Burned cranes in the sky…

I collect on a bead everything that concerns the personalities of my native Romensky region in Sumy region. The name of the poet-patriot Leonid Poltava occupies a special place in this pectoral.
Leonid Poltava (1921-1990) devoted all his life, all literary work, journalistic and public activity to Ukraine - "he prayed for her like an icon". The future poet was born in the village of Vovkivtsi, Romensky district, in the family of Edward and Lyubov Parkhomovych. Leonid's father was a doctor and his mother a teacher. The family traces its lineage back to the Battle of Poltava, to the Swede ancestor who remained after the military battles in Ukraine. Hence the somewhat unusual literary pseudo-Leonid. You can learn more about the pedigree on the female and male lines in the book "Over the Blue Black Sea" republished by the descendant of the Parkhomovich family Eduard Bondarenko. But that is a separate story, and this article, in connection with the approaching anniversary of the tragedy at the NPP in Pripyat, I dedicate it to the "Chernobyl poem".
Active anti-fascist activities and the threat of arrest forced Leonid Poltava to leave Ukraine. Having survived the death of his father in Siberia, the hardships of concentration camps, the difficulties of constant relocation in search of his own "harbor", he always remained with his homeland in his mind, as evidenced by his creative legacy. When he found himself in exile in New York in 1958, the poet, wherever he worked - in literary publishing houses, on radio stations, in associations of Ukrainian cultural figures - never for a moment let Ukraine out of sight. "And our Ukraine is like a young maiden. The world still knows our Ukraine! ” - he wrote, congratulating with these lines the latest wave of national liberation struggles in it for the dream of Independence. I didn't live to see its proclamation for several months ...
Leonid Poltava's stepdaughter Darya Dyka, who was the daughter of Halyna Wacker (Ensen), became the guardian of Leonid Poltava's literary heritage. I met Daria in 2016, looking for her among the delegates at the meetings of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations (SFUJO), which took place in Kyiv. It was there in the conversation that Daria spoke about the great influence of Leonid Poltava on the formation of her worldview. Since then, our communication has become constant - we held a Skype meeting with Romain in New York, established ties between Ukrainian emigrants in America and the Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Kyiv ...
Life has repeatedly tested Leonid Poltava for strength, but only hardened his willpower, his creative gift. Ukraine, its heroic past, which is full of respect for his poetic word, inspired his work. He embodied the historical events of the struggle of Hetman Mazepa at the head of the Ukrainian Cossacks in alliance with Charles XII against Russia in the historical novel "1709", in the poem "Infinite Battle".
But a special place among the literary works of Leonid Poltava is occupied by his "Chernobyl Poem". Reading it again, I feel a pain in my heart, which, perhaps, did not leave the author, who so simply, and at the same time so insightfully began the story of that April morning, when "everything began as it began forever, as it was originally established", when everything was dressed in spring shirts. "
But this peace, this grace "blackberry-tender and astringent" - in nature. And to the nuclear engineers, the inhabitants of this "half-city-half-village", where "power units have grown in vain", "the restless atom trembles and bursts from the ruins to the earth and to the heavens", radiograms from Moscow send excessive "plans", forcing them to "day and night" »At the NPP.
Let us feel, as sharply as Leonid Poltava felt, the moment when the rhythm of life, which is already familiar to "calm northerners," is suddenly "destroyed by thunder among the fields" by "destroying northern leprosy in the name of imperial rage."
And to the way and not to the way
Among the blissful nature
The wheel of life was rolling:
People planted small towns,
There were cows from an oak grove…
And suddenly - thunder among the fields!
Brilliant atomic explosion
For a moment and the sun darkened !!!
Cranes returned to Ukraine.
Already flew the Black Sea,
Old place on the old land
They are already looking for sight between the swamps.
Up to Pripyat, pripyat securely to the ground
She jumped up and rushed up!
Thunder struck, not from the sky - from the earth!
And the cranes were the first to fall…
About the inhabitants of Pripyat - dotted. Because it is scary to retell the horror of those days, so vividly conveyed by a poetic word,…
Fire trucks shining lightning
They rush to Chernobyl until they break the spokes,
And the dead and the living are brought to Kyiv…
Neighbor Anna in a dead village
Annoying town in the ground…
Everything turned white in one fell swoop.
All that is left is the white grass of horror
And the cranes burned in the sky ...
About the "imperial rage" - it's not for the faint of heart. Because, there was another "silent order of the All-Union Ham:":
"All of Kyiv for the holiday! Fate is already like this,
Dance the hopak! ”...
For the first time in May, artists dance,
And death with a scythe wanders around the city.
The Ukrainian capital lies above the Dnieper
Like a wounded bird.
Each section of the poem is full of pain and at the same time the desire to tell the truth about a global tragedy that fell on Ukraine, and later affected a number of other states.
And the clouds are pouring black roar,
They sail to the Baltic and Sweden.
And then everything is like a wake-up call:
“Cattle are dying! Flowers do not bloom!
In Poland, grief, and the Swiss mountains
From Chernobyl already covers with gunpowder »…
And the nations are waiting for new calamities,
And scary already themselves…
The Chernobyl tragedy, showing the threat of apocalyptic destruction of all life on earth, shook the conscience of humanity around the world. Leonid Poltava's "Chernobyl Poem" will remind future generations of how easily thoughtless human activity can turn the Earth from the cradle of humanity into its coffin.
The earth stood on the earth,
Like a monument on a pedestal,
But they swayed, swayed,
"New Happiness Blacksmith" -
Earth has no place on earth!
Valentina Efremova, compatriot
  Paintings by D. Nagurny “The Archangel Leaving the City” and O. Masyk “The Chornobyl Sarcophagus” were created right next to the destroyed reactor… V. Chepelyk Sculptural sign "Victims of the Chornobyl disaster".