A poet was detained.

And interrogated.

By ‘orcs’ forces in late March.

Then released.


The next day.

Witnesses saw two soldiers.

Leading him away again.

They say he shouted.


“Glory to Ukraine!”

Then he was bundled.

Into a car.

With a Z on it.


When his skeleton was recovered.

From the pine forest.

Two bullets were found.

In his grave.


“You jackals! How could you?”

His mother demanded of his killers.

At his funeral, bending over the coffin.

Draped in the blue and yellow ‘elves’ flag.


“God teaches us to forgive, but.

I will never forgive the murderers.”

Hugging a framed photograph of her only son.

Tightly to her chest.


“I will live in the hope and belief.

That the investigation finds.

Who’s responsible and that the killers will be punished.

I will live for that dream.”


Her son’s friends have found a diary.

He kept at the beginning of the war.

And buried beneath a tree.

Before his arrest.


It talks of his fears.

As a prominent ‘elves’ patriot.

In a small village.

Occupied by ‘orcs’.


“It is extremely dangerous for me.

To be encircled by the enemy,” he wrote.

The last entry, scrawled on chequered notepaper.

Describes seeing a flock of cranes overhead:


“Through their chirps.

I seemed to hear.

‘Everything will be Ukraine!’.

I believe in victory!”



In total, 451 bodies.

Were found in Izyum.

Including seven children.

Beneath long rows of simple wooden crosses.


Buried in the pine forest.

In haste and under fire.

Most had no coffin.

Nor even a body bag.


Many also had no name:

The wooden crosses.

On their graves were marked.

Only with numbers.


But the body that was buried.

As number 319 has now been identified.

DNA tests established it as him.

A children’s writer and poet.


Nine months after he died.

His family were finally.

Able to give him.

A funeral.



“Through their chirps.

I seemed to hear.

‘Everything will be Ukraine!’.

I believe in victory!”



*Because I read “Ukraine war: How pathologists identify victims of Russia’s invasion” by Sarah Rainsford on 19 Dec 2022, and also “Why are Ukrainians calling Russians ‘orcs’?” by James FitzGerald on 30 Apr 2022, on the BBC news.
So, I wrote this poem as a story of Volodymyr and his mother Olena.
Please read the original story on the BBC news:

Ukraine war: How pathologists identify victims of Russia’s invasion – BBC News



**My friend shows you this poem also on the Ukrainian website for their children and others!

Kurama (Japan). «A poet as no. 319» — a poem about Ukrainian children’s poet Volodymyr Vakulenko (2022 russian invasion of Ukraine) – Мала Сторінка (storinka.org)

Kurama (Japan). «Poets in a pine forest» — poems about 2022 russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 – Мала Сторінка (storinka.org)

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