Sunday Book Review – From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the War in Ukraine by Frank Prem #freeverse #poetry

My Sunday Book Review is for Frank Prem’s moving new release, freeverse poetry with his interpretation of the war in Ukraine – From Volyn to Kherson. This is a most moving collection of tellings from the vision of Prem based on some of the many articles written about the heinous war in Ukraine.


From Volyn To Kherson, tells the stories of hardship and suffering and bewilderment experienced by the people of Ukraine in the early weeks of the 2022 Russian invasion and war.

The collection draws on news reports and social media postings during the most un-curated war the world has ever witnessed, interpreting and translating the raw emotion of this wartime experience.

There is no part of Ukraine that has been left untouched by this war, and no part of the poet left untouched by these stories of the Ukraine.

This book will be part of a series.


My 5 Star Review:

This book is a deeply emotional read as told through the vision of author Frank Prem in his style for which he’s known – freeverse poetry in his deep observational writing. In these stories, the author has taken from what he’s seen on the news, and from headlines and stories across the globe reported by brave journalists, and evokes his own heart and compassion in his tellings and interpretations, leaving us, the readers, to absorb the enormity of the effects on human life and the human condition.

Prem introduces his stories with a question at the beginning – ‘Which of us will be Ukraine, tomorrow?’

“People used to think about new car or IPhone, but nobody was thinking about peace. Now, we are dreaming of it. When old people used to wish each other peace, we didn’t understand what they meant. Now we do.”

Every one of Prem’s poems pierced through my heart. I will share here just two of many heartwrenching tellings:


In okhtyrka (the tsentral’ne)

they are preparing

the cemetery now

in okhtyrka


and his platoon

are gone

vacuum bombed

air taken


of them

and then

they died


in okhtyrka

they are digging


on grave

I think

the cemetery


the tsvyntar

it doesn’t matter


there won’t be any funerals held

for awhile

and both of them

will be overrun


too long


nobody asked us (in russia)

helping them

is treason



is nothing


will be different now


is the changing

of our world


into darkness

do you know . . .


asked us


is the true


knowing that none

of us

really matter

and to speak


or horror

or sorrow-

for ukraine . . .


is a crime


Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – Synonyms Only

It’s been awhile since I jumped into one of Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Poetry Challenges. This week Colleen invites writers to choose a form of syllabic poetry and use synonyms only for the words BOLD and HINT. I’ve written a Tanka.




This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for the syllables only challenge. That means you can’t use those two words. You must find synonyms to replace them. Fun, right?


Here are your two words:

Hint & Bold


Visit Colleen’s Original Post for rules and feel free to join in!



History book
Image by daseinuxd from Pixabay


The Oracle


History reveals,

Heroic efforts by some,

Law and order broke.

Protecting ersatz leaders,

Actions tantamount to crime.



bitmo live laugh love


Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – #Themeprompt – The Day After

I jumped into Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge with a Reversed Mirror Double Etheree. This week’s challenge is a #Themeprompt – The Day After.


money and mask



The Day After


The beginning of the new world order.

Breathe in the glorious gift of life.

We remain distanced, gloved and masked.

Behold, our new world awaits.

Taking in the outdoors,

People emerging,

Unshackled gates.


The day




New gifts


Our creator

 Replenished the world.

Rivers and streams run clear,

Black sooty air has vanished.

Take a glimpse and taste of the world.

Savor it and drink it in, listen.

Take heed, yesterday is gone – welcome home.




Want to try out some poetry? Check out Colleen’s weekly challenge.

Visit Colleen’s Original Post.





Reflections – The Domino Effect


The Domino Effect


I’ve preached to many on occasion over the last decade as I observe the world around me –  God is angry at what man has done to his world. He did it before with Noah’s Ark, and he can do it again and Mother Nature is not one to be fooled with – everyone has their breaking point.

This now, what we are experiencing – the higher powers that be slowing down civilization a beat, forcing us to take a look, both, inside and out.


The world is in over-drive,

We’ve lost control of the gears.

Now our earth requires a pause

Mother Nature pumps the breaks

Inhaling deep breaths,

She clears her lungs and dulls the noise.


The everyday pace of life taxed to the max.

Doctors squeezing in more patients,

Causing longer wait times,

Life in hurry up mode,

Human empathy evaporates in the trickle- down effect,

Life in the fast lanes had people forgetting to look up from their phones.


Human connections severely impaired,

Digital takeover of human jobs,

Companies contracting out work,

Avoiding add to payroll for decent benefits,

Forgetting our fellow man.


Greed, greed, greed everywhere you go,

A price gouge here, no mercy over there,

A fee for this a fee for that,

Money, money, money, profits matter most,

We’ve seen the face of money in all its green glory.


The universe is calling,

Instructing us to open ears and eyes,

Reminding we are we collective not me,

Urging us to take this pause in reflection,

Breathe in the glorious air that sustains us.


Pull up the sunken compassion from our hearts,

Notice the beauty in all the world’s stillness,

Back to basics.

Reminder of smiles, kindness and gratitude,

Imperative to indulge in this pause and reflect.





Colleen Chesebro’s #Poetry Challenge – Free Write

This week’s Poetry Challenge at Colleen Chesebro’s blog is a free-write no synonyms required. I’ve written a Haibun Nonet. You can find the varied styles of poetry for this challenge below in description.


Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 152, #Poet’sChoice



It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets choose your own words.



This challenge is for Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:






CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia







Mark your ballots



Voting across the world seems to have become a dangerous divide. With social trolling, smear campaigns, and some ruthless politicians, it can be difficult to make an informed decision. In this new attack mode on global elections, it’s important that we as voters, must do our homework before casting our votes instead of taking everything we hear from those who shout loudest. We’re encouraged to vote for our favorites, sometimes following the masses, when we should be looking for the best policies and and agendas before deciding on a candidate. In a world where capitalistic greed dominates for personal gain, I suggest we’re better off taking a look at what we don’t want from a candidate to avoid becoming blind to those who offer sugar coated promises.


It’s often said, may the best man win.

Everyone carries a blemish.

Diligence imperative.

Take pause, weed out the rot.

Before committing


The dangers.

Cast vote.



Visit Colleen’s post to join the Poetry Challenge


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