Now and at the Ukraine hour

Poor Ukraine,
I see you in old A&P encyclopedias,
watch you tremble on CNN.
Decades passed since Harvest of Sorrow
played on N.P.R., grain seized from peasants,
and sold to sustain Stalin’s war effort.
When I look backward to 1986,
how radioactivity entered Pripyat groundwater,
seeped north into streams where elk drank,
impacted Bulgarian mushrooms,
I am frightened by democrats making love
in the Dnieper, selling perfume that glows.

In July 1986, at Smithsonian Institute,
as Fulbright Scholarship nominee to Bulgaria,
I listened to a US official speak
about Pan Slavism and Sofia University.
He noted concerns about the Chernobyl disaster,
guaranteed government air-monitoring, 24/7.
He warned about romances,
how Bulgaria’s good friend, the K.G.B.,
enjoyed infallible ability to compromise
any American with either money, drugs, or sex.
Omitted were energy, natural gas temptations.

Compromised, compromised,
Ukraine, once Empire’s breadbasket,
I shudder when looking at Kiev today,
a continental breakfast for provocateurs.
Late one night, 2009,
Wolf Blitzer staggered out of Russian Tea Room.
Off mic, he described Rick Perry’s Texas
in turmoil, tall-talking, Tea Party secession,
but alas, I am obliged to forget all that.

Ukraine, Ukraine, a mule pulls a cart
faraway from cameras.
Fox News can not hear the boot blitzkrieg
of a million miles of natural gas pipeline
marching east to Berlin, Amsterdam, Warsaw.
Voices from plush boardrooms:
Putin is wrong for you, 1%-er muscles so vast,
Siberian resources shall be harvested soon.

Powdered shadows of a
Cairo Police Chief & topless Mayor of Tel Aviv
swoon over the Crimea.
They tempt me to sleep-over in Sevastopol,
impose sanctions on Lukoil,
drink wormwod wine ’til compromised.
Ukraine, Ukraine, everything goes as it should;
a bright elk mates with a two-headed eagle,
offsprings somehow remember Kerry’s words,
March 2014, “Russia violated Ukraine!”
Does the Secretary want to swiftboat Sergei Lavrov?
Alex Jones says, “there’s war on for your mind,”
my mind reeks from borderland oil and wine.

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pa. He can be reached at: . Read other articles by Charles.