Ash, Charcoal, Smoke, and Ruin




Swirls of flame on oily rag

drip flame upon hot green

tracts melt through screams now burning

charred and greasy death.


Small patch of soil in concrete

where lie dead and dying plants

except one Pepper Plant tries

to share Red Pepper.


Faces are stony granite

all this is not forgiven

we have become another

who kills at first light.


Don’t kill the flies around you

don’t bomb the buildings and farms

stop shooting random people

write poems instead.


Dead visions idle daily

float over curled tongue of fire

land forcefully put to sleep

country less more North.


Down blackened street hear some geese

A duck or two a lone child

far of cries for parents lost

thin men walk a plank.



Ancestors have left country

to find safety with others

they have left us with nothing

all mountain desert.


A four year old starts long march

following a lost mother

away from her to Poland

predator has killed.


Carry burdens on their backs

dust from building falling down

many hard heavy layers

spoon set by the bowl.


Everyone tries to save land

from devastation and death

yet through the ash and charcoal

old woman gives up.


Gods of war with sharpened beards

from skeletons into stars

firing of piston in tank

loss of limb and faith.


The glisten of spreading oil

on stagnant puddle on road

spreads until oily blackness

covers all water.



Brittle stalk of sunflower

hollow and dried by the day

no longer land to call home

lifted by the wind.


Sun always sets behind us

lift a homemade axe to wood

descend hillside in evening

rubble of a town.


Armies of Russia stand still

in formation on brown field

point their weapons towards empty

war torn apartments.


You have killed wearing tight boots

flat heat from a burning tank

smoldering where nursery

once raised this town’s young.


To us there is no other

world outside this smoke and ruin

fire at this ladder’s foot

people disappear.


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Jamie Lee Hamann
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Jamie Lee Hamann

My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished seven collections of poetry and plans for more. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

5 thoughts on “Ash, Charcoal, Smoke, and Ruin

  • April 4, 2022 at 12:06 PM

    Such sorrow and devastation have been caused by atrocities committed by the Russian troops. We cry and ask why this is happening, and still, it goes on and on. You have a great piece here, Jamie. It is so emotive, so very sad.

  • April 5, 2022 at 2:10 PM

    A very thought-provoking piece Jamie. Atrocities committed by the Russian troops that is now coming to light will hopefully eventually bring down Putin and his cronies. It is obvious that the Russians bit off more than they could chew in this engagement.

    • April 6, 2022 at 7:16 AM

      A heartbreaking and thought-provoking piece. I’m saddened to see what’s going on in Ukraine and how Russians are destroying everything there and causing problems all over the world. I believe that war can never bring Peace. I believe, Love can bring people together, but war can only bring destruction.

      Thank you for sharing, Jamie.
      Stay Healthy and happy.
      Blessings to you!!

  • May 9, 2022 at 12:41 PM

    Such a terrible thing that Putin is carrying out under the guise of defence.
    Today’s show of strength was obscene and still most Russians believe him.
    I wish we would defy him straight out, defend Ukraine as it deserves.
    You’ve covered the dangers, devastation and incomprehension of those poor people so well here. There but for the grace of God….


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