Renata preferred apricots, blintzes, caviar, a little vodka at times, over ailing nightmares

she hated avid weevil’s in porridge, harvest after harvest that bore so little food

preferred the Fabergé romance of ‘St Petersburg’ over ho hum ‘Petrograd’

 a knight in shining armour kiss above being wrestled to a Bolshevik’s floor

Julian calendar’s October revolt put pay to all that she preferred

the day Red molested White, desire and daydreams died

‘Peace, bread, and land’ the big man’s assurance

Renata never believed that for a single moment

squirreled away diamonds, silver and gold

found ‘Peace, bread, and land’

in a place of opportunity

across an ocean

far away


oh, how even now, Renata so misses her Mother Russia

‘Peace, bread, and land’ the big man’s assurance

‘Peace, bread, and land’ in exchange for quashed dissent

no man, woman or child feasts its soul on such a dirtied dish


through a window in a joint far removed from logic and sanity

one where little matters and death’s door bell often rings

Renata watches intently, listens, absorbs, is saddened

now a new big man gifts words, place of opportunities words

words of flawless White displacing arbitrary Red

positive, negative words

‘back then is new now’ words


Renata knits cumulonimbus clouds these days

sings to herself the song a wasted partisan once sang


‘…Let no one build walls to divide us

Walls of hatred nor walls of stone

Come greet the dawn and stand beside us

We’ll live together or we’ll die alone

In our world poisoned by exploitation

Those who have taken now they must give

And end the vanity of nations

We’ve but one earth on which to live…’


that the songs message still rang true made Renata cry


The verse above borrowed from Billy Bragg’s version of ‘The Internationale’


    1. Cheers Leslie. I had this thought that taking the charm out of St Petersburg back then wasn’t unlike the doing the self-same thing to the charm of Obama’s Washington…Kennedy’s Camelot. Different sides of the coin; same result, one actual and recorded in history books, the other foreseeable in the short term.

    1. You will know better than me that that is why so many oppressed Europeans risked everything to go where anything was/is achievable. I think that’s why socialism is a pointless concept your side of the pond. As my old mum used to say, ‘No call for it’!

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed how the structure of the first stanza added so much to the poem – especially on the second read! How the first lines are general and they gradually focus to become more and more specific. This is a poignant story and so well told.

      1. I think that it is the hate that ruins all the good beginnings. If they didn’t hate, or rather, if they were not manipulated to hate, it would be a bloodless revolution. But their leaders had their own plans. Money and power was their plan. When I see the pattern, I am simply terrified.

  2. This is a great commentary on today’s world, Mike. It’s touching, and not preachy, which is something that few are able to achieve when writing about politics and history.

  3. Great job! Textured, complex and eloquent. I love the first line of the poem.

    Are you familiar with “City of Theives?” A novel set in St. Petersburg during WWII.

    Thanks for sharing your art.


  4. Excellent blog post. An apt description of what is going to take place on Jam 20th, 2017 when Orange Hair takes office. America will go through a four year winter filled with storms and blizzards. Let’s hope that there will be survivors at the end.

    1. I sit the other side of the pond and as worried as you are…he’s already upset the Chinese and he hasn’t got is finger on the button yet. Your nation deserves better than this.

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