I took this photograph of The statue of Musa Cälil, Tartar poet and resistance fighter, which stands outside the Kremlin in Kazan. There is an honour guard standing in front of the statue in the run up to Victory day (9th May 2017). Having never heard of Musa Calil I decided to do a little research.
Musa Calil (1906-1944)
(Also transliterated as Musa Dzhalil)
Despite being executed by the Nazis in 1944 as leader of an underground organization Musa Calil (pronounced Jalil in English) was posthumously convicted as a traitor. His literary achievements as a Tatar poet were largely forgotten and his bravery as a resistance fighter in the Great Patriotic War (World War II) unknown until the 1950s Calil was born in the village of Mustafino in the Orenburg Oblast (province) 900 miles southwest of Moscow near the border with Kazakhstan. Post the 1919 revolution Russia was embroiled in a civil war. Orenburg was under the control of the White Movement (a loose coalition of forces opposed to Lenin’s Bolshevik form of socialism). Calil became a Bolshevik activist, rising through the ranks of the Komsomol (Communist Union of Youth). By 1925 Calil was .an instructor with the Komsomol and had published his first poems. He was nineteen.Continue reading
Humorous illustrated poetry
Longing For a Full Colour Life
She stands alone before sink and bowl
And feels the ache within her soul
The hand that once caressed her there
Rests on the arm of favourite chair
I wish I’d said look out
Then maybe you’d have seen the bus
But you were on your phone
Making a reservation
Oh my stomach’s churning.
Rather full you see.
In fact stuffed.
Gurgle, glug, hiss.
It makes the most embarrassing sounds.
It’s her fault of course.
Fed me too much again.
All sorts. Just mixed together.
No respect for my system.
Round and round it goes like a wad of wet clothes.
and presses herself against me
as I vibrate
across the kitchen.
Trying to shake things loose.
I woke up this morning
and thought the sun was a lemon.
Well maybe a grapefruit as lemons are
well – lemon shaped.
My blackberry was on orange
and sat plum in the middle of the table.
I must get an Apple I thought
I’m not getting my five a day.
I walked through the car park.
A pot of cream in my hand.
and found a pear
sitting beneath an oak tree.
Frost shivers in cold misty air and drips from the trees
The sun peers round heavy grey clouds.
In their homes people lie as if dead; stuffed with turkey and booze.
We walk, my dog and I, through a suspended world.
The bark of distant guns recall memories of the Somme
and Verdun. You could hear the sound in London you know.
But this time it is only Pheasant and Partridge
to the slaughter. And they taste good.
If they’d eaten the dead in war
would the slaughter have been less senseless?
The Owl floats on velvet wings
Drifting over the frosted grass
skirting the naked grey brown spikes
Seeking small furry rustlings in deserted hedgerows
Whilst their comrades die
Two proud cocks are fighting
Hard erect their heads puffed
until one collapses and flies to the next battlefield.
If the Generals had fought like the Pheasants
Would so many men have to die