tank pulping a car with<br />

living people inside is a false image<br />

even when we see it live. Our brain<br />

can’t process it yet. My brain was<br />

promised a completely different reality.<br />

The war was supposed to be an<br />

increasingly distant memory.<br />

At the same time, there is an unusual<br />

social activation. Help is coming.<br />

People I know are doing fantastic<br />

things for those that have already<br />

been affected by the war. It embarrasses<br />

me. I presume there is more<br />

evil in man than good. I think this<br />

way because I know the history of<br />

this planet quite well. And that’s exactly<br />

what I’m going to stick to, because<br />

it is what leads a man to aim at<br />

a maternity hospital and drop bombs<br />

on it or shoot missiles at it.<br />

I can’t help it that, looking at the sky<br />

above my city, I imagine some ghostly<br />

raid on it. In my mind the neighbourhood<br />

burns then. And after a while,<br />

I say hello to my colleagues, and<br />

everything disappears. It’s March<br />

<strong>2022</strong> and where I live it is still ‘before<br />

the war’. [MZ]<br />

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8 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Krzysztof Łozowski<br />

wATER<br />

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9


D R A W I N G S<br />

KRZYSZTOF<br />

ŁOZOWSKI<br />

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P O E M S<br />

J o h n S e p h t o n<br />

HARD RAIN<br />

dark knights in armour<br />

mad bears marching on to war<br />

longbowmen at the border<br />

a hard rain’s gonna fall<br />

K e v i n M o r r i s<br />

On my way<br />

To eat breakfast<br />

In a café<br />

On an ordinary<br />

Saturday, I heard birds.<br />

While in <strong>Ukraine</strong>’s Kiev<br />

Birdsong was drowned<br />

Out by bombs.<br />

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TODAY (FOR UKRAINE)<br />

A n d r e a M b a r u s h i m a n a<br />

There’s a bomb in my tumble dryer<br />

the cars are full of streets, collected in panic<br />

I look around our home at photos that we hung against today<br />

and hope the walls can keep the faces of my babies safe<br />

Today I’m busy shedding all my pages<br />

re-learning trust like puppy<br />

in a house full of strange hands<br />

I have given my passport details out to strangers<br />

sung lullabies to men with firearms<br />

It makes me laugh that last week if you’d asked<br />

I would have sworn I’d rather starve<br />

than eat out of a rubbish can<br />

Today I am packing my children into brown cardboard<br />

like Amazon parcels hoping to be delivered into safe hands<br />

only, the roads are knotted<br />

people are gathered into murmurations<br />

we are a wailing vortex of unmoored plans<br />

Today we chose between our wants and needs<br />

Tell me, where is that tutorial livestreamed?<br />

My mind keeps running back,<br />

over the scarf left on the back of the cupboard door<br />

my lost mother gave me<br />

I have no language suitable for today<br />

My tongue is a shoe, I’m licking miles<br />

that taste like pitch, I’m pitched out of my life<br />

I’ve swallowed my pride so many times<br />

when a stranger serves us soup<br />

I look into the bowl and vomit tears<br />

12<br />

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H O P E<br />

Paweł Wąsowicz<br />

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13 13


ДАНИЛО МОВЧАН<br />

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UKRAINE<br />

D A N Y L O M O V C H A N<br />

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15


DANYLO MOVCHAN is an Ukrainian<br />

artist born in 1979 who lives<br />

and works in Lviv, <strong>Ukraine</strong>.<br />

His works are mainly located in<br />

churches but also in private collections<br />

in <strong>Ukraine</strong>, Belarus, Poland,<br />

Western Europe, Canada and<br />

USA. Danylo studied at the Lviv<br />

Decorative and Applied Art College<br />

named after I. Trush in its restoration<br />

department after that he was<br />

studying Sacred Art at Lviv National<br />

Academy of Arts. In Danylo’s<br />

works, he turns to topics that can<br />

open the path to God for him. Movchan<br />

is looking for images of new<br />

Christian symbols, where a person<br />

with their problems stands in the<br />

centre.<br />

16 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


WAR IN UKRAINE<br />

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There is not enough peace to continue art<br />

In your works you draw on aesthetics and mysticism belonging<br />

to the icons of eastern literature. In our world,<br />

contemplating an icon is both a path to God as well as<br />

a miracle, and the iconographer, i.e., its author, breaks<br />

away from the habit of expecting specific cognitive content.<br />

(So – to an extent – the splendour of the creator is<br />

diluted.) The piece becomes a mere tool – a message.<br />

Meanwhile, your painting is unique. How do you explain<br />

this discrepancy?<br />

For my part, I do my best to listen to my inner voice. I can’t<br />

appraise my unique relationship with God and actually<br />

I don’t want to. Ideas come to me and spark new compositions,<br />

new images. I think this is an inherent part of every<br />

artist’s experience. But as an artist, I’m also a product of<br />

the environment and culture I live in and I draw inspiration<br />

there too. As you delve deeper into your environment, ideas<br />

begin to stream towards you. Notwithstanding, aspects<br />

of Christianity serve as additional fuel for my art. They give<br />

me food for thought.<br />

The characters in your paintings seem to approach the<br />

viewer. They wouldn’t look out of place illustrating children’s<br />

fairy tales; many of them feature a stark white<br />

background. Is this how you bridge religious and secular<br />

worlds because those from a secular world might<br />

not necessarily know how to interpret Byzantine icons?<br />

Don’t you sometimes feel like you are straying near the<br />

limits of the established canon?<br />

I approach this topic very carefully and creatively. This is<br />

a direction I’ve chosen deliberately. In portraying the sacred,<br />

one shouldn’t just take a topic and duplicate it. I see<br />

this clearly when considering centuries of iconography.<br />

New forms are always needed for a contemporary understanding<br />

of the truths of Christianity.<br />

Is it easier to be an iconographer today in an increasingly<br />

black and white world – a world with binary views of<br />

good and evil? Is this not in synergy with the traditional<br />

iconographic palette’s depictions of good and evil?<br />

<strong>18</strong> <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


My artistic language<br />

the way of my communication with the world<br />

has changed since that war<br />

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19


I don’t agree with that idea. I can’t say that the world has<br />

turned black and white. Our emotions have become increasingly<br />

nuanced and fundamental to our understanding<br />

of the world around us. If anything, colours have gained<br />

definition and become more vivid, rather than becoming<br />

blacker and whiter. We’re surrounded by many colours,<br />

quite a few of them representing various forms of good.<br />

The evil in my paintings, however, remains black.<br />

There has been a war in your homeland for over a month.<br />

You have stayed in Kiev, a city under siege. We’re observing<br />

the war from behind the safety of our own borders.<br />

Above all, we are filled with admiration for the incredible<br />

attitude shown by Ukrainians defending their country.<br />

You have demonstrated remarkable dignity and restraint<br />

with respect to the wrongs and suffering inflicted on you;<br />

no complaints, no self-pity It’s extraordinary. This attitude<br />

shares similarities with the contemplation of an icon, with<br />

full awareness of the meaning of what is happening.<br />

In the beginning, there were a few days of shock. For me, for<br />

my family, for everyone. Eventually however, I realized that<br />

I had to create new work – to show a new reality. Naturally,<br />

many questions arose – from my artistic point of view, there<br />

was a seeming dearth of colours and words to express this<br />

tragedy. I have noticed that my own artistic language, the<br />

way I communicate with the world, has changed since the<br />

start of the war.<br />

For several years I have been drawing on paper with watercolors.<br />

Recently, this has proved to be a particularly useful<br />

technique, as it gives me the ability to bring my ideas to life<br />

quickly.<br />

In the visual sphere, we are dealing with real images of<br />

death again, not metaphorical ones. Images of dying kings,<br />

saints, and knights who fell in combat against evil; images of<br />

the slaughter of innocents; medieval memes are all making<br />

a return. It seems that the work of iconographers has particular<br />

significance and meaning today.<br />

In this terrible time of war for <strong>Ukraine</strong>, does art provide<br />

