"In the Morning. A View from the East" and "If not for those children"

In the Morning. A view from the East

The east is pregnant with the invisible sun:
Almost not there, almost not needed.
Skies are melting like vanilla ice cream on the floor.

The city is camouflaged in green,
Thanks to the spring. In the Botanic Garden
There’s magnolia, against the odds.

Don’t miss it. Turn right upon entering the gate.
Magnolia is moody.
Its beauty is transient.
Go, don’t wait.

I come (exquisite sepals untwirl their spirals
And trepidate under the breeze of my gaze)
And see time and again
Imperceptible movement,
Advancement of the waking spring,
Of dreamlike quality.

Magnolia monopolizes air –
So what? We all need some rest.
City folks worship the tree.
Later in the year, the summer
Also won’t heal.
I shriek from pain…
All in vain. Enjoy the blooming magnolia.

Kiev, 2018



if not for those children

The Russians do they want war?
Ask the silence that hovers
On our plowed fields and our plains
             Y. Yevtushenko (1961)

While kids are playing under the table
Dressing wounds…
             B. Lucheva (2012)


nations are against war
against war
so clear
if not for those children
playing war games
tearing off tentacles and petals
rehearsing explosions
memorizing marches
playing war tunes with one finger
applying splints of silence
on freshly broken bones
breaking their dolls’ lives
when will those dangerous games end
shame on you tykes
the world condemns you all
little monsters
say no to children’s bedrooms
fear seeps out of them
horror is sparkling like
colored glass inside the kaleidoscope
all because of children
adults have nothing to do with



Galina Itskovich

Galina Itskovich graduated from the Hunter College School of Social Work. She practices psychotherapy, teaches and writes poetry and prose in two languages. Her work in English appeared in Poetica, Asian Signature, Cardinal Points, Former People, Harpy Hybrid Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Write Launch, in almanacs Global Insides & Contemporary Jewish Writing, and elsewhere. She also authored one book of poems (in Russian). Galina lives in New York City.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 16:51