Blesok no. 75, November-December, 2010

Love Dies and Other Poems
Translated by Elizabeta Bakovska

Tihomir Jančovski

Love Dies…

Love dies,
as a dying man
it falls ill, lies, ails
looks for a cure, hopes
gets better and gets worse again
it can get sick suddenly
or the illness slowly progresses
and before the very end, usually
it raises to its feet and stands up
to shine with all of its force
from its good times
it looks as if healed
and then it dies, it vanishes
finally and completely
the man who carried it
buries it inside himself
and mourns it

Almost all of us
carry inside
a graveyard like this

If I Could…

If I could
the way to die
I wish I were hit by a thunder
let it be suddenly
so I don’t realise I have died

A Small Blade of Grass in the Field…

Is my life worth more
than the life of the dog
licking its paw in the yard?
Or the life of the plum tree
which sleeps in winter and blossoms in the spring?

How do the plants feel
when it rains on their leaves,
do they rejoice?

Both our and their meaning are intertwined
and each one of us, eventually
is a small blade of grass in the field
which can not
see the whole meadow
because of its position and size

We Have Been through So Much

Everything that I needed was your presence
breathing and speaking and sleeping, and that was it
and what was the point of all the squeezing and kissing,
and touches of bodies and hands,
just to make us aware that both you and I
were with others many times,
and that you do not bend your legs
like my old love when you sleep
and I don’t make voices like your former husband
and that we can’t love each other
in any other way but like children,
because we have been through too much
without wanting to

Plain Madness

You stood firmly on the ground
I was high in the air
that’s the way it should be,
and everything that
joined us and made us
not know who is who
and what it what
but feeling that it’s good
was between us

And we were together all the time
when we sat and stood by each other
when we were alone
when we worked, or drove our cars
we were together again (strange but that’s how it was)

And we ate and drank a little, or nothing
and in a while, we started to look like
Robinson (I) and a plane (you)

As we walked the streets
in the restaurants where we went
we only met good people…

And I lost every sense to time
yesterday was far away
and what never was -- was now

I spoke to you about my chat with the river
and you looked at me in wonder
you even knew how many days have passed
since we went out together for the first time (that’s a woman)

That’s who we were, both above and on the ground
I was strange, you amazed
and it was good, really it was


Here, in the Balkans
your neighbour is like a relative
and even more than that
depending on the occasion

You can borrow from him
a cup of oil, some sugar,
a potato, two onions
a bottle of rakija – if you have guests
the water system key, a screwdriver
chairs for the party, a table
and so on…

If a family member dies
he carries the casket
if a child is born
he’s the first to congratulate you
if you take a holiday,
he waters the flowers,
and he feeds the cat,
if you have one

Here, in the Balkans
where the neighbour is like one of your own
they say – it’s bad
maybe Canada is better

We Were, and Now We Are Not

If you had not been in my life
I would not have been
what I am now
if I have not been with you
all of this time
you too would be different

So, no matter how much we want
to see or not to see
each other,
we are parts of each other
I am a part of you and you of me
and nobody asks us

Life is still beautiful, exciting
and we, as we are
in these heavy bodies
eating, drinking, smoking,
speaking, walking, sleeping
growing old and dying
with no power to feel clearly
sometimes we are only left
why a dog, without a visible reason
comes to us to pat him
or why a simple song (just like that)
moves us to cry

An Old Testament Woman

Oh, Maya
you strange woman
made of a high mountain
there are almost
no women like you any more
because the women of today
even if they look like you
are not completely the same
and they keep on shaving
their legs, their armpits
and other places
and it’s high time
they also grew a beard
to become equal
to the poor and miserable
city men
with smooth hands
and gentle cheeks


Something strong pulls me to you
something else, also strong
pushes me away from you
and somehow, neither of them
and I exist unfinished as I am
torturing both you and myself

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