Poem: Hercegovina


Poem: Hercegovina

em = By Andelko Vuletic
Translated by Amila Buturovic


over this very stone,

where the pollen smells,

where the karst is white and the juniper tree is black

where the wolf howls and the snake rattles and the bees buzz

over the nagging acacia blossom

and the rock melts under the sun

and Neretva roars and Trebisnjica hums

and the oak tree pleads thirst and the sky burns

and the bones of the Mongol and Tatar noblemen lie still

and the Bogomil and Pataren necropolises chant

and the barley rustles and the rye swings and tobacco leaves

burn in smoke and the hemlock is sown

and the petals of wild poppies sway and the ash tree glistens

and the grapevine arches —

How come here,

at this point in time,

after so many centuries

we must,

at this very old hearth

all over again erect our homes,

and let the smoke from the chimneys drift into the open skies?

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