Life & Arts Fiction

POEM: War games

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2022 (image by Presidential Executive of Russia via Wikimedia Commons)

This short story is an *IA Writing Competition (fiction category) entry.


will sanctions do the trick

or are the rumours true, d’you think?

is Putin possibly now too sick

with a mind that clearly seems displaced

and a moral compass quite disgraced


there he sits in isolation

and claims to run the Russian nation

from an empty palace room

with meetings that are held on Zoom

he plays roulette with youthful lives

(who cares if they have kids or wives)


Vlad's crazy endgame is to win

never mind that it's a sin

that lives are lost

that there will be a heavy cost

that day by day the stakes are raised

yet he’s impassive, quite unfazed


but beyond his bunker and Russia’s border

there’s outrage at such senseless slaughter

as well as widespread admiration

for the Ukrainian people’s determination

to stay the course, and fight for freedom

to keep their optimism and remain unbowed

even though their future probably lies

beneath a blue and yellow shroud

Anne Layton-Bennett is a writer based in Tasmania.

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