Saturday, February 1, 2014

Headline Poem 2/1/14 -- A Sochi Parade

(Photo credit Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Today's poem is about the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. I lived in Orange County when the Summer Olympics came to Los Angeles in 1984. I remember seeing many improvements in preparation for the various events. Then I remember after the Olympics were gone thinking about how strange it was that we were put on parade for the whole world to see. They did not see what was here before or after, but only this small pristine, graffiti-free moment in time. I look at pictures of Sochi, Russia and wonder what they must be thinking as the hustle and bustle of preparations continue, all leading up to the moment when all things Russia will shine. "A crumbling Sochi hides behind Olympic facades" and "Sochi's indigenous people" and "6 of 9 Media Hotels are ready" are a few of the headlines that contributed to today's headline poem. The picture above is an Asirkhan villager named Ashkirkgan Chachukh. She is 82, and her great-grand daughter Saira is 4. This picture was taken in their living room in the village of Tkhagapsh in the Lazerevskoye district of Sochi October 26, 2013. "The Olympic Games are far away, they don't concern me. The only thing I wish is that they pass peacefully. God forbid, only no war! Then everything is good" Chachukh said. Tkhagapsh is one of the few remaining settlements in the Sochi region, that mainly consists of ethnic Circassians, Sochi's indigenous people.

A Sochi Parade

At a snail's pace
life happens as it should
when the machines come,
the shells are crushed,
unable to move
beaten and passed by
the road is longer,
and the slime lights the way
for the out of town guests