On the Edge: ‘Ukraine’
‘Ukraine’, the country’s name itself, means ‘on the edge’ or ‘outskirts’, ‘borderlands’. ‘The term ‘Ukraina’ or ‘Kresy’ was used to define the Polish eastern frontier of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.’ Their current problems arrive from the eastern edge
At the moment, the Ukrainians are fighting for their existence on the edge.
On the Edge – Poem dedicated to Ukraine
War torn, bemused families, living on the edge,
bombs arriving, indiscriminate, without any pledge
to spare the children, innocent, out on the edge.
Each day fear renewed, sleeping on the edge,
waking to a new attack, bogged down in the sedge,
knowing the call of the dark abyss threatening from the edge.
A fighting force with hope supreme, alert on the edge,
focusing on one true aim, defending land and bridge.
Buildings fall but they stand tall, avenging from the edge.
Opposing thoughts of any surrender, even though nerves on edge,
hearts so true, pushing to conquer invasion’s attempt to fledge,
knowing right is by their side, defending at the edge.
Hope will reign, courage will win, even on the edge,
until one final, central push on winter’s battle ridge
brings down the foe who crumble to nought, retreating over the edge,
falling, falling, never to return; no more threats from the edge.
The second largest European country after Russia, Ukraine has had a chequered history leading to its present day troubles. Not only is Ukraine on the edge of Poland but also on the edge of Russia and borders Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova; it has a coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
It is a founding member of the UN, as well as a member of the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organisation and the OSCE. It is in the process of joining the EU and has submitted an application for joining NATO.
It attained independence from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991 but now President Putin seeks to reclaim it, following his invasion in early 2022.
Being ‘on the edge’ can mean you’re vulnerable, pushed to the limits. ‘On edge’ can mean nervous, bothered about a situation, not always knowing what to do. The Ukrainians certainly seem to know what they want to do; reclaim their independence, their freedom, and fight for the return of their land which offers them huge resources in grain exports. Doing so isn’t that easy. A fiercely independent and proud people, the Ukrainians are showing that, no matter what, they are not giving up on their country, wishing to maintain their membership of various world organisations. Its request for membership of NATO seemed to act as a catalyst to Putin’s invasion.
I have followed Putin’s actions and words closely through the media and have been moved several times to write about the courage of the Ukrainians and what I consider to be the ruthlessness and cold cruelty of Putin whose Gods appear to be money, power, and land.
President Zelensky is the only world leader whom I regard with total respect and admiration. He is of and with his people, he is courageous; he rallies, encourages and spurs his armies. It is that willingness to walk among them, to fight for them on the world stage, that creates the extraordinary collectiveness of the Ukrainians, a loyal, unified persona that has the ability to conquer those who seek to take away all they stand for.
For more works by this author see Ann Carr on The Creative Exiles.
You can also read more works by Ann Carr on Hubpages.
- On the Edge: ‘Ukraine’: Poem, Meaning and the Fight - January 19, 2023
- Snowing up a Scene:Form, Impact and Wonder - January 18, 2023
- The Wind out of Your Sails - January 5, 2023