The people with puppet hands
No one ever talks of the last moments of those accused of witchery.
Who knows how many went mad or
Threw themselves into the river beforehand,
As a means of defiance. For what would await you?
Mouths open in faces you knew;
Too afraid to protest your innocence:
A mob, rabid with accusation;
Frothing with nationalism.
Michael Oliver-Semenov was born in Cardiff, Wales but moved to central Siberia. After ditching his career as a banking clerk in 1997 he published words and poetry in a plethora of magazines, anthologies and journals worldwide, including Blown, The Morning Star, Orbis, Ten of the Best, Wales Arts Review, Mandala Review and Ink Sweat and Tears. He divided his time between growing vegetables at his family dacha, and teaching English. His memoir Sunbathing in Siberia: a marriage of East and West in Post-Soviet Russia was published by Parthian Books in 2014. His first and last poetry collection is forthcoming by the same publisher.