Dear Editor,

I realize that the commemorative period for the Famine has passed but perhaps you might still consider publishing this poem in memory to that tragedy.

Thank you,…………………..bohdan


"The Harvest of Souls"


Bohdan Yuri

There was a harvest in 1933, an abundant bounty for

all to see.

Farmers gathered strains of golden grain fed by black

soil and rain,

The fare was loaded onto trains that carried stores

from Ukraine.

All the foreigners who came to Moscow said, “Famine in


Impossible! Just look at all the fine foods to eat in

our restaurants."

But the world knew not of the devil in Moscow and his

vile plan.


This demon, an afflicter of torture and pain, whose

plates were served

With the finest cuts of the finest flesh, ruled an

empire of Soviet greed.

Gifted was he in the torture of souls, versed as

playwright of human sorrow.

Can anyone count them all: the scholars, the clergy,

the peasants,

And the farmers, whose land was now not theirs, not

even their chairs.

Beyond ten million killed the numbers begin to wonder,

maybe more.


"Seal the borders so no one knows, we are on our

glorious killing spree."

Uncover the graves, if you can find them; count the

bodies if you dare:

25,000 per day, 1,000 per hour, 17 every second,

starving on this cause,

"All the foods are supposed to be exported outside the

borders of Ukraine.

Let them eat the leaves on any trees, but our aim is

still to exterminate

And if any children steal a fallen kernel or two, the

order is, shoot to kill."


"Have you got any bodies?" the crier would say to

doors not easy to sway,

"And feed the horses late at night so no one else will

steal their fodder.

In these times a horse is worth the bother, who else

to pull the carts

That carry the litter off these streets and into pit

graves outside of town.

Who cares if some are still alive, bury their souls

anyway, and out of our sight,

The living will not have the belly to put up a fight,

just look at their eyes."


So the devil had decreed that Ukraine’s stalwart

spirits should be erased,

And his disciples were delighted to act out roles in

the director’s cruel play.

It was pure Russian theater played in real parts,

those aforementioned eyes,

How hollow to start, barely a role played to perform,

when the actors

Are sewn in costumes made from bones, a lifeless role,

ordered prone;

And what need to embellish hate, when evil commands at

every stage.


An absence of sympathy when death is your shadow in

this sad parade;

How else to explain the murderers as they performed

their cruel and evil charade.

“And have you heard the stories of babies arriving on

trains from Ukraine?"

Not true, said the New York Times to a faraway place,

no need to debate.

And so, was staged for the world to be inclined as was

the need to betray

Those families that died, and the hammer and sickle

reaped shadows at dawn.


1933 was a bountiful, cruel harvest of human flesh and

the soul of a great land.

It allowed the devil to convey, to all his disciples

that conducted this play,

“A job well done, and next year we’ll feed them again,

as our slaves once more.

And those that continue to voice free thoughts, well,

there’s always a place

To send them away; that they may die in the harshness

of our cold camps."

And those bodies were loaded onto trains that carried

the souls out of Ukraine.


Those who lived it want to forget it, but they can’t.

The images burn the heart.

Those that caused it won’t admit it, because they fear

the Judgment Day.



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