a reprieve - for its creator, the creator’s family, and the<br />

audience - from self-doubt and crushing despair?<br />

It’s impossible to say at this point. We’re under constant<br />

risk of death. We’re in danger of witnessing the destruction<br />

of our entire culture and heritage. I’m still making new<br />

work, just to survive these nightmarish days and nights.<br />

But since the onset of the war, I’ve stopped painting icons.<br />

There is not enough peace in my heart to continue this<br />

sacred art. [MK]<br />

20 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


The work of an icon painter<br />

has a special meaning<br />

and message today<br />

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21


poem:<br />

MichaŁ ZabŁocki<br />

ONE RUSSIAN WARSHIP<br />

sailing and sailing for very many years<br />

our good big brother, the best of all our friends<br />

people are looking and waving hands at him<br />

may he stay far out and never enter in<br />

from land to land now, across so many seas<br />

sailing and sailing until it’s near our place!<br />

through the loudhailer they’re shouting on and on<br />

hello there! wake up! your time has also come!<br />

one Russian warship will do<br />

with super heroes aboard<br />

one Russian warship will do<br />

give in or we’ll take a shot!<br />

how can it be then, we’re crying bitter tears!<br />

it can’t be dreamt of in all our wildest dreams!<br />

some white flags flying, you see them flapping white<br />

I know this feeling, I know it inside out!<br />

we’ve feared too long now to send that warship down<br />

because it should have been sunk so long ago!<br />

before it’s shooting to kill just all of us<br />

people will surely surrender many times<br />

one Russian warship will sink<br />

let’s start the fight and do well<br />

one Russian warship will sink<br />

one shot and… go fuck yourself!<br />

22 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

Translated by Zdzisław Zabierzewski


GRAPHICS: AGATA DĘBICKA<br />

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23


people(?) to People<br />

People who act inhumanly<br />

are no longer human<br />

1.<br />

There are moments in life when there is nothing you can<br />

say, when whatever you say is insufficient, as the burden<br />

of misfortune is just unimaginable. This has repeated itself<br />

throughout history, since Cain. What connects that<br />

biblical murderer with contemporary ones? The urge to<br />

dominate, enslave, abuse, humiliate ... In other words:<br />

power, the lust for which releases all moral restraints.<br />

It causes hearts to shrink into deadly stones, and consciences<br />

to pale and fade into maddened minds at the<br />

whispers of the devil himself. The vision of absolute power,<br />

over family, state, and the world, is blinding. Power regardless<br />

of the costs, without taking anyone or anything<br />

into account.<br />

It might seem that humankind, having seen millions of<br />

victims perish and suffer in successive wars over the centuries,<br />

would have reached a stage of development that<br />

would allow them to focus on making the world safer and<br />

its inhabitants better. To deal with diseases and epidemics<br />

and be able to save their dying nature. Surprisingly,<br />

the caveman mentality has not changed at all. It just that<br />

the props are becoming more and more perfidious – clubs<br />

have been replaced by rockets. Regardless, the effect remains<br />

the same: tears, blood, and senseless deaths. This<br />

has been happening shockingly close to us, with death<br />

among both the attackers and the defenders, old and<br />

young. We are not talking about toy soldiers, but people<br />

of flesh and blood, wanting to live ordinary lives. The evil<br />

that is born in insane minds is unimaginable.<br />

All dictators ended badly, a faith awaiting the current<br />

ones sooner or later. What hurts the most is the fact that,<br />

before they end up in the darkest corners of hell, they will<br />

instigate so much evil and start fires that will not be extinguished<br />

by the rain of oblivion. These are people without<br />

hearts and consciences.<br />

2.<br />

24 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

I was in <strong>Ukraine</strong> some years ago and I still remember<br />

some things vividly about that stay: a glass of strong vodka<br />

drunk in one gulp with the owner of the hotel just before<br />

dinner, which, despite being different from “European”<br />

standards, had an aura of deliberate cordiality. Faith<br />

locked in churches, with beautiful icons and baroque<br />

altars; with the silent wisdom of cemeteries; wandering<br />

around castles with a common history. Meetings with<br />

Poles who have lived there for generation. Kids expecting<br />

sweets from us. Singing Polish-Ukrainian songs by a bonfire.<br />

The Lvov opera, filled with angelic voices. Stories that<br />

mix heroism with cruelty. Vast expanses of fertile land.<br />

An arduous journey towards Europe after regaining their<br />

independence. Later, I met Ukrainian poets who sang and<br />

recited their own poems.<br />

I brought a beautiful, though small, icon in a silver dress<br />

back from that trip, bought at the market with all the<br />

money I had because I liked it so much. This Ukrainian (or<br />

perhaps Polish) Mother of God with Child, hanging above<br />

my desk, greets me every single day, invoking tears for<br />

sixteen days.<br />

3.<br />

Something unimaginably cruel has just happened, something<br />

you might connect with nightmares or disaster films,<br />

the directors of which expose us to unimaginable horrors.<br />

However, this isn’t a bad dream, nor a violence-infested<br />

movie. This horror is happening as we speak, much too<br />

close for comfort. War, a word that for some might conjure<br />

up glory and heroism, but which all too often conceals<br />

the vastness of misfortunes of children and old people,<br />

men, and women, entangled in a terrible machine<br />

launched by mentally ill individuals. Would someone in<br />

their right mind consciously condemn masses of innocent<br />

people to death, cause inhuman suffering and tear up<br />

the lives of millions of innocent people? Not to mention<br />

sending their own people to death in the name of criminal<br />

ideologies to enslave entire nations?<br />

As if “ordinary” misfortunes were insufficient to cause<br />

suffering – as if cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, depression,<br />

and hundreds of other diseases that plague people<br />

were not enough. It is difficult to discount victims of car<br />

accidents, or the aftermath of a pandemic that we still<br />

have to come to terms with.


By in what categories do people who cause wars<br />

think? It is simply beyond my imagination. Don’t<br />

they have their own precious loved ones, or have<br />

they perhaps never been loved? How is it that<br />

they behave as if they were without conscience,<br />

without heart, without humanity? They tend to<br />

addict their closest associates and even entire<br />

nations with their inhuman charisma. The world<br />

saw some clear examples of this phenomenon in<br />

Hitler and Stalin. Although it seemed that history<br />

would not repeat itself, the truth is there for all<br />

of us to see. Why does so much evil breed in crazy<br />

minds, turning insanity into reality, making it<br />

measurable in the number of casualties, wounded,<br />

people made homeless, hopelessly trying to<br />

cross borders, seeking sanctuary? Their world<br />

has literally collapsed on them – so many ruined<br />

cities, villages, houses, hospitals, and schools.<br />

Pregnant women giving birth in bombarded<br />

hospitals, people terrified every time they hear<br />

alarms, horrific photos of heartbroken people<br />

saying their last goodbye to loved ones covered<br />

in blood – all manifestations of cruelty without<br />

any limits!<br />

How will those who survive ever function normally<br />

again, their minds haunted by traumatic<br />

memories that cannot be erased? Will they be<br />

looked after abroad by some good-natured people?<br />

Will they be able to return to their demolished<br />

houses so they can painstakingly rebuild<br />

them?<br />

Nobody will be able to undo the injustice suffered,<br />

nor the cruelty that was unleashed. The<br />

only possible remedy, as always, might be time<br />

– pain may slowly fade, although it might take<br />

a generation or two before these deep wounds<br />

might be healed.<br />

4<br />

Even those of us lucky enough to have been born after<br />

World War II, able to live our lives without armed conflict,<br />

still inherited it from our parents. It seems that the stories<br />

of those who experienced the war have somehow been<br />

passed on in our genes. People who survived the war witnessed<br />

how the world was turned upside down. There<br />

were victims in almost every family, including my grandmother<br />

Zofia, beaten to death by the “liberating” Russian<br />

soldiers; my father, who died prematurely of a heart condition,<br />

after five years of captivity and forced labour in<br />

the mines in Wałbrzych; my mother, who heard the whistle<br />

of bullets around her head for the rest of her life. They<br />

never got the most beautiful years of their youth back.<br />

I can still see the helmets, bomb fragments, unexploded<br />

shells, the nameless graves in the forest, bayonets found<br />

in a garbage can.<br />

We were naïve to think that, believing in humanity, our<br />

advanced civilization, the exchange of goods, technology,<br />

and labour, would effectively protect the peaceful coexistence<br />

of nations, even if they believe in different political<br />

systems. We were wrong to turn a blind eye to subsequent<br />

annexations and ever greater claims that were<br />

made by a delusional leader – claims that rendered human<br />

life worthless, aiming to achieve more power. These<br />

sickly ambitious fantasies were realized bloodily, using the<br />

most perfidious types of weapons.<br />

The only comfort in all of this is that is has united the majority<br />

of a largely divided world. Most nations strongly disapproves<br />

of this and steps are being taken to try to stop<br />

the madmen – this time no longer through appeals and<br />

empty words, but through concrete joint actions of states.<br />

Actions aimed at making life worth living, rather than resort<br />

to war games, which would require sacrifices in casualties<br />

and destroyed houses that would need to be rebuilt.<br />

However, there would be no way to resurrect the fallen.<br />

I am constantly bothered by the question: how is it possible<br />

that in people’s minds house such insane visions (that<br />

later, unfortunately, are implemented)? This is more proof<br />

of the existence of evil, which is so difficult to overcome<br />

with goodness, of the existence of the devil trying to rule<br />

the world in various ways.<br />

“People prepared this fate for people,” wrote Zofia<br />

Nałkowska at the beginning of the shocking „Medallions”.<br />

Nevertheless, I do not agree with this statement of the<br />

writer, since people who act inhumanly are no longer human.<br />

[JW]<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

25


Illustrations<br />

P a w e ł K u c z y ń s k i<br />

26 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

Crown


A<br />

r<br />

t<br />

i<br />

s<br />

t<br />

s<br />

Together<br />

F<br />

o<br />

r<br />

U<br />

k<br />

r<br />

a<br />

i<br />

n<br />

e<br />

Strong <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

27


***<br />

H a ś k a<br />

S z y j a n<br />

Haśka Szyjan (1980) – Ukrainian writer,<br />

poet and translator. She lives in Lvov and<br />

Kiev. One third of her debut novel, “Hunt,<br />

Doctor, Hunt”, was written on a mobile<br />

phone. Her second novel, “Za spynoju”,<br />

published in 2019, was the first Ukrainian<br />

novel to be given the European Union Literature<br />

Award and it also won prizes in<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong>: the Espresso television readers’<br />

