Almost normal

For all my English speaking friends a translation from my earlier article Bijna normaal.

Commemoration of all children died during the war.
place: Donetsk
©2017 Patrick Lancaster

It is now early spring,
the windows are still closed and the war suddenly seems far away.
In the summer outside, or with the windows open
you can hear the artillery, far away, but still.
I was amazed at how quickly you get used to these sounds.


On the street, it seems as if nothing had happened.
Children play outside, the shops and markets are full,
people go to their work as normal.
Only in the sound of artillery in the evening, far away in the distance
resounds the war.


Only when you driving in the direction of the block posts,
you notice where you are.
The bullet holes and artillery strikes in walls and some wrecked houses
give a clearer picture.
Sometimes just broken roofs, sometimes totally destroyed.
Most of it is destroyed at the beginning of the war.
However just before the block posts, in the outer districts of Donetsk
something still fall out of the sky so now and then.

Beyond the block posts, most people don`t come here anymore,
only people who live in the villages between the first block posts
and the front line.
During the day it is relatively safe here,
in the night many sleep in their basement.
In some areas it is not that bad,
other areas are experiencing every night
the true face of the war.

The grey zone, the area where no one comes.
Almost no one.
But there are still some people living here,
people who refuse to leave their home, it’s all they have.
The many memories of a place that was once so full of joy,
now makes place for sadness, but they can’t let go,
it is theirs.


In the Centre of Donetsk you notice none of this,
here everything goes on, life is normal, almost normal.


Until the evening, when we hear the familiar sound,
we are again reminded of these people.
The people who refuse to give in to the atrocities of the war.
And to the soldiers who daily risk their lives to protect these people
and us all, but they do it with love.
With love because it is the safety of their mother,
their wife, their children, their cousins, their friends and family,
their home…

With love from the DPR

Almost normal

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