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dplynch Mar 2022
Mother pricked her index on a holly bush.

A trickle of blood succumbed to the crater, crossing the lines of her palm.

She sanctioned a frown.

On her hand now lay a staining scarlet winter berry.
Robert Ippaso Jul 14
What did I do,
Quite the disaster, but if only they knew
The depth of the hole I find myself in,
Thank goodness ambition is no mortal sin.

I seriously thought this thing would be fast,
A simple invasion, a side show, a blast,
Over by dinner then pop the Champagne,
Ukraine by name only, Russia’s domain.

Never the thought came into my head
That a little B actor would play me instead,
Tenacious and cunning he's proven to be
But if chess is the game, good luck playing me.

The West struts its stuff, more noise than effect,
A mish mash of junk all easily wrecked,
Perhaps they forget the Russian resolve,
Stay tuned for a while and watch it evolve.

Ukraine is no match for what we can do,
Time our best friend and that's always been true,
We're patient and hardy, impervious to pain,
We'll suffer and bleed for what's ours to gain.

Don't read me wrong I want this to end,
I'm just very careful which message I send,
At the end of the day I'll make a tough deal,
And a big swath of land I'll invariably steal.

Ukraine won't be happy, the West will cry foul,
But don't be impressed, it's merely a howl,
A little play acting for show and effect,
As for this to continue they clearly all dread.

Ignore the odd glitches it's the outcome that counts,
This hasn't been pretty, a truth with few doubts,
But often what shines is merely fool’s gold,
Land is the key and Ukraine’s I will hold.
Anais Vionet May 9
last winter break*

I woke up abruptly, my chest gripped and tight. My face felt hot but my arms stung as if frostbitten. I gasped for air that wouldn’t come, like I had a plastic bag over my head.

If I’d had a bad dream, in waking, it had become a collection of vague, menacing shadows, not memories.

I hadn’t had a panic attack in ages, but you never forget the feeling. I reached dizzily for my backpack, beside the bed, which contained an albuterol inhaler. I managed, between gasps, and a puff, to turn on a small bedside light.

It was an indecent hour but between jerky breaths, and a second puff, I performed the series of flicks and touches that initiated a FaceTime call. My brother Brice is in med-school at Johns Hopkins University. He studies a thousand hours a week, I doubt he actually sleeps at all.

Brice answered on the second ring, his gnarled, blonde, wheatfield of hair was unmistakable, even in the dim street light. One glance at me was all he needed. “Breathe,” he said, “just breathe,” his deep, warm voice was as reassuring now as it had been when I was a child.

He made a dismissive motion to whomever he was with, indicating he was leaving and they should go on. “Ok,” a guy said, “Sure.” A  girl's voice said, “tomorrow,” but those voices faded as they were left behind.

“Did you use your inhaler?” He asked, when I nodded yes, he began our old routine, “Alright,” he said, “name things you can see.”
“My.. phone,” I said, haltingly. A moment later I added, “my iPad,” I gasped, “my purse.”
“Oh, your favorite things,” he whispered and when I honked a coughing laugh he said, “sorry.”

After some brisk walking, on his end, I heard the distinct beep of an access-point card-reader.

“The sky,” I added. The sky looked dark, jam-like and starless from Lisa’s 50th floor windows but there was a blurry line of blinking lights - jets queued for landing at Newark Liberty, or Teterboro airports. Life was going to go on, it seemed, even if I couldn’t breathe.

“Uh huh,” he said, in affirmation. His camera went dark and I could tell he was climbing stairs.
My body wanted a full breath, or three and was in a full water-boarding like panic.

I continued with my herky-jerky naming, “my suitcase, a ceiling fan.” He was in his room now.

“Good,” he murmured. “Now focus on 4 things you can touch.” I slowly and purposefully touched my backpack, water bottle, phone and bedside table as Brice quietly watched and waited. I’d stopped hyperventilating and I could feel my eyes relaxing and the room coming into focus (a symptom of anxiety is tunnel vision).

Brice knows me, maybe better than anyone. We finish each other’s sentences, we’re steeped in intimacy and knowing. We watched each other silently for a minute or two as my breathing became normal. His stupid, brotherly face was reassuring. He seemed in no rush, and finally asked, “What brought this on?”

“I’m not sure,” I said, hesitantly, but I had my suspicions. I was on vacation, having a terrific  time with Lisa and her family, and I’d made the honor roll, so my anxiety wasn’t school related.

“Mom left me a Christmas message,” I began, “and there was an explosion in the background, I think. I played it over and over,” I said, frustratedly, “was it thunder - or something else? I played it for Lisa - over and over. She said she thought it was thunder, but Lisa’s not a good liar.”

Feelings are never simple, they're multilayered, strip some off the top and they’re others underneath. If my parents' (Doctors without Borders) Ukraine war work was the stressor, there was little we could do about it.

Brice reminded me that the background noise was equivocal - it could have been thunder - and since this panic was an isolated event, we decided to keep it to ourselves.

As the call wrapped up, he made me promise to stop playing that message and avoid war news. We agreed to stay in closer touch (knowing that, with our schedules, it probably wasn’t going to happen.)
Still, I like knowing he’s out there - like a rescue inhaler - just a few button clicks away.
The **** shovelling soldiers are sent off to war
To dig latrines so their soldier brethren can ****
Not in peace but to empty their guts between fights
Ukrainians have other ideas they want to **** them all
Dead soldiers and ******* diggers means more Russians
Who can no longer fight or hurt innocent Ukrainians
How many Ivan cesspit ***** men have been eradicated?
**** them all so the soldiers **** their pants before dying
From Ukrainian bullets and high tech Allied weapons
The more the better in this video game war
Eventful War Book 2
Nick Armbrister and other writers
Race 2
Same old **** going down
Graves of men now silent
Nowt much happening here
Just dead bodies buried
After being riddled blasted
Russians killed by Ukrainians
Prisoners mostly of Wagner
Sentences cut lives now cut
Politicians bathe in blood
They had quite a run
Still race in Part 2
Race 1 was a loss
No victory only death
Plus injuries and ruin
Battlefield injuries extreme
It's fine there's time
So much time here
Satan has all the time
In the world
Wait and see
Eventful War Book 2
Nick Armbrister and other writers
nick armbrister Dec 2022
Coloured Putin
Shoot her full of rainbows
Scythes from heaven
Souls down in Hell
Hundred thousand dead
Mamushka I miss you
Our Leader sent us there
Not an Odessa holiday
Opposite of that mama
Forgive them all
It's Putin's orders
Hundred thou casualties
Bullet ridden rainbows
Her essence is black
Nick Armbrister
out in 23
RKSingh Dec 2022

Enchained by his own
creation in Ukraine
Zilensky now counts

his wounds and sees
a spectacle of ravage
before extinction

Joe Biden couldn’t help
the avalanche of night
now wrapped in rubble

none left to shed tears
keep memories of the sun
now steeped in darkness

--R K Singh
nick armbrister Aug 2022
More Meet
Eat the meet and feel well
Get a bad gut do the trots
To the toilet ***** it all up
You ate rancid meat
Or was it poisoned

On purpose as you’re here
An invading army doing bad
Nothing good comes from it
Except dead Russian soldiers
Who ate off meat in rusty tins
Found in a bombed out house

Call it karma for the war
You go there you risk
Not just bullets and shells
Maybe you were poisoned
On purpose or it was an accident

The result is the same
Ill Russian soldiers who puke
Some will die painful deaths
Give those well more meat…
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