award and the LitAccent of the Year<br />

award. She translated DBC Pierre’s “Lights<br />

out in Wonderland”. Szyjan also created<br />

the ‘Batrachomiomachia Art Project. Her<br />

poetry has been published in Poland in Babiniec<br />

Literacki and Slaska Strefa Gender,<br />

translated by Aneta Kaminska.<br />

Slippers on high heels<br />

at the humanitarian post<br />

by the borderline,<br />

amongst children’s clothes<br />

and hardly worn UGGs,<br />

standing, the last ones<br />

in the line,<br />

so inadequate and lost,<br />

as if they were listening<br />

to the distant echo<br />

of interrupted shelling<br />

and want to escape<br />

but lack the courage –<br />

perhaps it’s right here,<br />

just like the fortune-telling<br />

on St. Andrew’s Day:<br />

the first across the threshold<br />

should be ready to get married.<br />

They are as inadequate<br />

as human sensuality,<br />

locked within monastery walls,<br />

where every opportunity<br />

to focus on yourself is a sin.<br />

Like a summer job<br />

as a cashier at a public toilet,<br />

a girl – a teenager,<br />

with the looks<br />

for a Vogue photoshoot.<br />

She licks her fingers,<br />

counts the banknotes<br />

that a while ago fell to the floor<br />

and looks,<br />

like a frog-like dame<br />

she adjusts the band in front of the mirror,<br />

licking her fingers again,<br />

the same that dropped the banknotes<br />

and picked them up.<br />

She lost her golden earrings<br />

on her birthday, of all days –<br />

she suspects it was a relative,<br />

although in fact the children<br />

accidentally wrapped them in a napkin<br />

and threw them in the rubbish bin.<br />

An old man plays the Lambada on his violin,<br />

accompanying this inadequateness,<br />

underlining<br />

that in the modern world<br />

it is easy to combine<br />

a kippah and wireless headphones,<br />

a <strong>Ukraine</strong> t-shirt and a taped forehead,<br />

a girl in a uniform and a civilian boy.<br />

However, here the slippers<br />

have no idea<br />

what to stick to,<br />

to cover the eyes<br />

with an arm, a watch<br />

on the wrist,<br />

and then the ears<br />

because they don’t know<br />

whether behind the door<br />

to which they so desperately<br />

want to run<br />

there’ll be barking dogs,<br />

if people argue,<br />

whether the noise is from dust cars, ice rinks,<br />

or military equipment.<br />

28 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


K a t e r y n a<br />

M i c h a l i c y n a<br />

(SIMPLE THINGS)<br />

children knock down the last apples from a naked tree<br />

someone knocks down a plane<br />

for some it’s easier that way<br />

because they’ve forgotten: apple<br />

stick<br />

in the transparent orchard<br />

where there is nothing<br />

but wind<br />

and naked trees<br />

and the most natural motion:<br />

throw and catch<br />

you can’t catch a plane<br />

even the Earth is powerless<br />

and the angels<br />

let alone little you<br />

you can’t catch a plane<br />

can’t catch it<br />

in the naked sky<br />

there are no branches<br />

to get stuck in<br />

children are laughing<br />

and knock down<br />

red-cheeked<br />

wormy<br />

sun-dried<br />

apples<br />

Translated by Arco Van Ieperen<br />

Kateryna Michalicyna (1982) – poet, translator,<br />

editor. Born in the Rivne region, she<br />

now lives in Lvov. She has a degree in biology<br />

from Rivne University and <strong>Eng</strong>lish philology<br />

from Lvov Ivana Franki University. Michalicyna<br />

works as assistant-editor at Old Lvov<br />

Publishing. She has published volumes of poetry:<br />

Powiń (2002), Pilihrym (2003) and Tiń u<br />

dzerkali (2014), as well as books for children:<br />

Babusyna hospoda, Łuhowa liryka, Chro roste<br />

u parku, and Pro drakoniw i szczastia. She<br />

has translated books by J.R.R. Tolkien, Oscar<br />

Wilde, and Sylvia Plath. She has translated<br />

Tomka w krainie kangurów (2011) by Alfred<br />

Szklarski from Polish. Her work has been published<br />

in Poland in “Radar” and the anthology<br />

“East-West. Poems for <strong>Ukraine</strong>”<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

29


MyDogSighs<br />

CARDIFF<br />

30 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


STREET ART<br />

for UKRAIne<br />

JenksArt<br />

LLANELLI OLD CASTLE<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

31


JenksArt<br />

PORT TALBOT, SOUTH WALES<br />

32<br />

32 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong> 33


Zdjecie z prywatnych zbiorów Maximiliano Bagnasco<br />

Maximiliano Bagnasco<br />

ARGENTINA<br />

34 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


No<br />

to<br />

War!<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

35


©Julien_Malland<br />

Seth Globepainter<br />

& Aleksey Kislow<br />

KIEV<br />

36 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


©Julien_Malland<br />

Seth Globepainter<br />

PARIS<br />

ART AGAINST WAR<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

37


KAWU<br />

Poznań Poland<br />

38 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


stop war!<br />

WOSKerski<br />

SHOREDITCH, LONDON, UK<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

39


J O H N D ’ O H<br />

CLEVEDON, UK BRISTOL, UK<br />

40 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


P i e k s a<br />

KRAKÓW<br />

POLAND<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

41


42 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

Christian Guémy<br />

PARIS


T<br />

U<br />

T<br />

U<br />

Indonesia<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

43


STAMFORD, UK<br />

Paul Kneen Art<br />

44 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


S E F<br />

Venice Beach<br />

Los Angeles, California<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

45


46 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


ChemiS P R A G U E<br />

DMITRY PROŠKIN (1986, Uralsk,<br />

Kazakhstan), performing under the<br />

pseudonym Chemis, is a Czech street<br />

art artist with Kazakh roots, mainly<br />

creating murals, i.e. large-format<br />

colorful paintings on walls.<br />

His street-art work, like many of today’s<br />

leading Czech artists of this genre,<br />

began with graffiti, from which he<br />

gradually turned to creating murals.<br />

One of his greatest achievements was<br />

the invitation to showcase his work on<br />

the main wall of the Hall of Fame in<br />

New York, the place where the graffiti<br />

culture was born.<br />

Chemis became well-known to Czech<br />

audiences thanks to the iconic image<br />

of crying President Masaryk.<br />

The artist created many murals in<br />

which he criticized world politics<br />

or depicted current burning topics.<br />

On his wall paintings he portrayed,<br />

amongst others, President Trump in<br />

front of a broken wall.He fiercely opposed<br />

terrorist attacks in France and<br />

also condemns racism. [PS]<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

47


DEFIANTLY<br />

He stood petrified in the town square,<br />

facing south, facing the pending invasion.<br />

Unflinching he waited as all around<br />

artillery fire destroyed buildings, plumes of<br />

black acrid smoke billowed from walls and<br />

windows, debris lay scattered in the streets.<br />

In defiance he stood his ground as all around<br />

was turned to smoke and dust.<br />

Inhabitants had long gone, shops emptied,<br />

contents smashed, wrecked, or strewn.<br />

The town no longer in turmoil, just desolate,<br />

yet he still stood waiting.<br />

Then it came, with one almighty explosion,<br />

he was gone, all that remained was a crater<br />

surrounded by scattered rubble, his remains<br />

now just twisted metal in the dust.<br />

Ten metres away his sculpted head lay<br />

in the settling dust, no longer a monument<br />

to the history of this once proud town.<br />

Defiantly he still looked south, watching<br />

as the tanks rolled past, followed by<br />

Putin’s marauders.<br />

POEMS<br />

A l l a n M u r r e l l<br />

UKRAINE<br />

We see walking and running legs,<br />

rubble lying on the ground,<br />

smoke swirling,<br />

a glimpse of railings,<br />

ash and scorch marks.<br />

The camera image swinging,<br />

legs running in a park<br />

and on paving,<br />

bomb craters.<br />

Army fatigued figures<br />

stand motionless,<br />

mobile phones in hands.<br />

Women and children<br />

queuing to get on trains,<br />

their only possessions<br />

an overnight bag.<br />

These images beamed<br />

around the planet<br />

to every household TV,<br />

we sit watching<br />

in stunned incredulity,<br />

then we quietly start to weep.<br />

foto: Pixabay<br />

48 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Spring Cleaning<br />

R a d o s ł a w R u c i ń s k i<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

