Echoes (poem)

The Earth is shaken,
Images of horror,
The senseless carnage
Dominate the screen,
Mankind is one —
One heart,
One soul,
One pain
That time will never dull…
But time is singing
Its ancient lullaby
And we forget.

How eagerly selective,
How blissfully short-lived
Our memory is.
Succumbing to the steady hum of years
We let the past lie dormant
Till pure evil
Attacks once more
And its distorted features
Surprise us
With a sense of recognition.
The old bell tolls again,
And we recall.

 

© 2012 Sasha A. Palmer

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Never Forget

Russians_bury_their_fallen._Kollaanjoki_15.-16.7._1944._Kollaanjoki_15_to_16.7._1944.

Great Patriotic War: June 22, 1941 — May 9, 1945.

26.6 million lives lost.*

Fallen

Lay them down in the fields of sweet barley and rye,
Let them pause just a bit till they’re ready to fly,

Do not bend over them, do not morn, do not weep,
Don’t disturb their short rest, let them sleep, let them sleep.

They will gather their strength, and together they’ll rise,
All like one they’ll take flight to the still paradise,

Where the children await, where the wives of their own
They’ll embrace at the gate, where the fields lie unmown.

 

© 2012 Sasha A. Palmer

*Some Russian politicians and journalists put the total number of losses in the war, both civilian and military, at over 40 million.

Image credit: Soviet soldiers burying their fallen. Public domain.

 

“The Cranes Are Flying”

Great Patriotic War

June 22, 1941 — May 9, 1945

The Cranes are Flying (The Criterion Collection)

The Cranes Are Flying (Летят Журавли)
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
Written by Viktor Rozov (play and screenplay)
Starring Tatyana Samojlova and Aleksey Batalov
Music by Moisey Vaynberg
Outstanding cinematography by Sergey Urusevsky
Studio Mosfilm
USSR
1957

Remember

FALLEN

Lay them down in the fields of sweet barley and rye,

Let them pause just a bit till they’re ready to fly,

Don’t bend over them, don’t morn, don’t weep,

Don’t disturb their rest, let them sleep, let them sleep.

They will gather their strength, and together they’ll rise,

All like one they’ll take flight to the still paradise,

Where the children await, where the wives of their own

They’ll embrace at the gate, where the fields lie unmown.

 

Sasha A. Palmer