This Sign of The Times

This piece was written by spechaar contributor, Luke Yazbek.

I walk. You walk. We walk. Where to? Nowhere. For how long? Eternity. I walk – no, I trudge through the obliterated shreds of humanity, these rags splattering the soil in their splendour. Splatter: the lifeless clumps clinging carefully to my boots – soil, faeces, our daughter’s hands, reaching out? Splattered is the cold cunning charge against our people, echoing in the sky. You walk – no, you drag yourself through the flood of the remains, the remains of this sparsity. We walk – no, we stagnate. Stagnant – we dare not move. These festering, animal cadavers shot down in sport, they – they, moved too late. They – they? Maybe, rather, it – it squishes beneath our weighted gear, the cumbersome trappings – we are trapped – endowed with the backbreaking weight of the world.

Where do we trudge, drag, stagnate? Here. For how long? Now. So we perceive, in the shattered mirror of humanity, that which we dare not look upon but study for resemblance of Earth. Are we even of this unworldly world, this place of shining, fading stars? We cry. When we look upon each other, we see faces. Uncountable countenances. Seemingly human features. It pours, the rain shelling – shelling!

“Do we move?!” we cry outward. We cry within, too. We howl from the depths of our untouchable, unutterable inwardness. Yes, we were inward, thought ourselves untouchable… and with the ephemeral gasp of the sunlight that we are gifted, a bird soars, our Ukraine, it flies, it… it is but a speck. A small, insignificant blunder on a map that the world hides from. Who are we hiding from? Shut it! You know. You perceive, you consecrate without other’s blessing your sanity to yourself. As we are ravaged by shells, we ravage ourselves – we are shells, we are empty. Searching for a future liberated from Russia. Searching in the infinitude of exiguousness for a mind so untamed that it explodes into those, reflecting splendours, splattering these rags, so precisely knitted by our matys, with fluid so vivacious, so red, so lush that it flows and nourishes the collapsing soil beneath.

That construct, the connivingly-ethereal time that is the only thing in abundance – there is no abundance I can begin to approach in Ukraine – is the only thing that has not yet deserted our people. We feel no need to search for it. There are other things, though, some vestiges of a life perhaps encountered in passing, that we search for. Could they assuredly be here? Here, in the slender gaps in our emaciated cities our emaciated carcasses fit into, where we hide from Russia, from our minds, from the truth? Our truth – that blundering speck on the map of humanity’s conscience – that penetrating blade the world hides from. Do we move? We are penetrated, eagerly gushing with blood as the blade pierced us. Pierces us. Unendingly it carves a rent into our existence, spearing us from what we were then – and whatever what we are now. We do not know. But…

… we know some things. As we listlessly listen to our silences, our choking, gagging, throat-tearing silences – we know can no longer cry. This grand finale in our final show – we, the satisfied witnesses of this spectacle; we who condoned the apocryphal performances of politicians, we… we who now loyally renumerate for our tickets. Tickets to destinations without names, of people without faces living lives without direction. We transcend fabrics of reality, the all-encompassing and inescapable sphere of this brutish, advocated avocation of Putin without names, without faces and without direction; these indiscernible distances in the incomplete extent of our purpose seeming ever titanic. Unyielding. Unto whom are we being yielded? To whom do we beg for deliverance from this hell we are living?

As we perceive the nothingness of our everything, our mark fades into the trenches of corpses lining this sign of the times.