07.11.2004., nedjelja

VOICES FROM NATURE IX

VOICES FROM NATURE IX


It is the wind
that give us

our voices we
chattering leaves

are full of whispers
sighing , breathing

leaving the forest
ripe with rumours

as we collectively
exhale.

- 19:17 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

06.11.2004., subota

VOICES FROM NATURE VIII

VOICES FROM NATURE VIII


What goes on up there above in the light
space we have no names for or know
what shapes such seeds take on where
our skin is exposed to all the elements
suffering every condition yet we give
seeds life but are not life itself me we
us soil and the seeds that seek shelter
all manner of things have grown here
in the dark in the turmoil of our acidity
and alkali seeds in stony layers
between which roots thrust their searching tips
prising and worming deep into our soul
and where only the drip
drip of liquids
penetrates deeper and deeper still.

- 11:50 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

04.11.2004., četvrtak

VOICES FROM NATURE VII

VOICES FROM NATURE VII


By the field’s edge we grew
Long time undisturbed
Edged by ploughing
Observed the breaking clods.
Long time looked over
A distant edged distance
Watched the sowing,
The reaping,
The ploughing,
The sowing
And all the time
About our trunks
Grew a deeper green
Than we’d ever seen.
Creeping up
Stealthily,
Slowly,
Slowly,
Suffocating.

- 21:48 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

02.11.2004., utorak

VOICES FROM NATURE VI

VOICES FROM NATURE VI
version in English, awaiting translation into Croatian

VI


Why do you copy in our dead colours
When we strle so hard for life?
Even last year’s leaves still wave and rattle,
Yes, even we saw the winter through.

How easily you melt into our surroundings
Sunning your wings just long enough
To alert us here of the dangers there…
Just the thought of it now makes us all shudder.

- 00:01 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

19.10.2004., utorak

VOICES FROM NATURE V

VOICES FROM NATURE V
version in English and Croatian

V

Tendrils twisting up limbless trees.
Our season’s growth holds on to
Our dead, expressionless companions
Rootless, yet sturdy,
Pushed deep into the soil
Who knows of their silent aspirations
To spread a branch, some leaves.
Carrying our fruiting lineage
We emulate their staked-out intervals
And cling for support, since we need you.

Do you look upon us with envy?
Our leaves cast great shadows
That our companions could only dream of.
Reaching out along a trail
We’ve spent years mastering.
Contorting our trunks into shapes
That is not straight or rigid
But as if to say, ‘We’re alive, we’re alive
Admire the fruits of our labour’

It consumes all our strength
To engorge this wisdom
And each year we are cut back to conserve our energy.
Each year is our new beginning,
Until one year we shall be cut back completely,
When we are no longer yielding
And become, like you,
Unyielding.


V

Mladice se ovijaju oko drveća bez grana.
Naš godišnji rast oslanja se na
Naše mrtve, bezizražajne prijatelje
Bez korijenja, još uvijek krepke
Gurnute duboko u tlo
Koje poznaje njihove tihe težnje
Da prekriju granu, nešto lišća.
Noseći našu plodnu lozu
Mi oponašamo njihove ograđene razmake
I ne damo se otkinuti, dok vas trebamo.

Da li nas gledate odozdo sa zavišću?
Naše lišće baca velike sjene
O kojima naši prijatelji mogu tek sanjati.
Pružajući se duž staze
Mi provodimo godine vladajući.
Nakrivljujući svoja debla u oblike
Koji nisu ravni ili ukočeni
Tako da bi rekli, «mi smo živi, mi smo živi
Divite se plodovima našeg rada».

To troši našu snagu
Za gutanjem te mudrost
I svake godine mi se smanjujemo da bi sačuvali svoju energiju.
Svaka godina je naš novi početak,
Sve dok se jedne godine, posve ne smanjimo,
Kada više nećemo biti plodni
I postat ćemo, poput tebe,
Neplodni.

- 19:15 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

15.10.2004., petak

VOICES FROM NATURE IV


VOICES FROM NATURE IV
Version in English and Croatian


The breathing wind
Ripples the moist air
And ruffles leaf’s smothering covering.
We stir us from under cold slumber
To warm our backs,
Face down in earth’s ochre. Alone

I carry me a weighty ancestry
Yet all that is known is still my unknown.
Is it my own turn now?
Am I ready yet?
Am I?
Ready.



IV


Dašak vjetra
Mreška vlažan zrak
I naborano lišće pokriva.
Mi se budimo iz hladnog sna
Da bi zagrijali naša leđa,
utopljena u zemljin oker. Sami

Nosim opterećenost porijekom
Još uvijek sve što je poznato je moje nepoznato
Je li red na meni?
Jesam li već spremna?
Jesam li?
Spremna.

