Poetry

 

Selma Asotić  a former student of a Cuvaj se workshop with Heather Derr-Smith in Sarajevo in 2009 and member of the Sarajevo Writers Workshop  had two poems featured in Europe Now in March 2017.  Selma is a fierce young poet based in Sarajevo and editor of the feminist literary magazine BONA.

Daemons Begone

When we wet the bed
for three nights in a row
they put a shroud
over our heads
and brought the lead

to our eyes
to our bosoms
to our knees

three times with molten lead
they flushed the fear out of us.

Then a scream
blossomed in the tar,
and we saw
blades of early grass in soldiers’ mouths,
scorched fields
bloodyish colours beneath the skies
and the flight before the swift-footed peace thieves,
suicides who heralded eclipsed springs
with snowdrop gestures.

Night terrors come from the hills,
the sorceress said.
Therefore we gazed
long
into dark forests,
weaved up the fears
into amulets of words,
to return them to the midnightmen.

But we didn’t know
that down below
winds perish in the vale
which wings don’t cross

and that our fears,
like our dreams,
after all,
have got no wings.

We still go
mum and shiver
as blind dawn breaks,

listening to the song of good angels
that never visit
our home.


 

History

Don’t worry
when on an orphaned
November morning a drunken
rabble-rouser
rolls down your street
rousing decent people from sleep.
Pay no mind
to the wailing of the sirens
and the warnings of asteroids,

when it happens,
you won’t even know it’s begun.

And you won’t be there
when the hunger of empty
squares awakens
and birds take refuge
before the eclipse.

For history happens to
the unsuspecting. It will sneak up
on you as you walk into your
flat, it’ll tiptoe into the lift
hoisted between the fifth and the sixth
floors, join the silent
choir
of wax figures to which you
bid farewells and wish nice days.
And you won’t recognise its face, for
you remember nothing from your life.
And you won’t wonder
what alien presence has snuck
into your collar, for you have never asked.

History happens to the weary.
One drowsy morning,
as you wriggle in your
bed, wind will blow down your street,
sweeping the flags, and a hoarse voice
under your window
will burst into Lili Marlene.

Only then will you realise
it has begun.

First published at Europe Now: https://www.europenowjournal.org/2017/02/28/daemons-begone-by-selma-asotic/

Translated by Mirza Purić