Words are inadequate to express what we feel about Ukraine. The very word Ukraine is no longer a place name. It comes heavy with imagery, haunting images, crying out for a response. The eyes of children fleeing their homes, blackened towers, charred remains of cars. Beauty replaced by ashes.
“Flowers for Ukraine” is my response, a song that started as a poem. This may not seem a time for singing. There is, and is still to come, mourning and grief, a vale of tears yet to be shed. But this is a marching song. Its rhythm and beat speak of a whole nation marching, dancing, in concert, in unity. Towards a brighter future.
The image of steel, cold and hard, material for the tools of war is transformed into shimmering, soft, sensual silk. Weeds, the companion of death and destruction, turn into flowers, things of beauty. The towers, haunting us, family homes burnt to empty shells, walls torn out by violence, will be washed in all the tears.
Everywhere in the darkness, the destruction, there is hope. Love will blossom, new born babes will cry their own songs, the sky will burst into flames of sunflowers. Angels will replace birds of war.
The journey ahead will be hard. The boots, symbolising invading troops, must return home. The red of the Russian flag, tainted with the rivers of blood shed, must go. But one day brothers and sisters of Ukraine and Russia will once again hold hands across the plains.
“Flowers for Ukraine”
And steel shall be as silk, weeds turn into flowers,
And tears fall like dewdrops, washing the towers.
And a brave father will hug his sons and his daughters tight again,
And wearied mothers, curl up freed from their pain.
And fires in empty streets shall be fires in young hearts,
And smiles and laughter replace fear in their eyes,
And cries of new-born babes, bringing joy to shattered wards,
And drowning out the sound, of boots marching homewards.
And screaming, birds of war, into angel hair transform,
And sunflower rockets shall light up the dawn.
And lovers will kiss, their rings exchange, love conquers all, all that’s insane.
And peace will triumph, war will cease its rage.
And brothers and sisters shall join hands across the plains,
And songs and singing fill the dark forest glades,
And the blue and the yellow shall befriend the white and blue,
And red banished, rivers of blood were shed for you.
© Stephen F Copp, 2022
If you would like to hear the song performed, keep an eye on my social media for events I’ll be at. A very rough version recorded on my mobile phone can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/100002451660913/videos/481647560113672/