- 20:38 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

13.10.2004., srijeda

VOICES FROM NATURE III

VOICES FROM NATURE III
Version in English and Croatian

III

Gaps appear when dark descends,
When the nightly sun is up,
Pushed between us brackens and long grasses.

Tramping on, me
Snuffling for seeds and berries.

We sleep soundly, undisturbed.
We rise up from earthly dark earth
And simply unfurl each frond.

Sometimes a marking passing
Remains, me scenting soft earth.

Undisturbed, but for waking sensations
Of a not-seen having brushed against
Our stalks, caressingly.


III

Praznine se pojavljuju kada tama se spušta
Kada se sunce svakonoćno diže,
Gurajući između nas paprati i duge trave.

Skitanje, ja
Tragam za sjemenkama i zrnjem.

Mi spavamo čvrsto, neometani.
Dižemo se iz zemaljske tame zemlje
I jednostavno razmatamo svaki list.

Ponekad samo označeni put
Ostaje, ja mirišem nježnu zemlju.

Neometano, ali za osjete koji se budi iz sna
Neviđenja oni imaju šikaru do
Naših stabljiki, kao da miluju.

- 19:33 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

11.10.2004., ponedjeljak

VOICES FROM NATURE II

VOICES FROM NATURE
Version in English and Croatian

II


All stones hum,
Some deeper than others
Sunk deep in the earth under us.

We keep an ear to the earth
And listen to the stones,
Cradling them with our roots.

The stones have stories too;
Stories of seas,
Of seas leaving

And leaving land, seas
Like windy grasses
Waving in fallow fields

Like big skies
Lying under big skies
Above.

The leaves are reaching up
Into big sky above.
We want to know

Tell us, tell us all you see,
Is there, anywhere
Big sky below?


II


Svo kamenje šumi
Neko dublje od drugog
Potonulo je duboko u zemlju ispod nas.

Mi smo uši prislonili uz zemlju
I slušamo kamenje,
Njišemo ih s našim korijenjem.

I kamenje ima priče,
Priče o morima
Morima napuštanja

I napuštanja zemlje, mora
Kao vjetrovite trave
Koj se talasaju na nezasijanim poljima

Kao velika neba
Koja leže ispod velikih neba
Iznad.

Lišće dopire
Do velikog neba iznad
Mi želimo znati.

Reci nam, reci sve što vidiš,
Je li tamo, bilo gdje
Veliko nebo ispod?

- 17:42 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

10.10.2004., nedjelja

VOICES FROM NATURE I

VOICES FROM NATURE I
Version in English and Croatian

I

These beaded threads of morning moisture
Stretched across our hardening antlers
Come upon us in our sleep and we seem to be sleeping longer, Longer since our leaves have left us.

Heavy in the dark they become lighter as the light up-rises.
This binding silk is not bondage to us
But through it we detect little tremors in all our parts.
When that happens it is like the wind but not the wind

But like the wind it stirs us from our light-green reveries
Since we know that sound of something airborne all too well.
It has been around us, everywhere, while it has been warm.
A kind of singing that is not singing, just coming and going,

And sometimes we feel the sensation of a sudden shudder
Which shakes these sparkling crystals and then the singing stops,
And while they fall there is a moment of silence
That is taut and tense in which we wait to hear them shatter.


I

Te kapima nanizane niti jutarnje vlage
Protežu se duž naših otvrdnulih rogova
Dolaze k nama, u naš san i čini nam se da smo spavali duže,
Duže otkad nas je naše lišće ostavilo.

Teške u mraku one postaju laganije kako se svjetlost uzdiže
Taj povez od svile nije ropstvo za nas.
Ali kroz njega otkrivamo malu jezu u svim svojim dijelovima
Ono što se tada događa je kao vjetar, ali nije vjetar

Ali kao vjetar pomiče nas iz naše svijetlo-zelenog sanjarenja
Dok mi predobro znamo taj zvuk u zraku.
To je okolo nas, posvuda, dok je bilo toplo
Vrsta pjevanja koje nije pjevanje, samo dolazi i ide,

I ponekad osjećamo nagle drhtaje
Što otresaju sjajne kristale a potom i pjevanje zastane
I dok one padaju nastaje tren tišine
Napet, napet u kojem mi čekamo da bi čuli kako se razmrskavaju.

- 20:24 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

31.07.2004., subota

Two poems from Bosnia

Journey to Sarajevo


After the first time
I never made that journey again by day
And longed that the landscape
Had remained a mystery.
But, even in the dark I still knew
That the black hollow beyond the window
Was filled with row upon row
Of blackened houses,
Windowless, hollow-eyed, gaunt.
Eventually, such villages held no surprises
Except in one, where among the ruins
A line of white, freshly laundered washing
Stired, just a little, as we sped passed.

On later journeys
I would lie on my back
And stare up through the smudged window
Into the night sky
So that it seemed
That it wasn't the bus turning
But the whole galexy above, revolving.

