Event-Scenes: e038
Date Published: 3/26/1997
Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Editors

Sophocles in Sarajevo

Marko Zlomislic

 Here unbeliever
 here in the land where young ones never grow old
 You have reached our noble hell on earth. Look
 Sarajevo, bloodsoaked now, majestic during one winter of propaganda
 when the nations gathered together.
 The cellist, his music rising above the markers
 stopped, hovering over the prayers
 and followed the alley ways deepening with rubble.

 The spider haunts the field, the broken trees
 their fruits stolen, birds without a home
 the air rich with the perfume of gunpowder
 where children gather to play
 killed forever
 where bearded trolls do a circle dance
 round their recent sacrifice.

 And here we stand shivering
 fed by UN rations
 lovely, freeze dried, fresh forever
 powdered eggs, dry milk and no water
 heroin smuggled into the city
 nectar of escape.
 Mother and child, not yet two,
 into a screaming terror
 and the flying shells burst like the break of a boil onto the marketplace
 and some will always sleep
 their traces washed away with a firehouse
 and some will never wake up to our betrayal.

 We welcomed you, peasant son, with open hands
 when you brought your goats from Montenegro
 a gift of plague bestowed upon our city.

 Your belle grad, your white fortress darker every day
 the death knell rings: Slobodan,
 your name means "freedom"
 what Balkan irony
 your barbarism rising over the Drina's banks
 flowing over to the villages onto the other side
 can the vampires bear to leave this land
 or Mars, the god of war
 holding the reins of Plato's horses.

Marko Zlomislic was born in Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1966 and came to Canada with his parents in 1970. He is the Editor of Joyful Wisdom: a journal for postmodern ethics.
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