49


50 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


C o n q u e r o r<br />

Voytek Glinkowski<br />

P<br />

o<br />

l<br />

i<br />

s<br />

h<br />

A<br />

r<br />

t<br />

i<br />

s<br />

t<br />

s<br />

f<br />

o<br />

r<br />

U<br />

k<br />

r<br />

a<br />

i<br />

n<br />

e<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

51


ILYA KAMINSKY<br />

on Ukrainian, Russian, and<br />

the Language of War<br />

„How can one speak about, write about, war”<br />

1.<br />

My family huddled by the doorframe<br />

at 4 am, debating whether or not to<br />

open the door to the stranger wearing<br />

only his pyjama pants, who’d<br />

been pounding on the door for at<br />

least five minutes, waking the whole<br />

apartment complex. Seeing the light<br />

come on, he began shouting through<br />

the door.<br />

“Remember me? I helped you haul<br />

your refrigerator from Pridnestrovie.<br />

Remember? We talked about Pasternak<br />

on the drive. Two hours! Tonight,<br />

they bombed the hospital. My sister<br />

is a nurse there. I stole someone’s<br />

truck and drove across the border.<br />

I don’t know anyone else. Can I make<br />

a phone call?”<br />

So, the war stepped its shoeless foot<br />

into my childhood two decades ago,<br />

under the guise of a half-naked man<br />

gulping on the phone, victim of an<br />

early post-Soviet “humanitarian aid”<br />

campaign.<br />

2.<br />

During a recent visit to <strong>Ukraine</strong>, my<br />

friend the poet Boris Khersonsky and<br />

I agreed to meet at a neighbourhood<br />

café in the morning to talk about<br />

Pasternak (as if he is all anyone talks<br />

about, in our part of the world). But<br />

when I walked up the sidewalk at<br />

9 am, the sidewalk tables were overturned,<br />

and rubble was strewn into<br />

the street from where the building<br />

had been bombed.<br />

52 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

Living many hundreds of miles from<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong>, away from this war, in my<br />

comfortable American backyard,<br />

what right do I have to write about<br />

this war? — and yet I cannot stop<br />

writing about it.<br />

A crowd, including local media, was<br />

gathered around Boris as he spoke<br />

out against the bombings, against yet<br />

another fake humanitarian aid campaign<br />

of Putin’s. Some clapped; others<br />

shook their heads in disapproval.<br />

A few months later, the doors, floors,<br />

and windows of Boris’s apartment<br />

were blown up.<br />

There are many stories like this. They<br />

are often shared in short, hurried<br />

sentences, and then the subject is<br />

changed abruptly.<br />

“Truthful war books,” Orwell wrote,<br />

“are never acceptable to non-combatants.”<br />

When Americans ask about recent<br />

events in <strong>Ukraine</strong>, I think of these<br />

lines from Boris’s poem:<br />

people carry explosives around the<br />

city in plastic shopping bags and little<br />

suitcases.<br />

3.<br />

Over the last twenty years, <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

has been governed by both the Russian-speaking<br />

East and the Ukrainian-speaking<br />

West. The government<br />

periodically uses “the language issue”<br />

to incite conflict and violence,<br />

an effective distraction from the real<br />

problems at hand. The most recent<br />

conflict arose in response to the inadequate<br />

policies of President Yanukovych,<br />

who has since escaped<br />

to Russia. Yanukovych was universally<br />

acknowledged as the most corrupt<br />

president the country has ever<br />

known (he’d been charged with rape<br />

and assault, among other things,<br />

all the way back to Soviet times).<br />

However, these days, <strong>Ukraine</strong>’s new<br />

government continues to include oligarchs<br />

and professional politicians<br />

with shrewd pedigrees and questionable<br />

motivations.<br />

When the standoff between the Yanukovych<br />

government and crowds of<br />

protesters first began in 2013, and the<br />

embattled President left the country<br />

shortly thereafter, Putin sent his<br />

troops into Crimea, a Ukrainian territory,<br />

under the pretext of passionately<br />

protecting the Russian-speaking<br />

population. Soon, the territory was<br />

annexed. In a few months, under the<br />

pretext of humanitarian aid, more<br />

Russian military forces were sent into<br />

another Ukrainian territory, Donbas,<br />

where a proxy war has begun.<br />

All along the protection of Russian<br />

language was continually cited as the<br />

sole reason for the annexation and<br />

hostilities.<br />

Does the Russian language in<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong> need this protection? In response<br />

to Putin’s occupation, many<br />

Russian-speaking Ukrainians chose<br />

to stand with their Ukrainian- speaking<br />

neighbours, rather than against


them. When the conflict began to<br />

ramp up, I received this e-mail:<br />

I, Boris Khersonsky, work at Odessa<br />

National University where I have<br />

directed the department of clinical<br />

psychology since 1996. All that time<br />

I have been teaching in Russian, and<br />

no one has ever reprimanded me for<br />

“ignoring” the official Ukrainian language<br />

of the state. I am more or less<br />

proficient in the Ukrainian language,<br />

but most of my students prefer lectures<br />

in Russian, and so I lecture in<br />

that language.<br />

I am a Russian language poet; my<br />

books have been published mostly<br />

in Moscow and St. Petersburg. My<br />

scholarly work has been published<br />

there as well.<br />

Never (do you hear me—NEVER!) did<br />

anyone go after me for being a Russian<br />

poet and for teaching in Russian<br />

language in <strong>Ukraine</strong>. Everywhere<br />

I read my poems in RUSSIAN and never<br />

did I encounter any complications.<br />

However, tomorrow I will read my<br />

lectures in the state language—<br />

Ukrainian. This won’t be merely<br />

a lecture—it will be a protest action<br />

in solidarity with the Ukrainian state.<br />

I call for my colleagues to join me in<br />

this action.<br />

A Russian-language poet refuses to<br />

lecture in Russian as an act of solidarity<br />

with occupied <strong>Ukraine</strong>. As time<br />

passed, other such emails began to<br />

arrive from poets and friends. My<br />

cousin Peter wrote from Odessa:<br />

Our souls are worried, and we are<br />

frightened, but the city is safe. Once<br />

in a while some idiots rise up and announce<br />

that they are for Russia. But<br />

we in Odessa never told anyone that<br />

we are against Russia. Let Russians<br />

do whatever they want in their Moscow<br />

and let them love our Odessa<br />

as much as they want—but not with<br />

this circus of soldiers and tanks!<br />

Another friend, the Russian-speaking<br />

poet Anastasia Afanasieva, wrote<br />

from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv<br />

about Putin’s “humanitarian aid”<br />

campaign to protect her language:<br />

In the past five years, I visited the<br />

Ukrainian-speaking Western <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

six times. I have never felt discriminated<br />

against because I spoke the<br />

Russian language. Those are myths.<br />

In all the cities of Western <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

I have visited, I spoke with everyone<br />

in Russian—in stores, in trains, in<br />

cafes. I have found new friends. Far<br />

from feeling aggression, everyone instead<br />

treated me with respect. I beg<br />

you, do not listen to the propaganda.<br />

Its purpose is to separate us. We<br />

are already very different, let’s not<br />

become opposite, let’s not create a<br />

war on the territory where we all live<br />

together. The military invasion which<br />

is taking place right now is the catastrophe<br />

for us all. Let’s not lose our<br />

minds, let’s not be afraid of non-existent<br />

threats, when there is a real<br />

threat: the Russian army’s invasion.<br />

As I read the letter after letter,<br />

I couldn’t stop thinking about Boris’s<br />

refusal to speak his own language<br />

as an act of protest against the military<br />

invasion. What does it mean for<br />

a poet to refuse to speak his own language?<br />

Is language a place you can leave? Is<br />

language a wall you can cross? What<br />

is on the other side of that wall?<br />

4.<br />

ILYA KAMINSKY is the author of the acclaimed poetry<br />

collection Deaf Republic, which was called a work of “profound<br />

imagination” by The New Yorker and was a finalist for the<br />

2019 National Book Award in Poetry. He is also the author of<br />

Dancing In Odessa and Musica Humana. His poems have been<br />

translated into numerous languages and his books have been<br />

published in many countries. In the late 1990s, Kaminsky co-founded<br />

Poets For Peace, an organization that sponsors poetry<br />

readings in the US and abroad. He currently holds the Bourne<br />

Chair in Poetry and is Director of Poetry@Tech at Georgia Tech.<br />

Every poet refuses the onslaught of<br />

language. This refusal manifests itself<br />

in silence illuminated by the meanings<br />

of poetic lexis—the meanings<br />

not of what the word says, but of<br />

what it withholds. As Maurice Blanchot<br />

wrote, “To write is to be absolutely<br />

distrustful of writing, while entrusting<br />

oneself to it entirely.”<br />

The language of poetry may or may<br />

not change us, but it shows the<br />

changes within us.<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong> today is a place where statements<br />

like this one are put to the<br />

test. Another writer, John Berger,<br />

says this about the relationship of<br />

a person to one’s language: “One can<br />

say of language that it is potentially<br />

the only human home.” He insisted<br />

that it was “the only dwelling place<br />

that cannot be hostile to man… One<br />

can say anything to language. This is<br />

why it is a listener, closer to us than<br />

any silence or any god.” But what<br />

happens when a poet refuses his language<br />

as a form of protest?<br />

Or, to put this question in broader<br />

terms: what happens to language in<br />

wartime? Abstractions very quickly<br />

attain physical attributes. This is how<br />

the Ukrainian poet Lyudmyla Khersonska<br />

sees her own body watching<br />

the war around her: Buried in a human<br />

neck, a bullet looks like an eye,<br />

sewn in. The poet Kateryna Kalytko’s<br />

war is also a physical body: War often<br />

comes along and lies down between<br />

you like a child / afraid to be<br />

left alone.<br />

The language of poetry may or may<br />

not change us, but it shows the<br />

changes within us: the poet Anastasia<br />

Afanasieva writes using the<br />

first-person plural “we,” showing us<br />

how the occupation of a country affects<br />

all its citizens, no matter which<br />

language they speak:<br />

when a four-wheeler with a mortar<br />

passed down the street<br />

we didn’t ask who you are<br />

whose side are you on<br />

we fell down on the floor and lay there.<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

