President Zelensky is leaving his mark not only on Ukrainian but world history inspiring all across this fragile planet that sometimes to survive and sustain your humanity, one needs to unify, defy and fight.
It means many will die.
Little wonder the Ukrainian leader has made the 2022 TIME list of 100 most influential people. With relentless determination, Zelensky has galvanized the tailor, the truck driver, the housewife, the schoolteacher, the engineer, hi-tech entrepreneur and greengrocer to become soldiers as they fight for their homes and freedom.
Verbally voyaging into the more intimate battle of wits and values between the two adversaries – Zelensky and Putin – award-winning South African short story writer, essayist and poet, Charlotte Cohen peels off the layers to reveal the WORD – the word that is a NAME.
(Lay of the Land editor, David E. Kaplan)
A WORD – A NAME
By Charlotte Cohen
A single word imprints perception and relativity
The difference between honour and horror
Between freedom and captivity
Humanity and brutality
Often deserving of the hatred and anger
Stemming from extortionate cruelty and danger
Even offering justification for the killing of an abuser
One still earns the egregious classification of ‘murderer’
But those who brutally and remorselessly
Kill anyone at random – including themselves
Caused by inveterate irrationality and hatred
With which they have been indoctrinated
– Or even for a gratuity or family security
Are described by what almost gives legitimacy
To fanatical iniquity: That word is ‘terrorist’
Now often ascribed with a sense of normality
Yet one single person
Living and languishing in luxury
Never getting his own hands dirty
With no indoctrinated hatred – but rather fixated
On self-love, land acquisition and addictive power
Can decree the destruction of a country
And order massacre and mass murder
With one word:
Names also leave an unchanging word image:
And just as Adolf Hitler epitomises evil
To the diabolic list of heartless and vicious
Persecutors, oppressors , tyrants and villains
We can now add that of Vladimir Putin.
And to leaders who gained worldwide respect and fame
Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela ….
` We can also now attach another name:
Out of Ukraine devastated by Putin
Arose a man of extraordinary talent and diversity
Suddenly thrust with the horrific responsibility
Of a not-sought-for war forced upon him
And though he did not expect it
He never neglected to meet it
A man of intelligence, conscience, spirit and heart
Of principle, resolution and tenacity –
He never gave in or gave up
Or abrogated his duty
Volodymyr Zelensky’s name will remain in history
Making commitment and courage his own story
So as a word-name reflects a representation
Of how a mental image will be retained:
‘Putin’– who mistook the word ‘sin’ for ‘win’
a cruel pitiless despot, a tyrannical dictator
‘Zelensky’ – a hero, an inspiration
a champion, a protector, a warrior, a victor
About the Poet:
Charlotte Cohen is an award-winning short story writer, essayist and poet, whose work has appeared in a wide variety of South African publications since the early 1970’s.
While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves. LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).