Stand tall Yalta
Your sun soaked hills
Striped with vineyards
Muscat a Queen1
For went to war
Towering cliffs
Earthquakes crumbled
Site of treaty
Old palace now2
For Communists
And Csars playground
Onion-domes gleam,
Birdsong at dawn
In woods so green

Fifty year Ho-
-tel Intourist
Tall concrete wall
Over the bay
In morning breeze
Buses rumble
Pour in tourists
By gambling slots
At the entry
Salt water pool
Whale and dolphin
Huge glass vistas
And fountains linked
By marbled halls

Can you not see
That you are old?
And in sore need
Of rebuilt walls
Finish concrete
Standing still raw
Weathered and still
Exposed rebars
A lonely perch
For loud seagulls
The state you're in
Cannot await
Outside dollars

You have survived
Tatars and Turks
British, Nazis
And conquerors
But can you shed
Your troubled past
For to rebuild
A brave new world
By the Black Sea
'Tween new and old
You must build bridge'
'Tween East and West
If you can see
you hold the power3


1: folkloric start of Crimean War, in fact part of "the Great Game",  political struggle among XIX c. powers for Asian trade routes (google: Captain Arthur Connolly)
2: Livadia Palace, the summer home of the last Russian Tsar, and in 1945 home to the Yalta Conference (www.blacksea-crimea.com)
3: Yulia Tymoschenko, Ukrainian Prime Minister and oil entrepreneur (15 April 2005, www.interfax.ru)