53


5.<br />

On another visit to <strong>Ukraine</strong>, I saw<br />

a former neighbour of mine, now<br />

crippled by war, holding his hand<br />

out on the street. He wasn’t wearing<br />

any shoes. As I hurried by, hoping he<br />

wouldn’t recognize me, I was suddenly<br />

brought up short by his empty<br />

hand. As if he were handing me his<br />

war.<br />

As I walked away from him, I had<br />

an eerie feeling of recognition. How<br />

similar his voice, the voices of the<br />

Ukrainian poets I’ve been speaking<br />

with, to the voices of people in Afghanistan<br />

and Iraq, whose houses my<br />

own tax money has destroyed.<br />

6.<br />

In the late 20th century, the Jewish<br />

poet Paul Celan became a patron<br />

saint of writing in the midst of crisis.<br />

Composing in the German language,<br />

he has broken speech to reflect the<br />

experience of a new, violated world.<br />

This effect is happening again—this<br />

time in <strong>Ukraine</strong>—before our very<br />

eyes.<br />

Here is the case of poet Lyuba Yakimchuk,<br />

whose family are refugees<br />

from Pervomaisk, the city which is<br />

one of the main targets of Putin’s<br />

most recent “humanitarian aid” effort.<br />

Answering my questions about<br />

her background, Lyuba responded:<br />

I was born and raised in the war-torn<br />

Luhansk region and my hometown<br />

of Pervomaisk is now occupied. In<br />

May 2014 I witnessed the beginning<br />

of the war . . . In February 2015, my<br />

parents and grandmother, having<br />

survived dreadful warfare, set out to<br />

leave the occupied territory. They left<br />

under shelling fire, with a few bags of<br />

clothes. A friend of mine, a [Ukrainian]<br />

soldier, almost shot my grandma<br />

as they fled.<br />

Discussing literature in wartime,<br />

Yakimchuk writes: “Literature rivals<br />

with the war, perhaps even loses to<br />

war in creativity, hence literature is<br />

changed by war.” In her poems, one<br />

sees how warfare cleaves her words:<br />

“don’t talk to me about Luhansk,”<br />

she writes, “it’s long since turned<br />

into hansk / Lu had been razed to the<br />

ground / to the crimson pavement.”<br />

54 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

The bombed-out city of Pervomaisk<br />

“has been split into pervo and maisk”<br />

and the shell of Debaltsevo is now<br />

her “deb, alts, evo.” Through the<br />

prism of this fragmented language,<br />

the poet sees herself:<br />

I stare into the horizon<br />

. . . I have gotten so very old<br />

no longer Lyuba<br />

just a –ba.<br />

Just as Russian-language poet Khersonsky<br />

refuses to speak his language<br />

when Russia occupies <strong>Ukraine</strong>,<br />

Yakimchuk, a Ukrainian-language<br />

poet, refuses to speak an unfragmented<br />

language as the country is<br />

fragmented in front of her eyes. As<br />

she changes the words, breaking<br />

them down and counterpointing the<br />

sounds from within the words, the<br />

sounds testify to a knowledge they<br />

do not possess. No longer lexical yet<br />

still legible to us, the wrecked word<br />

confronts the reader mutely, both<br />

within and beyond language.<br />

Reading this poem of witness, one is<br />

reminded that poetry is not merely<br />

a description of an event; it is an<br />

event.<br />

7.<br />

what right<br />

do I have to<br />

write about<br />

this war?<br />

What exactly is the poetry’s witness?<br />

The language of poetry may<br />

or may not change us, but it shows<br />

the changes within us. Like a seismograph,<br />

it registers violent occurrences.<br />

Miłosz titled his seminal text<br />

The Witness of Poetry “not because<br />

we witness it, but because it witnesses<br />

us.” Living on the other side of the<br />

Iron Curtain, Zbigniew Herbert told<br />

us something similar: a poet is like<br />

a barometer for the psyche of a nation.<br />

It cannot change the weather. But it<br />

shows us what the weather is like.<br />

8.<br />

Can examining the case of a lyric<br />

poet really show us something that<br />

is shared by many—the psyche of<br />

a nation? the music of a time?<br />

How is it that a lyric poet’s spine<br />

trembles like a barometer’s needle?<br />

Perhaps this is because lyric poet is<br />

a very private person: in her or his<br />

privacy this individual creates a language—evocative<br />

enough, strange<br />

enough—that enables her or him to<br />

speak, privately, to many people at<br />

the same time.<br />

9.<br />

Living many hundreds of miles from<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong>, away from this war, in my<br />

comfortable American backyard,<br />

what right do I have to write about<br />

this war? — and yet I cannot stop<br />

writing about it: cannot stop mulling<br />

over the words by poets of my country<br />

in <strong>Eng</strong>lish, this language they do<br />

not speak. Why this obsession? Between<br />

sentences is the silence I do<br />

not control. Even though it is a different<br />

language, the silence between<br />

sentences is still the same: it is the<br />

space in which I see a family still<br />

huddled by the doorframe at 4 am,<br />

debating whether or not to open the<br />

door to the stranger, wearing only<br />

his pyjama pants, who is shouting<br />

through the doorframe.[IK]


IN THE CAGE<br />

Piotr Kamieniarz<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

55


G e o r g e W r i g h t<br />

“War is a crime against humanity. I renounce war, and am therefore determined not to support<br />

any kind of war. I am also determined to work for the removal of the causes of war”<br />

The pledge of the Peace Pledge Union<br />

ABUSES OF POWER<br />

A DREAM WORTH HAVING<br />

Let’s invent some weapons of peace<br />

Fill grenades with apple blossom<br />

Make bullets of Turkish delight<br />

And the only gas would be laughing gas<br />

So we’d laugh into the night<br />

Let’s invent some weapons of peace<br />

Mines in the road made of liquorice<br />

Knives would be of balsa wood<br />

Drones fashioned from sherbet saucers<br />

To give just hiccups would be good<br />

Let’s invent some weapons of peace<br />

Declare all other types illegal<br />

We might just permit gob stopper stones<br />

Chocolate bombs and cola gas warfare<br />

Bomb shelters become candy floss homes<br />

Let’s invent some weapons of peace<br />

Put the best minds to work, none to shirk<br />

Are my suggestions so terribly mad?<br />

Just look at the money invested in death<br />

Don’t you feel incredibly sad?<br />

***<br />

A wise hawk would know<br />

That it cannot snatch up an<br />

Eagle in its beak<br />

The money mogul’s hold their fire,<br />

Not so the Russian troops,<br />

They turn a home to a funeral pyre<br />

While we dither and jump through hoops.<br />

‘We’ll calibrate our response’ we say,<br />

We wont hurry to cut off SWIFT cash,<br />

As the oligarchs hide their wealth away<br />

And the tanks continue their dash.<br />

The only calibration comes from their guns<br />

And when we finally wake up to the tyrant’s game<br />

It’s too late for a nations daughter’s and son’s.<br />

We should hang our heads in shame<br />

THE WINTER SOLDIER<br />

The winter soldier has ice in his heart,<br />

He will do whatever he’s told,<br />

He’s not complete, he’s just a part,<br />

Of a machine to take and to hold.<br />

The winter soldier will aim his rifle<br />

At whatever stands in his way<br />

Opposing voices he will stifle,<br />

Only his orders have any sway.<br />

The winter soldier has no guilt,<br />

No sense of right or wrong,<br />

No concern for any blood that’s spilt<br />

Or of being where he doesn’t belong.<br />

The winter soldier aims the rocket<br />

That splinters family home’s<br />

He holds many lives in his pocket,<br />

Not bothered by their burning bones.<br />

The winter soldier isn’t called to account,<br />

He’s only doing as he’s been told,<br />

And all his dark deeds he will discount<br />

As being daring, brave and bold.<br />

The winter soldier feels no fright<br />

But there’ll be visits in the years ahead,<br />

Ghosts will point their fingers in the night,<br />

And he will meet the many dead.<br />

56 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


RC <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

57


58<br />

58 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


TATIANA AVERINA<br />

U k r a i n e<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

59


obraz olejny 80x100<br />

BOGNA JARZEMSKA-MISZTALSKA<br />

Three wishes<br />

60 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


m a g g i e h a l l<br />

Voices of War<br />

Weaponry powered through political fear.<br />

A dark forest lost people. Shifting built spaces, as guided paths trick.<br />

Commitment to task, controlled nature. Outcome handing death to chaos.<br />

Training minds to hate and follow, an unordered order of jackals.<br />

Words of deconstructing fear. Propagating monster, rape and pillage,<br />

a system betrayed by raged violence. Blood meridian meteor showers.<br />

War the highest art canvassing death. Blood turns, life cycles, telephone<br />

lines escape. Baron lands divide peeling away toughened skin, veiled behind<br />

violence. Where does it begin and end? As the justice of truth lies in pain.<br />

