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Poems by Daryna Gladun

The Ukrainian poet Daryna Gladun lived in Bucha until the beginning of March. When she realized that the Russian troops were not only bombing the airport but were also aiming to take over the city, she packed her backpack and left by whatever route was possible. Now she is in Berlin. She is one of nearly five million Ukrainians who have left their home country. Her poems were written during the occupation of Bucha.

Daryna Gladun is poet, performance artist and translator, born 1993.

Credits Poems: Daryna Gladun Translated by Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya Photo: Valentin Kuzan April 22 2022

Women and children took the most valuable from their homes
salt in their own eyes
blood in their own bodies
words in their heads
and shared meagre crumbs of their own pain with their close ones




receiving crumbs meagre of pain in return
from their close ones



To Irina Shuvalova and Yury Andrukhovich

We became older not by a year but by the whole war
there is no number to describe what we have gone through
||||||||||||||||| now we are older than our bodies ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||| grandmas and grandpas older than we by the whole war repeated constantly
how happy we were to be born in peacetime
but we did not believe their words and their years
did not believe in their old age their grey hair
did not believe in war



Without [home]

Russian soldier puts his gun on a white chair from ikea
takes off his cap takes off his balaclava takes off his jacket vest shoes military belt trousers socks fleece thermal underwear cotton shirt and boxer briefs

Russian soldier enters my bathroom comes under my tropical shower squeezes shower gel on my washcloth and washes himself for a long time – he puts my therapeutic shampoo on his hair

/hair of Russian soldier will be long and without split ends/

makes a hair mask – a face mask – applies scrub on his body – rubs it for a long time washes away everything for a long time Russian soldier uses my dark grey towels from jysk applies heat-protective spray on wet hair and dries it with my hair dryer - looks at his reflection in black tiles

puts my menstrual cup into his vagina
Russian soldier stands on my scales

he weighs as much as an average Russian soldier should weigh without his clothes

puts on my underwear my tights my bodysuit warm socks with fox muzzles with little corgi with pineapples with deer my black dress in small white polka dots my jacket my new ivory coat of scotch wool my scarf my hat my gloves puts on my shoes

applies my lip balm to his lips/now Russian soldier’s lips are protected/

goes to the street for a walk around the city
in the city he meets similar Russian soldiers
Russian soldiers walk in pairs in my city and become friends with each other’s families


they live out the lives
so hastily cut from us


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