Somewhere, Orion stood defient
The Plough still furrowed the night sky
And a whole myriad of creatures
Somehow found their place
While I, lying on my back,
Thought of the years it took
For the light from the stars
To reach us here.








Sarajevo


The slender reed of a minaret
Snugly fills the frame
Of the rectangular window
I look out of once again.

A solitary figure,
Cupped hands, sings
While across the city
A church bell rings
And just for that moment it seems
That the birds fall silent
And the traffic recedes.

Though nothing impedes
The flow of the Miljacka.

Sarajevo
Is a city awash with sound
And the echo of a shell
Slamming into a street
Still reverberates
Somewhere, way beyond Mount Igman.

Earlier today I stood on Princip’s Bridge
To lob a stone into the shallow river
And now make ripples in my coffee with a spoon.


- 12:20 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

30.07.2004., petak

TRAVEL JOURNAL SARAJEVO - ZAGREB, JUNE 2001

Travel journal Sarajevo – Zagreb June 2001


Sarajevo
Warm, overcast.
Clouds scrape the tops of the southern hills.
The city rapidly recedes, gradually wakes.
Parallel to the Miljacka, flanked by a tram.

Minarets
Chimneys
Pine

Rolling green hills and cleavages
Peppered with houses.
Jagged edged skyline of concrete blocks saws the sky.
Another fallen building, peeled wings.
Mount Igman looms, its summit concealed.
Road crosses the river of its country’s namesake.
Scattered houses now
Peopled by shrouded men of straw.
Pill box stands sentinel
Perched above a verdant swathe of pine
And houses more recently blackened
And those, more recent still, built to replace the fallen.
Rusted cars richly patinated return to the soil,
Driven into a ditch.

TITO

Road follows a winding cleft,
A river valley carved by ancient currents.
Gentle fields of cultivation,
Those neglected bloodied with poppies.
Figure scythes in a tiny clearing.

Bridges
Tunnels
Viaducts

Road traverses a wide, steely green lake
Receiving and reflecting the great sweeping hills
Overwhelming the fringe of small dwellings.
Crossing the Neretva exposes the distant range of mountains
Blue karst, brooding.
Deep valley gorge inhabited by pylons and ghosts,
And fish farms.
River between two roads.
All roads lead to Mostar.
Black cypresses, white gravestones.
Verticals in a flattened plain.
Colourful billboard advertises soap powder.
Even the mountain is pockmarked.
The Old Bridge recreated,
Painted on a wall.
Front line, bell tower territory.
On the radio ‘This is the road to Hell.’
Roadside littered with little monuments,
And car parts.


Scattered settlements suddenly grow
Unfinished but ownership claimed by ethnic graffiti,
Invisible borders known only by those who live here.
Vegetation thinning.
Flag anticipates the border,
The UN’s looks pale and tired, nothing stirs.

Fishing men, pleasure boats,
Tethered cow lazily grazes.
Pinewoods patch the hillside.
Road rises and skirts a cultivated plain.
Rocky outcrops shape the fields
And water channels around them.
Terraced olives.
‘Dubrovnik is your friend.’
Finger of a peninsular pokes the sea
And points accusingly at a short stretch of overdeveloped coast.
The sea breaks open, warm breeze,
Breathing the heady scent of herbs mixed with evergreen
I lie back and fill my eyes with sky.
Ston



Coursing the artery of this peninsular, little shade.
Villages of stone grow organically from the hills
Or dug from the earth.
Small windows look out on a parched distance
Until the land falls away.
The razor-edged mainland
Reveals itself in the shimmering haze.
A road sign used for target practice.


Prickly pear
Cactus
Vineyards

Coca-Cola as ubiquitous as the crucifix.
Crossing sides
We plunge down into the town.

Orebić clings to the shore
In fear of the mountains nudging it into the sea,
Resisting the advancing scrub.
The boat pulls out

Ultramarine
Emerald
Black
The white surf parts.

Korčula
Axis of the old town points to the New World,
Sheltered from the Bura
Twenty-five minutes walks every street.
Shimmering reds
White walls crystallised at the sea’s edge.
Bleached olive greens.

The sea takes on a new intensity.
The landscape unwinds
Between two blue layers
The horizon ahead is curved.
White sails drifting in a blue calm,
Clouds above unmoved.

Zigzag road stitches the mountains together,
Gradually tapering, increasingly sparse.
Vapour trail is the sky’s shoreline.
The light house a full stop.
Starboard side leaves the shade
And the mainland comes into focus.
Split

Trogir – Šibenik
Lines of stone drawn down to the sea
Anchor the mainland
Its undulations, ribbed.
‘Fish Picnic.’
‘Sretan put – Good luck.’
New marina agitates its surroundings.

