Vladimir Putin
by Rus Ciel Badeew
“In Russia all tyrants believe poets to be their worst enemies.”
—Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1932-2017)

Vladimir Putin, born October, 1952,
in Leningrad, Saint Petersburg, at eight went off to school.
At twelve he practiced judo to subdue his enemies,
like leading thespians found in the Russian cinema.
He read Law at Saint Petersburg State University,
and joined the Party Communists, which was compulsory.
From twenty-three, he worked in sectors of the KGB,
and while, in Dresden, utilized his German skillfully.
And when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in ’89,
he burnt the files; two years hence, deciding to resign;
Lieutenant Colonel, when the coup of Gorbachev occurred,
appointed to the Mayor’s office of Saint Petersburg.
When it was found he was in shady, business dealings mired,
Marina Salye recommended that he should be fired;
but he was called to Moscow under Boris Yeltson’s care,
and then became the President when Yeltson left the Square.
He got big-klepto magnates to align politic’lly,
and kept the Chechens in the Russian con-fe-der-a-cy.
When friend Dmitry Medvedev became the President,
Vladimir Putin was appointed the Prime Ministent,
inaugurating what became a tandemocracy,
without the slightest trace of tangible hypocrisy.
When presidential term extentions grew without dissent,
Vladimir Putin sought a third term as the President.
Continually chosen by great Russia’s residents,
he’s also highly ranked by US media out-lets.
There are scads of accomplishments, the Diamond Arm can boast,
Crimea, Georgia, and the Palace on the Black Sea coast,
fine watches, Sochi, Syria, Ukraine, Ivanovich,
Bear Master of the Forest, richer than the richest rich.
Like Midas, everything he touches turns to gold chagrin.
He got out what he put in. Man, you should still see him spin.
Just ask his critics: Litvinenko, Lesin, Klebnikov,
Politkovskaya, Baburova, Yushenkov, Nemtsov,
Estimirova, Berezovsky, Markelov—and more.
There’s no disputin’ Putin is a steely Commitsar.

Rus Ciel Badeew is a poet fascinated by the “endless Russian skies.” He has been influenced by writers, such as Fyodor Tyuchev, who strove for a rich vocabulary in a rhythmic, rhyming metric.


Detroit, Michigan
by Usa W. Celebride
for Karl Wenclas
“Detroit is…an echo of what it used to be.”
—Mary Wilson of the Supremes

When I was young I used to think Detroit shined bright as stars.
I rooted for the Tigers, and I longed to buy its cars.
It had been arsenal for our US democracy.
It was a great metropolis of highest quality.
I reveled in its music and I marveled at its mass
of population, buildings; it was totally first-class.

But then I heard of transit troubles, lagging auto sales,
the rising crime, corruption, and the service sector fails.
And now I hear of joblessness, abandoned neighbourhoods,
reduced tax base, and lack of manufacturing new goods.
The Renaissance, a centre, which looks nice from far away,
might help depressing properties, but that I cannot say.

Now older I just wish Detroit could leave behind those fens,
retrieve its moral grip, and be flush with good citizens.
I think it could do better if its people tried their best
and pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps to meet this test.
Although I must admit that my belief’s not infinite,
I can’t think it can’t happen, since I had such faith in it.

Usa W. Celebride is a poet of America. In his youth he was enthralled by the Motown sounds of Holland-Dozier-Holland, catchy, elemental melodies and rhymes, particularly the Supremes and the Four Tops.


A Place to Park
by I. E. Sbace Weruld
“Those soft shapes, shadowy inside the hard bodies—are they their brains or their guts?”
—May Swenson, “Southbound on the Freeway”

We were proceeding through the dense star-studded galaxies,
the oval spirals swirling round in grand palatial seas.
We knew that something wasn’t right. We sensed it in the sounds
of eeriness and quiet terror making mental rounds.
And yet, we still continued on through vast arrays of dark.
Our spaceship couldn’t pause to rest. There was no place to park.
We knew we had to press on, oh, there was no other way.
We wondered if we ever would again be greeting day.
We passed so many varied shapes, bizarre, contorted finds.
Intense anxiety filled up our bodies and our minds.
And then we saw a moon progressing round a planet’s orb,
appearing like a giant ball, perhaps an air-borne globe.
We saw the clouds, like streams of steam, there floating near the sphere;
and then we thought, that if we stopped, perhaps we could live…here.

I. E. Sbace Weruld is a poet of this multi-dimensional Universe.