A political cold case; Summary; Resolution; Intelligence. In a database of<br />

fingerprints, agenda and resolutions. Evidence of investigation collected<br />

and assessed. This last phase of speech hung by wars gate. Working to pay<br />

off another life, timing out the clock strikes nine. Beds left unmade for the<br />

final visit.<br />

Trust as the postman waits<br />

Trust as communications cut<br />

Trust as the knife breaks innocent skin<br />

Nine black angels in a warning of fire. Dancing in a threaded waltz, touching<br />

each other. A beautiful murder under the rain, a passage into the next day.<br />

A warning that yesterday is still awake. Today I witnessed the beginning<br />

of the last end. A woman nine months pregnant, an intravenous drip.<br />

Synthetic locks, gold sheathing the wanton chest. There in a solitude stands<br />

the lady looking down. filtering light through a purple haze, indigo dreams<br />

weave her into a day from past-future shades of grey. Silently another arm<br />

turns to cradle, touching the place where her child may once have been.<br />

Washing away the ghost of nine months. A collection of memories final<br />

play, a statue pink and grey. Nameless although named.<br />

Antiquity<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

61


62<br />

62 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Iwona Siwek-Front<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

63


64 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

E X O D U S


Iwona Siwek-Front<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

65


Serce mi pęka.<br />

Malowałam ten obraz i niejedna łza spadła na paletę, mieszając się z farbami...<br />

E w a K l o n o w s k a<br />

66 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

Exodus


NEVER THIS MUCH EVIL<br />

The Russian aggressors<br />

Pretend to be like<br />

American heroes<br />

In their own right<br />

Their hatred drips<br />

Like flowing sweat<br />

And their blades and fire<br />

Stun innocents<br />

Many Ukrainians have died<br />

Many have been displaced<br />

Since foggy February<br />

And that year last year<br />

They could not call<br />

Any Russians heroes<br />

Because the invaders<br />

Only ripped and tore<br />

The Russian troops<br />

Are as far from being heroes<br />

As Earth is from the farthest stars<br />

And children weep in fear<br />

The Russians have struck<br />

And drawn blood<br />

There has never been<br />

This much evil<br />

THE MAN ON HIS FACE<br />

Lying in disgrace<br />

The man on his face<br />

With his hands tied behind his back<br />

His breath gone for good<br />

A glimpse of him<br />

And a stifled scream<br />

Make it real that death<br />

Is reigning in <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

For all those who died<br />

Our eyes have cried<br />

We’ve clung on to hope<br />

For the others<br />

More slaughter continues<br />

Every day in the news<br />

That man reminds us<br />

Of how freedom cries<br />

M u h a m m a d<br />

K h u r r a m S a l i m<br />

IN PAIN SOME LAUGHTER<br />

Those kids in the <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

They were laughing in the rain<br />

They had their toys<br />

Little cars for boys<br />

Their mothers wiped tears<br />

They were born to care<br />

Children running among ruins<br />

Loving what they were doing<br />

Those little feet<br />

And eyes to greet<br />

Saw a sky of blue<br />

They wanted to fly up to<br />

Those children of war<br />

Under the silver stars<br />

Dreamt of heaven<br />

And played again<br />

SITTING ON OUR HANDS<br />

The rest of the world<br />

Sits on its hands<br />

Doing nothing for <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

We watch the world’s suffering<br />

With no heed for woes<br />

We only like ourselves<br />

Our hearts are hardened<br />

By the harsh realities of life<br />

We can’t see beyond<br />

Our everyday cares<br />

And headaches … the stuff<br />

The devils spit at us<br />

We sit on our hands<br />

As the victims’ hands burn<br />

We protect our hands<br />

As they have theirs mangled<br />

One day we will sit up<br />

And take notice<br />

When our skies will signal<br />

The invasion of evil<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

67


Things haven’t been right since last summer<br />

68 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


We are not talking to the bear<br />

ARTUR ZIENKO<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

69


70 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Symphony of the Love<br />

Colors vs War<br />

ALIREZA KARIMI<br />

MOGHADDAM<br />

I R A N<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

71


L O R A I N E S A A C K S<br />

BEYOND THE CAVES<br />

I’m deep underground in Chislehurst Caves,<br />

With Messerschmitts raining their bombs down in waves.<br />

Tea trolleys and bunks and medical teams,<br />

Air Raid Wardens, some clergy, a few frantic screams.<br />

NO VICTORY IN CHISLEHURST<br />

Huddled up in our haunt while the harsh Heinkels taunt<br />

I’m three and I think it’s good fun.<br />

How would I know, that while I’m lying low,<br />

My cousins are killed by the Hun?<br />

The war was over, victory ours,<br />

Soldiers welcomed home with flowers.<br />

But were we whole? Were we content?<br />

We children knew not what grief meant.<br />

My Grandpa is silent, he’s too shocked to speak<br />

My sorrowing Grandma has tears on her cheek.<br />

I’m of immigrant stock, barely four decades,<br />

Half my family in Poland are shunted by raids.<br />

Yet, one lifetime later, I’m asked to embrace,<br />

To forget and forgive the supposed Master Race.<br />

I’ve inherited photos; viewed the Shoah website<br />

It’s my ‘living memory’ that I’m asked to blight.<br />

Should future millennia institute change,<br />

And mind-sets of violence be spurned,<br />

Maybe such a truce would serve to diffuse,<br />

Warring factions where memories still burned.<br />

But while I’m still alive, my bloodline will hear,<br />

Poems<br />

Our dear beloved matriarch<br />

Became reclusive, lost her spark.<br />

Her kith and kin could not take flight,<br />

For Bergen-Belsen was their plight.<br />

Grandma knew, by letters vanished,<br />

Her loved ones to the camp were banished.<br />

No word was heard – her heart bore pain;<br />

Who could conceive whole families slain?<br />

We saw our grandma’s weeping eyes,<br />

We heard her moaning, anguished cries.<br />

But we were small, all fours and fives,<br />

No-one explained about smashed lives.<br />

How their forbears were smitten with fear.<br />

Historical footnotes, a tapestry yarn, airbrushing out wails in the wind,<br />

Will never erase the actions so base, of the inhuman tyrants who sinned.<br />

76 72<br />

72 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Matthew Dover<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

7377


78 74<br />

74 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


I c o n s<br />

Yaryna<br />

Movchan<br />

U K R A I N E<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

75 79 75


An artist with<br />

a brush, recreating<br />

the world<br />

during the war<br />

uses<br />

sharper shapes<br />

A wheel is a form in which I feel good.<br />

A body in a circle is relaxed,<br />

frozen in happiness.<br />

War is bad.<br />

It is the result<br />

of human<br />

weakness –<br />

a soul shortage.<br />

76 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Y A R Y N A M O V C H A N<br />

U K R A I N E<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

77


78 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Anna<br />

Ponoma<br />

renko<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

79


Ryszard Kupidura,<br />

expert on Eastern Europe,<br />

translator, assistant<br />

professor at Adam<br />

Mickiewicz University<br />

in Poznań, Faculty<br />

of Modern Language<br />

Studies and Literatures,<br />

Institute of Russian and<br />

Ukrainian Studies, Department<br />

of Ukrainian<br />

Studies. Collaborating<br />

with the ANAGRAM<br />

Publishing House on<br />

an ongoing basis<br />

About literature and the war in <strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

