A Putin Paragraph Paraphrased
(a terza rima sonnet in homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

Today we hear of their desire to beat us
upon the battlefield. What can I say?
It seems they think that slander can defeat us,

that vitriolic screeds will win the day.
And crazy as that seems to Russian minds,
these cretins of the “West” think words can slay

along with “Wonder Weapons” of all kinds
that only mean Ukrainians will die
as Russia into dust their army grinds.

The question then becomes a simple: Why?
The longer Peace postponed, the more regret
at all the loss and waste. So let them try.

But they should know before their next big bet
that we have not begun in earnest yet.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2022