Photo by Domenico Farone on
17. Januar 1991  

Schuhe noch nicht zu-
gebunden schlugen Bomben 
meinen Schlafkopf Morgen 
peitschte Radiowellen
Sündengeißen treiben  

Seit Uhr wird ge-
heilige Schlacht 
Moscheen scheinen
Wunderlampen Öl ver- 
siegt Himmel dämmert 

Noch …
January 17, 1991  

Shoelaces still not 
tied bombshells beat
my dream head morning
whipped radio waves
scape nannies stay afloat  

Since a.m. we are
blasting back holy war 
mosques queer
magic lamps oil runs 
dry sky dawning 

Still … 

I have rediscovered this poem, which I wrote in German on January 17, 1991. I woke up that morning and found a note on top of two library books: Could you return the book on top and renew the other one? Thank you. PS: You might not want to turn on the radio. 

This is a text for my year-long online writing course Uncovering the Authentic Self on The prompt was rediscovery. Previous texts are on Home and Giving.
Rediscovering this poem, editing it a bit, and translating it into English today reminded me that I only wrote poetry again twenty years after in 2011.

Just words: Powerless, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is a POW in power. There is less in power.  It’s powerless.

I wish I could talk to this little guy in the Kremlin. And I don’t see why not. His German is quite good, I am told. Younger Vladimir learned it well in the KGB in East Germany. My Russian used to be good. I learned it at university in Russia, when perestroyka and glasnost’ were frequent words. I should dig them out for this blog one day. I wish perestroyka would have been change. For the better. Glasnost’, it’s transparency, was only budding thirty-five years ago. You helped shatter it.

That’s what I would ask that guy whose face became a meme. A meme of fame with a little squared moustache most people in this beautiful world don’t just remember from Charlie Chaplin. I would ask the guy who shaves carefully daily: why? Is it really worth it? Sending men who are still blue-eyed children west – zapad with a Z – does it make you feel better? Less powerless? You are right, you are not your brother’s keeper. You never were. Then, why did you destroy his home? Did it make you feel safer in yours, next to the mausoleum? Why do you kill his family? Do your daughters hold you dearer for it? When you will have killed him, do you believe you will live longer? What will you do in your remaining days?  You have felt paranoidly powerless, I know. Will that change in your remaining days? This is the only thing you have power over. May you find peace for your Russian soul. You have heard Tchaikovski’s Swan Lake the other day.

When talking about the ongoing war in Ukraine, I cannot really say that I am playing with words, as I normally do under Just words. This is serious. Weighing words. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people.

The other day, I met a young Ukrainian family here in San Diego. They established a small charity some years ago. Now their sole purpose is to feed suffering people in Ukraine. They are looking for support. Their website is

There is a time

There is a time for everything
A time for writing 
A time for reading texts about 
A time of people standing up 
A time of an empire falling 
A time of #suffering 
A time of #freedom

You guessed it. The hashtags. I wrote this for Twitter first. A couple of times, I have done it the other way ’round: Blog first, Twitter later.