Ryszard Kupidura<br />

We simply cannot conceive of<br />

war. We cannot recreate or<br />

reenact the emotions that<br />

accompany a human being during<br />

war. The war in <strong>Ukraine</strong>, as we know,<br />

has been raging for eight years. Reporters<br />

who write about the conflict<br />

in Donbas were somewhat surprised<br />

to discover that, in regions located not<br />

far away from military activities, e.g.<br />

in Kramatorsk or Siewierodonieck,<br />

people tried to lead normal lives.<br />

However, if we really think about it,<br />

it ceases to surprise us. There actually<br />

is beauty in the fact that in places<br />

where people are able to find just a<br />

little free space, even the smallest<br />

piece of land without the aura of war,<br />

then they immediately get back to<br />

their daily affairs, children start to go<br />

to playgrounds again. Because war is<br />

just something completely inhumane,<br />

it creates an environment in which a<br />

human does not naturally exist.<br />

80 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

After 24 February, I have noticed<br />

different attitudes among readers.<br />

Some were unable to reach for literature<br />

during those days. There were at<br />

least two reasons for this. The most<br />

obvious one was being unable to focus<br />

on a book. Some, however, decided<br />

not to read due to the feeling<br />

of guilt. According to them, reading a<br />

book when other people are fighting<br />

or hiding from bombs would be ignoble.<br />

It is worth remembering, however,<br />

that staying within the world of<br />

literature does not necessarily mean<br />

we are ignorant. Quite the contrary<br />

– it can be our manifestation of humanity.<br />

This is supported by the words of<br />

Bogdan Kolomiychuk, who, as a current<br />

member of the Lviv Territorial<br />

Guard, wrote on Facebook that it<br />

had become extremely important for<br />

him that people still read his books<br />

and shared their thoughts on social<br />

media. He treats it as a reminiscence<br />

of his former life he already longs to<br />

and wants to come back to as soon as<br />

possible.<br />

I reckon the Ukrainian culture has<br />

become important for at least several<br />

reasons. On one hand, we naturally<br />

want to know more about the<br />

country and people who are going<br />

through this tragic time of their history.<br />

On the other hand, I think there is<br />

more to this specific Ukrainian case.<br />

As the Polish nation, we are a part of<br />

this history. At least because we have<br />

opened the doors to our homes for<br />

Ukrainians who are fleeing from war.<br />

Have you noticed that people who<br />

take in Ukrainians often do not refer<br />

to them as “refugees”, but instead<br />

as “guests”? They will say: “I’m having<br />

guests from <strong>Ukraine</strong>”. This is extremely<br />

significant. Language starts<br />

to react to the changing reality. A<br />

very special bond is now developing<br />

between Poles and Ukrainians. I<br />

would even say “brotherhood”, only<br />

if I did not remember what the Soviet<br />

and then Russian propaganda had<br />

made of the term “brother nations”.<br />

I expect that the language – I hope it<br />

will be the language of poetry at first<br />

– will find new metaphors to describe<br />

what is currently happening between<br />

us and Ukrainians. I am convinced<br />

that literature will soon react to these<br />

new intercultural phenomena that<br />

are full of very positive energy. Energy<br />

we have been needing so much<br />

and have waited for. I am very glad<br />

that the Anagram Publishing House I<br />

have the pleasure to collaborate with<br />

is actively taking part in popularising<br />

the literary embrace of all these phenomena.<br />

May this cruel war end as<br />

soon as possible. We can handle the<br />

rest. [RK]


KATARZYNA ZYGADLEWICZ<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

81


Destroyed things.<br />

Burnt things.<br />

Remembered things.<br />

RC<br />

82 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


BLACK RUSSIA<br />

N i c k A l l d r i d g e<br />

POEMS<br />

Russia bleeds her black oil blood<br />

Running through her pipelines<br />

Laden on her tankers<br />

In the bellies of her tanks.<br />

She breaths in her own gas<br />

As though it was air on fire<br />

With her glorious pride<br />

And all that comes after:<br />

Pride in conquest leads to defeat,<br />

Pride in victory leads to despair,<br />

Pride in greed leads to suffering,<br />

And the pride of a bully leads to his fall.<br />

VLAD<br />

Two motes of darkness meet your gaze.<br />

A man who lives and breathes control<br />

unafraid of power plays and desperate measures can still,<br />

and always will, manifest his own downfall<br />

but not before he rips the world apart,<br />

thrashing against his own inevitable fate.<br />

His cancer spreading<br />

to the edges, collapsing to the centre,<br />

before another’s fingertips pull down the lids<br />

to separate his darkness from this Earth.<br />

Russia is capitalism gone mad<br />

It is Gazprom and Rosneft<br />

Unfettered and unchecked.<br />

Corporate greed controls the state<br />

Uncaring, unfeeling, less human than hate.<br />

She lies and dissembles to any who will listen.<br />

Pity the humans caught in her webs<br />

As Mother Russia eats her children<br />

We look on in disbelief.<br />

And her neighbours suffer more<br />

Than words can relate.<br />

LOST THINGS<br />

Things. So many things. Only things.<br />

Suddenly gone things. Snatched away things.<br />

Destroyed things. Burnt things. Remembered things.<br />

Things holding memories. Things holding dreams.<br />

So many things. Only things.<br />

Home things. Homes are things.<br />

Lost things. Burnt things.<br />

A Bromley house fire. A city in <strong>Ukraine</strong>.<br />

Accident or negligence or a deliberate act.<br />

Things. So many things. Not only things.<br />

Fire fighters, warnings, or none of that.<br />

And not just things, much more than that.<br />

But also things. Remember that.<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

83


Piotr Jakubczak<br />

84 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


W A R<br />

<strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

85


R o b i n P i l c h e r<br />

CELLAR<br />

To young minds in happier times<br />

a place of adventure, Aladdin’s cave:<br />

bare bulb casting dancing shadows<br />

into cobwebbed corners,<br />

a modest stash of wine,<br />

stored potatoes, onions, apples,<br />

all fragrancing the chilly air,<br />

assuring us of times of plenty,<br />

a continuity.<br />

Now, a different reassurance,<br />

as life crumbles above our heads:<br />

we wait in darkness now,<br />

listen for the whine and crump of shells<br />

as dust of ages, dislodged, sprinkles our faces<br />

in mockery of benedictions<br />

seemingly beyond our reach.<br />

And yet, like sown seeds,<br />

we will emerge from the dark and broken earth,<br />

vines pushing through cracked concrete,<br />

to thrive again.<br />

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87


Agnieszka<br />

88 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Traczyńska<br />

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89


R a d e k R u c i ń s k i<br />

A Girl From Kiev<br />

90 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


illustration:<br />

AGNIESZKA LITWIN<br />

YOU JUST NAMED THE WAR<br />

ELŻBIETA ISAKIEWICZ<br />

Hurricanes born of Atlantic lows tear off Europe’s<br />

rooftops, rip trees from soil (their<br />

exhumed roots exposed to the light), and<br />

evoke lament for losses amongst the rubble.<br />

Beyond the Polish border, a dictator strikes a<br />

sovereign state. As if the plague precipitated an<br />

avalanche of phenomena and events delivering<br />

knock-out blows to the world.<br />

And we look on powerless and, with white-knuckled<br />

panic, scoop bits of earth – once our land –<br />

into a sack.<br />

My mother, a borderlandist, repeats what she<br />

said at the beginning of the pandemic. As long<br />

as the young survive. On television, she watches<br />

images of war sweeping through the land of her<br />

youth yet again, a hair’s breadth from her birthplace.<br />

The coronavirus has lost its crown, it no<br />

longer reigns supreme in the media, it has been<br />

pushed from the podium by the bloody assault. -<br />

I dreamt it - nods her head as she scratches the<br />

cat’s belly. - I saw a swamp with splinters of broken<br />

tables and chairs, rags streaked with mud. Wilted,<br />

tarnished flowers. A crowd was clamoring at<br />

a nearby hunting shop at the end of the street.<br />

They were Ukrainians, residents of Warsaw.<br />

They were buying weapons for their brothers. I<br />

dropped some money in the collection jar they<br />

had propped up.<br />

For the first time ever I’m paying for a rifle that<br />

will be aimed at someone’s chest in instinctive<br />

self-defense – I don’t hesitate. After all, I am a<br />

woman.<br />

This is how history arrived at my doorstep. The<br />

street outlet will never be the same. The word<br />

„later” lingers, spanning its interval. [EI]<br />

A fragment of the new book „Moments”, prepared<br />

for printing – by Elżbieta Isakiewicz.<br />

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91


T e d S m i t h - O r r<br />

The Beginning<br />

The steel blanket casts it’s red shadow,<br />

Shrouding the ragged line of bodies,<br />

Escaping to a hopeful freedom<br />

Refugees in their own country.<br />

Some driving, until the petrol is gone<br />

Or engines break down,<br />

From the eternal waiting.<br />

Waiting for the road to clear.<br />

Others walking: walking on sole-less shoes<br />

Carrying only shopping bags<br />

Crammed with small but sacred possessions.<br />

Soulful hearts leading them forwards.<br />

Babies swaddled in soft linen<br />

And parents’ jackets.<br />

Some invent games and quizzes<br />

To occupy their children<br />

And join in the Ukrainian National anthem.<br />

The spirit of war cannot defeat<br />

Their spirit of humanity.<br />

The imperial rainfall of sickles hammer the ground<br />

Destroying deserted buildings and the red steel blanket<br />

Follows the hunched shoulders<br />

And a sea of woollen hats silhouette<br />

Against the ashen red sky.<br />

92 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Illustration: Renata Cygan<br />