From Zlarin island
The distant layered hills are terraced in rows,
Fertile soil for growing settlements.
On this car-less island
A new road, empty,
Abruptly halts.
Continues, for now, as a small woodland path.
Pinecones decorate bare trees, dense and deadly packed.
Needles carpet the ground.
Waves shape the shore.
Young growth clings to ancient rocks.
Mariner’s memorial speaks only to the sea.
A clear glass bottle contains no message.
Rain hangs the sunflower’s head
And further on,
Where the path becomes impassable,
Gun emplacements still keep a wide-eyed vigil
On a view long since obscured.
Above the cove
Labyrinthine walls thread through wild grasses,
Where every bush and branch is barbed.
Stone piles look down on a huddle of houses.
Walls become streets and individual rooms.
Gradually, the plan of an ancient settlement is imagined
Until the summit gained
And a surviving bunker
Steps down into the earth.
The concrete is inscribed with names

Velimir
Tomislav

That the wind carries down
The descending goat path.

Vegetation follows the rock’s fracture
Rising and dipping in waves.
Solitary figure waves from an uninhabited island.
Approaching the town.
Houses barnacle-encrusted on the hull of the hill.

Šibenik – Zadar
Road travels through an empty wilderness.

Little chapels
Quarries
Road signs

Each town centre approached
Through the industrial zone
Disfiguring
Desolate
Sprawling.
Bright green leaves
Cast purple shadows on my sprawling tent.

Zadar
City walled and wide moated
Punctured in places
To allow the worn-smooth gleaming streets to breathe
On which bell towers cast long shadows
Stretching back to when the Romans
Carved their fluted columns,
Now segmented into sturdy foundations.

PAX VAN
TIBI GELI
MAR STA
CE E MEVS

Radi kao da ne trebaš novac
Ljubi kao da nikad nisi bila povrijeđena
Plesi kao da te niti ne gleda


A mid-summer wedding blares past boats
Beached on stilts.
The air becomes their sea,
But sailing nowhere.

Writers write their names
In the names of the streets.

Ivan Tanzlinger
Mata Karamana
Frane Alfirević


Zadar – Ugljan
Crossing a diamond studded sea
‘Look out for a small island, a church, a palm tree.’
Boatman pushes out from the quay.


Monastery Island,
Six minutes measures the circumference.
Across the water lies the low-lying city,
Its church towers and tower blocks clearly etched and illuminated.
Zadar overshadowed by the Velebit,
Whose limestone peaks
Are barely distinguishable from clouds
Now almost lost to view.

Twilight.
Necklace of lights decorates the distant city’s shoreline.
A silken sea brooched by fishing boats, nets cast,
Only the ferry, pink tinged, ripples the stillness.
Monastery Island looks dark and foreboding,
At night becomes the Isle of the Dead.
The first row of stars appears.

Zadar – Rijeka
Rows of empty road-side stalls
Fruits still languish in trees.
Impact craters patched the only road,
Hing a convoluted coast
And screened by the weight of the crumbling Velebit.
While across the sea
A long-stretched pink strip of land,
Wind-blown stripped of soil and vegetation,
Grows only stones
In fields enclosed by stone.
KM stone 354.
Road signs caution rock fall and the prevailing wind.
Inhospitable, unsustainable terrain.

Viaducts
Goat bridges
Way side flowers of plastic.


Crossing the 45th Parallel at Senj.


The road straightens.
The hills soften.
The stones become concealed.
KM stone 245.
Eternal flame burns from the oil refinery
As we circumvent the ship yard.

Marco Polo
Liburnija
Jazina

And descend into Rijeka.

Rijeka – Zagreb
Forging through clefts of rock
A rhythmic ascent skirts the valley
And leaves behind the sea and islands.
Rounding rounded hills pinpricked by occasional outcrops.
A shepherd watches sheep with binoculars.
Lines and cables criss-cross the hillside.
The forest changes texture.
Forests densely foliated.

Oak
Beech
Silver Birch

Rocks yield to bracken and soft grasses.
Fields become pollen-covered meadows.

Muravice
Stations are wood-stacked, hedge-trimmed.
Tapped wheels chime.
Where villages appear meadows become fields,
Cultivated and scare-crowed.

Sap green
Golden green
Viridian green

Rivers only seen when crossed.
Klek, from a distance, firmiliar from all sides.

Ogulin
Unrepentant motorway, unfinished, ploughs the forest against the grain.
The landscape flattens and views open up,
Punctuated by pillboxes, following a river’s flow.
Fields scythed and burnt in patches, increasingly tamed.
The ember’s glow is the land’s setting sun.
Houses randomly placed and spaced.

Karlovac
The sky enlarges.
In the distance
The blue hills of Japetić approach.
Then Sljeme silhouettes itself against a falling sky.
All the greens darken.
Crossing the Sava
The city is entered
Zagreb



- 19:31 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

29.07.2004., četvrtak





- 22:01 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

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