3 poems for Ukraine. by Carol Hamilton

Carol Hamilton


I believe Dostoyevsky never had 
a grandmother to tell him fabulous tales
of the past as did Fuentes, Allende, 
those of rich heritage. What flashed
through his mind awaiting
the firing squad's fake bullets? 
during his father's beatings?
He lived the past he wrote us,
as did Tolstoy. And what will
our grandchildren tell of our times?
Children!  May I …
	Please  …
       text you a story? 

The Artists' Skies

Did Picasso care? I think not,
nor front and center for Renoir.
But this morning I look at
the agitated heavens by Van Gogh
in his later days, swirly, squiggly
clouds and nailclip of moon,
wild motion echoed on earth, think of 
the Winslow Homer Sea stormscape
still on my walls, though in a back room,
the one we ordered when grad school newlyweds
with 25 cents and a Gleem toothpaste box top,
or the Georgia O'Keeffe in the living room
of a stark blue, cut with a sliver of raven wings,
painted on the day that Stieglitz died.

Here on the prairie, we own wide expanses
of this that is rationed and dear
to city life, brag of our brilliant, 
dust-filled sunsets, so few things
ours to own. Two friends, one 
of Armenian heritage, the other Polish,
have mailed me sketches, preliminary 
squares of watercolor or oils over the years,
John's from a Cleveland garage apartment
filled with works stacked and hung
everywhere, and Jurek's Scotland skies
near or over the North Sea, skies
so full of many things. On my desk,
(a TV tray, really… do they still make
such things?) I found a stray scrap
John sent when still alive, 
and I knew his heart that day.

Do even we, no brushes or paint pots
at hand, fill space, the sky that holds
our small worlds together, pinions us
in place with what has filled our hearts,
tell the world of our wonders?
I say to myself that I must try.

"I answered you in the secret place of thunder"
				Psalms 81:7

I have best known thunder heard from my tent 
or coming from an open window of childhood,
chasing its own voice off, off,
smaller and smaller to some distant
place of its disappearing, perhaps in a thicket 
of full-leafed summer bushes,
they deaf to its shaken but dying airs…
or in through a girl's raised window,
she alive with the full longings of youth.
But are any of us waiting and listening now?
Oh, there are always the deep night dreams
of youths' delusions and there is always
a world full of those praying for an answer
to come from those long hours
of our silent watches through the night. 

Return to Journal

Carol Hamilton has retired from teaching 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana and Oklahoma, from storytelling and volunteer medical translating. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published 19 books and chapbooks: children’s novels, legends and poetry. She has been nominated ten times for a Pushcart Prize. She has won a Southwest Book Award, Oklahoma Book Award, David Ray Poetry Prize, Byline Magazine literary awards in both short story and poetry, Warren Keith Poetry Award, Pegasus Award and a Chiron Review Chapbook Award.


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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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