WAKA is 'the music of the Primes'.

Dark storm clouds.

Threatened to.

Upend a couple’s.

Beach wedding.

 

But as the couple walked down.

The long white staircase.

To greet their guests.

The empty chairs signalled.

 

 

Overlooking the Black Sea.

In the southern city of Odesa.

She quietly murmured that.

She understood why.

 

Her friends and family.

Did not want to fight.

Her father was killed.

On the front line in October.

 

 

There was a bigger problem.

In total.

Half of their guests.

Were missing.

 

Their family and friends sent.

Their apologies but explained.

That the risk of attending.

Had been too great.

 

What if they had been caught.

By one of the conscription squads.

Which now roam.

Ukraine’s streets?

 

With many of its soldiers.

Dead, injured or exhausted.

The ‘elves’ government has stepped up.

Its efforts to mobilise more men.

 

A new law.

Introduced in May.

Requires every man aged.

Between 25 and 60.

 

To log their details.

On an electronic database.

So they can be.

Called up.

 

Conscription officers.

Are on the hunt.

For those avoiding.

The register.

 

Pushing more men.

Who do not.

Want to serve.

Into hiding.

 

 

Overlooking the Black Sea.

In the southern city of Odesa.

She quietly murmured that.

She understood why.

 

Her friends and family.

Did not want to fight.

Her father was killed.

On the front line in October.

 

 

Her father was killed.

On the front line in October.

During the attritional battle.

For Avdiivka.

 

And the 24-year-old.

Is now terrified of.

Her new husband.

Being conscripted.

 

“I don’t want this to happen.

To my family twice.”

“I don’t want this to happen.

To my family twice.”

 

More than two years.

Into the war.

Almost everyone knows.

Someone who has been killed.

 

Grim news has poured.

Out from the front.

Of Ukraine being vastly.

Outnumbered and outgunned.

 

 

Overlooking the Black Sea.

In the southern city of Odesa.

She quietly murmured that.

She understood why.

 

Her friends and family.

Did not want to fight.

Her father was killed.

On the front line in October.

 

 

Over the phone.

The couple’s friend.

Of 15 years.

Relayed such tales.

 

Among the dead are.

Around a dozen of.

His friends and.

Acquaintances.

 

“There are more than a million.

Police officers in Ukraine.

Why should I fight.

When they are not?”

 

He has a young daughter and.

Wife who is seven months pregnant.

He said he was sorry.

To miss the wedding.

 

But was afraid of.

Being “grabbed” by.

Conscription officers who.

He likened to “bandits”.

 

 

Overlooking the Black Sea.

In the southern city of Odesa.

She quietly murmured that.

She understood why.

 

Her friends and family.

Did not want to fight.

Her father was killed.

On the front line in October.

 

 

The mobilisation squads.

Have a fearsome reputation.

Especially in Odesa.

For pulling people.

 

Off buses and.

From train stations.

And ferrying them straight.

To enlistment centres.

 

For those avoiding the draft.

Public transport is now off limits.

So too are restaurants.

Supermarkets.

 

And weekend trips.

To the park to play football.

“I feel like I am.

In a prison,” he said.

 

 

Overlooking the Black Sea.

In the southern city of Odesa.

She quietly murmured that.

She understood why.

 

Her friends and family.

Did not want to fight.

Her father was killed.

On the front line in October.

 

 

Dark storm clouds.

Threatened to.

Upend a couple’s.

Beach wedding.

 

But as the couple walked down.

The long white staircase.

To greet their guests.

The empty chairs signalled.

 

 

*Because I read “Conscription squads send Ukrainian men into hiding” by Jean Mackenzie on 17 Jun 2024, 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 Serhiy and Tania, and a story of Maksym.
Please read the original story on the BBC news:

Ukraine war: Conscription squads send Ukrainian men into hiding (bbc.com)