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Markings 56 - November 7th 1917

Hundred Years Anniversary of the Russian Revolution 1917-2017

Day at the Beach

after Joseph Stalin circa 1952 - aged 72

To purge that last terrible winter

at any hour

and more and more frequently

he would order the entourage

out of ice-bound Moscow

southwest to warm country dachas

and then on to the ocean

in five black closed limousines


each time he would choose a different car

confusing the growing tide of assassins

along the treeless roads

hedged with thousands of armed guards

on full combat alert.

There he would lie above the freezing sand

buried in coats and blankets

in a modified chaise longue

and for hours watch the waves

unlike Canute he never spoke to them


and would only leave

when the tide at last lapped at his feet

some said it was to bask

in the reflected power and glory of the sea

that alone could equal his own

others that knew him better - still alive

said it was a way of facing his last show-trial

he could neither hold back nor win.

Jeff Guess

©Jeff Guess 2017

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