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93


94 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Y u r i i<br />

I v a n t s y k<br />

<strong>Ukraine</strong><br />

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95


A n n L o v e l a c e<br />

CORPORAL DIXON REMEMBERS<br />

Nearly half a million soldiers stranded on Dunkirk sands.<br />

Nothing to eat and fearing we were trapped and in enemy hands<br />

Stukka planes screeching over us, flames and smoke all around<br />

Exhausted by thirst and hunger, bombarded by the bombs’ blasting sound.<br />

What would be the outcome? We lay there awaiting our fate.<br />

Hoping for some respite and for the nightmare to abate.<br />

And then it came – the miracle, gradually over several days<br />

A diverse means of transport appeared through the smoky haze.<br />

Fishing smacks and pleasure craft, boas of every kind,<br />

All braving the dangerous journey with one plan only in mind.<br />

To transport we thousands of soldiers back to the British shore<br />

Ferrying their passengers to safety, before going back for more.<br />

Passengers like me, Douglas Dixon a corporal in the Medical Corps.<br />

Who like thousands of others thought nothing was solved by war.<br />

But knowing that Hitler was determined to overrun our land<br />

With reluctance saw it as my duty to lend a helping hand.<br />

Now I am past my nineties, married for seventy years<br />

I still so vividly remember how my desperation turned to cheers.<br />

After five days of near starvation was the best sight I’d ever seen,<br />

The famous paddle boat of its day, the popular Medway Queen.<br />

One of hundreds of other craft manned by bands of men<br />

Who not only volunteered once, but again, again and again.<br />

Crossing the <strong>Eng</strong>lish Channel, leaving frightened children and wives<br />

In the biggest transport operation, saving half a million lives.<br />

My heart bleeds for the trapped in <strong>Ukraine</strong>, with its all too familiar story.<br />

The suffering and terror and all for no more than Putin’s glory.<br />

inspired by Corporal Dixon<br />

96 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong>


Photography<br />

JAROSŁAW KRAWCZAK<br />

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97


passers by<br />

The hustle and bustle of the street. Cars pass each other, disperse; people skulk by and<br />

disappear into the alleys. Most don’t know each other. We don’t know where they came<br />

from nor where they’re going. They carry their bags, their problems. Feel some joy.<br />

It’s us, PEOPLE.<br />

Man is said to be the most<br />

advanced organism on<br />

earth and, in the hierarchy<br />

of terrestrial life, the apex of the evolutionary<br />

pyramid. When considering<br />

an archetypal perspective of the human<br />

species there are, apart from obvious<br />

herd tendencies, features that<br />

facilitate intellectual development of<br />

the species. Man is often brash, inquisitive,<br />

and stubborn. These conditions<br />

foster an impetus to cross<br />

new boundaries, both realistic and<br />

ambitious. From time immemorial<br />

man has made great efforts to discover<br />

the unknown, to overcome the<br />

insurmountable, to understand the<br />

incomprehensible. These bounds are<br />

constantly shifting. We are constantly<br />

making new discoveries, though<br />

it would seem intuitive that realms<br />

of knowledge yet unexplored should<br />

be diminishing. After all, how many<br />

more songs can be written from the<br />

same sounds? How far into space can<br />

we voyage? How many more tiny particles<br />

exist unbeknownst to us? What<br />

else can films surprise viewers with?<br />

And yet, the human imagination is<br />

amazing. Augmented by ever more<br />

advanced technology, it allows us to<br />

unravel many of life’s greatest mysteries;<br />

create new tools, devices, and<br />

amenities; help overcome disease –<br />

all of which contribute to the protraction<br />

and improvement of our lives. Do<br />

you agree? Of course you do. Any<br />

sane person would, so long as they<br />

did not delve deeper into the darker<br />

sides of human activity – a side also<br />

driven by imagination and stimulated<br />

through technological development,<br />

e.g., the development of a new, silent,<br />

sonic, biological or chemical or<br />

who knows what other weapon.<br />

98 <strong>POST</strong> <strong>SCRIPTUM</strong><br />

However, temporarily focusing on the<br />

positive aspects of man and assuming<br />

pure intentions, it could be argued<br />

that we seek and discover in the<br />

name of the common good – each of<br />

us according to ability and interest.<br />

Some want to climb as high as possible,<br />

others to dive as deep, while<br />

still there are those who want to discover<br />

a new species of fauna or flora<br />

or come up with the best remedy<br />

for a runny nose. The only question<br />

is whether we can appreciate and respect<br />

these aspirations.<br />

There is a huge variety of individuals<br />

in our species. Purportedly we are<br />

family-oriented herd animals with<br />

interpersonal relationships, exerting<br />

mutual influence on each other; but<br />

we are still fundamentally self-determining<br />

individuals. If these individual<br />

units cannot channel a sense of<br />

community and shared responsibility,<br />

then solidarity in humanity’s struggle<br />

for survival is a pipedream. We will<br />

slowly degrade ourselves and our environment<br />

– indeed, we are already<br />

doing so. There are certain important<br />

aspects of life for which we should be<br />

accountable – regardless of national,<br />

social, or political affiliation. Unfortunately,<br />

awareness of such concepts<br />

is quite low. We live according to the<br />

principles of «after me the flood» in<br />

conjunction with «what good can one<br />

person do? Everyone can do good although<br />

evil is always easier… as some<br />

of the world’s oligarchs know only too<br />

well.<br />

Until something changes, we will<br />

continue poisoning ourselves with<br />

our food, our drink, our air, burying<br />

ourselves in plastic, and slaughtering<br />

each other. No one wants to die, obviously,<br />

but there are those willing to<br />

slaughter out of sheer greed or lust<br />

for power. They are just waiting for an<br />

opportunity”.<br />

I wrote this observation a few years<br />

ago. Has anything changed? It<br />

seemed that experience, knowledge,<br />

as well as rapidly improving methods<br />

of communication would come together<br />

and enable everyone to fully<br />

appreciate, for example, peaceful<br />

living. How does this line up with reality?<br />

One isolated man cannot inflict<br />

evil on a global scale, no matter his<br />

determination; however, such men<br />

usually attract whole networks of cohorts.<br />

We don’t like to be lectured; and in<br />

truth, this is no appeal for self-betterment.<br />

I am not playing missionary.<br />

I merely observe events and form<br />

conclusions. Everyone instinctively<br />

resists the notion that – under the<br />

right circumstances – people can still<br />

be barbarians, do they not? I am not<br />

a scientist, sociologist, nor philosopher.<br />

I am simply an ordinary PAS-<br />

SERBY through life, just like we all are,<br />

and I am merely imparting my own<br />

reflections and ruminations. Having<br />

said that... I do not believe that our<br />

species is integrated and I suspect<br />

most people believe similarly – they<br />

just aren’t vocal. The world is governed<br />

by money, while money itself is<br />

governed by a small group of de-facto<br />

executives. We are suffering from an<br />

incurable disease that we are power-


less to fight. This disease manifests<br />

itself as commercialism and the drive<br />

to dominate. We ostensibly decry<br />

snobbery and consumerism, but the<br />

slightest hint of a black-something<br />

sale the shoppers’ flock.<br />

Regardless of whether we need it<br />

or not, the occasional odd purchase<br />

seems harmless. Thus, we surround<br />

ourselves with heaps of unnecessary<br />

junk. Evolution – slowly, imperceptibly<br />

– persists, and the impacts of a more<br />

comfortable lifestyle can already be<br />

noticed, if by no other sign than by<br />

the reduction of our dentition (fewer<br />

people are developing third molars,<br />

and the ones that do erupt are diminishing<br />

in size. We are unlikely to ever<br />

discover exactly where evolution is<br />

taking us – but is it headed in a positive<br />

direction? There is too much egotism,<br />

anger, ruthlessness, and greed<br />

(the escalation continues) and too<br />

little empathy, kindness, and sincere<br />

charity in people. I do not believe that<br />

this will change because this is how<br />

we have been for ages, and while our<br />

world shrinks the problem grows. So,<br />

from time to time, wars break out.<br />

They show just what cruelty we are<br />

capable of levying against each other.<br />

The question is whether sudden<br />

surges of solidarity are able to tip the<br />

scales back into balance, and if so, for<br />

how long.<br />

All who are born must die. Sometimes<br />

willingly. Sooner or later. Independently,<br />

with assistance, or for<br />

want of assistance. The undeniable<br />

fact remains that we are all mortal.<br />

However, we can live our lives admirably<br />

or less so, helping or hindering<br />

one another. Which of us will there<br />

be more of? Perhaps we should come<br />

to our senses.<br />

We are just PASSERSBY.<br />

[JN]<br />

RC<br />

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99


Krzysztof Wiśniewski<br />

100<br />

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110


Ola Haydamaka<br />

u k r a i n e<br />

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