The language of my home, or: Ruined

Sevenling (Russian was)

Russian was always the language of my home
and continues to be cuz my wife's from Russia; 
it's opened doors for me; it's broadened my world.

Over the past decade, I've educated Russian 
speakers; visited family and friends in Russia;
discovered Russian folk rock music by Otava Yo.

Has Putin ruined all those people's lives forever?


  • Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them.
  • Lines four to six should similarly have three elements (statements, details, names, or possibilities) connected directly or indirectly or not at all.
  • The 7th line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or an unusual juxtaposition.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

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41 thoughts on “The language of my home, or: Ruined”

  1. What you shared here so reminds me of what my German au pair host-Mom shared with me once. I still remember her facial expression as we sat there over some “Kaffee und Kuchen.” She told me: “Anna, you have no idea what it’s like growing up ashamed of your nation, your flag and your history.” She explained to me that while Germany had a rich cultural heritage apart from its Nazi past, that that Nazi past cast a shadow over everything else. She felt ashamed of being a German and yet she and her husband were such wonderful hosts for me, giving me a neat taste of Bavarian culture, scenery and cuisine in my year with them and their 3 kids.

    It’s funny because it reminds me how my Dad grew up listening to his Grandpa share stories about loving and warm German families who took him in during/after WW1, when my Great-Grandpa served the Allied Forces in Europe (who fought against the Germans). My Dad was given this other picture of Germans that had him intrigued and led to him studying German, becoming a German teacher and moving us to Bavaria when I was 4. Like Russia, Germany has both a rich and wonderful history (musically especially) and a dark, horrific past. But isn’t that like every nation? New Zealand has a dark side too – in it choosing not to honor the Treaty of Waitangi till the Land Marches of the 1980s when Maori women marched from one side of New Zealand to the other to compel the government to honor its legal responsibilities. Before then the situation was despicable for the Maori in NZ.

    1. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Yes, Anna ๐Ÿ˜ฆ … thank you. I’m not even “Russian” because my family was entirely Jewish (that was their nationality on their official state documents) … but I’m still incredibly sad about this situation – history could have gone a different way for the Russian people…

      1. Oh wow! That’s so amazing that your family could keep “Jewish” as their nationality ๐Ÿ˜Š. I love that.

        Yes: history could have gone a different way. It is so good to see people standing up despite the risks. Must be so very hard to be living there now for those who aren’t brainwashed.

        1. Well, Anna, I’m a very proud Jew, but in the USSR, it wasn’t a choice – it’s not that they “could” keep their nationality – it’s that they HAD TO. And having Jewish as their nationality made their lives very difficult – antisemitism was part and parcel of Soviet State policy.

          1. Can’t imagine what that was like for them. I do remember you sharing about the anti-semitism they faced- I just didn’t click that this was part of their method of persecuting Jews: so awful. I am sorry for my ignorance: thank you for taking the time to explain it all.

  2. So many horrific and tragic ripples from the rock thrown in the water by Putin. The sadness just goes on and on! I feel for both the Russians and the Ukrainians, suffering pawns in Putin’s evil game.

  3. I don’t believe the western world hates all things Russia. Its citizens are trapped by Putin and have no way of escaping his control. Canceling all things Russia is a message to Putin, but unfortunately it will harm the Russian people.

  4. Your words penetrate deeply David and being that close and with all you have done and Margo’s rellies there too is unforgivable but still we forgive and we grieve and make take a stance in solidarity.
    Tears well,
    hearts swell
    this is hell!

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