I see granules of sunlight
Blend into her skin.
All her appeal amassed
In the arc of her reddish glow.
The silence of distant mountains
Creeps into her through the stem.
It’s as if she has just come running
Into one’s hands, books . . .
She offers herself with lust, like a mistress
As she lies there on the plate.
Her mouth opens with secret keys
And she sheds her fine granules of sunlight.
DREAMING THE DOE
San o košuti
Deep lake of the doe’s eye with piped music of herbose lullaby. A dream.
In the graceful saddle of her body I see blobs of stars and hear hoofbeats down the hill.
Escorted by the moon she visits the one she loves.
Drowsy and mellow from the beauty of the woods she cannot stop her trot.
She runs all around in three little circles and lays her head on the edge of my soul.
Wrapped in a thin veil of mystery, she opens the bottomless chasm of dreams.
When the moon sets it devours her contours.
Green pond, calm waters full of stillness and whispers, a thin shadow bends and folds.
The dead wing of bird still sways in the air and a handful of stars drown in the depths.
Ask me not what miracle brings me here at midnight to see your beauty from afar.
Ask me not what draws me to lie low and list the slumbering winds on your brow.
A lull falls from birch leaf and both of us are full of a silent fear and chill linked to the
shore, to the reeds.
Stop, you forest beauty, don’t drink that star of mine that has strayed into the water.
Two purple blobs of eyes watch me from your dome.
My thirsty fingers yearn to touch you more slender than the milky nocturnal waterfall.
In the reeds wild lights dance the dance of the evil-headed snake.
Fear not, oh Doe, a tree called morning will sprout from its head.
Over the sleeping water the Stag will come.
The Stag will come, oh Doe, over the sleeping water.
Something odd ties us in our insomnia. What got me drunk, what got me drunk?
Taste of wormwood on my tongue, shadows agonizingly shuffle on my palms.
Blind to this night, to this water, enraptured we move through the forest –
the whole forest fitting into her eye.
I run to the hilltop and shout into the distance: Morning!
White light pours down from the heavens.
Shreds of stars fall out and day crosses the river in a silver coach.
We go with bits of gloom in our soul, wrapped in webs of dreams, noose around our neck, ropes of daybreak around our arms.
Before I awaken I shall reach the sea.
Under the tower, under some tree a white rose grows out of my bones.
The doe touches it with her eyes, and it grows a knee higher.
The doe caresses it with her breath, for an armful of buds it fills the world.
The sphere called a dream sways.
Not to bust.
I am the green grass on which she tremblingly treads.
A kind of sweet gratification fulfills me, something that nestles me to the scent.
Her eyes have spent the night in me.
She runs across the field, runs over her own lightsome shadow.
To jump out of myself, to pick up the gull that defected from my skull.
To pick an apple from its tree. Intensify the beauty in me.
We keep the window open overnight and the heart
For years. Like silenced gods we stare up
At the pregnant stars while the light
Plunges down into the sea without a resonance
To hover over the pebbles on the beach.
Only one eye glitters in the sky, I know no other.
We suffer from sleeplessness as we grow old
Thinking of death and flesh. To all appearances we are still happy
Thinking about the stars and keeping the window
Open so as to look up at the heavens.
In that silence we often fail to apprehend a cascade
Of moonlight, like the beauty of a woman that appears
With the soft lines of body, yes I repeat, we do not
Apprehend the cascade of light that
Forebodingly carries us away into ruin.
A MAIDEN AND THE LAKE
Devojka i jezero
The first raindrops ripple the lake.
Shower, but again the sun pours out.
The glow inside me invisibly writes,
Of beauty that dazzles eyes.
As if all strain and dust are washed away –
Streaks golden now dash through the water.
And the stroke enhancing this beauty,
A girl that runs like a doe.
A waterfall again bickers in my soul.
I hark: silence, a bird, a drop
The inaudible echo elevates me
From sorrows and distant dreams.
Indeed, airy and pure beauty
Brings back faith to the meaning of life.
CALM, SEA, DREAM
Mir, more, san
A lonesome moment without the warmth of a woman’s breath.
The room looks out on the sea and its cups of foam.
My face in the palms of my hands and eyes that roam:
The table, books, apples, shadows of a darker tone.
A moment of silence. Light covers objects with a golden hue:
Woods, birds, meadows, a flurry in the leaves of grass
A picture from bygone days that the mind cannot surpass,
A return to times that shined as bright as opal glass.
A small heart twisting in love, a narrow stepping-stone
Spasmodically spattered by the subdued light of day
The boggling hand is grown over with reeds, sedge, clay.
Calm. The bone ripped from the body drifts.
The purple tower of agony grows:
A fervent eye, tremors, sensations in rough throes.
AN UNKNOWN SEED
We see her but we don’t know her name
We don’t know what will sprout from her
Mute and brimming with some rare secret
From our palms she gives us a cryptic smile
Where should I sow her and with how much sunlight
Silence and how many drops to quench her thirst
Will she grow a fragrant flower or release
A toxic thorn or fill the eye with brightness
Nipped in the bud of her green knees
Will she crop a new leaf
The more we look at her the less we know
She will shoot up through the cracks in our soul
RAIN AND BLADES OF GRASS
Kiša i vlati
A Dancer In the Rain
Barefooted, enraptured, dreaming and bewitched.
The dance of water in which every vein wades,
With no inhibitions: a summer performance unhitched.
Rhythm of raindrops, the subconscious echo of notes,
Pollen and the uplifting smell of the linden tree,
And like a dream, the rain and tender blade connotes
A green brightness pouring down on hands on a spree.
Wet hair and dress clinging tight to her body,
Dancing in the rain is the dance of her life,
Doe-like she lightly jumps and her moves aren’t gaudy.
A rain goddess glowing with beauty.
We watch her somewhat amazed –
A dancer in the rain or a girl half-crazed.
STARS ON THE PILLOW
Zvezde na uzglavlju
Beauty of years around the waist
Pale in expectation
She follows my gaze
And the routes of my hands
I know that sign
Secret gesture of love
Eyes under petals
Body trembling with pleasant fear
White as a water lily
So young and tender
I can not even bring her
Into a poem
Only kisses of night remain
And late stars on the pillow
Willowy, on the warm summer sand, my ladylove lies
Her eyes open as her gaze penetrates the skies
Her secret protected by her enigmatic smile
I approach and stretch out beside her and wait
For a piece of summer to enter my eyes as well
And I wait a whole eternity and even longer
I have no luck but my ladylove is fortunate
All of her converts into lovemaking and
Inexplicable laughter sticks in her throat
If she desires she can light up a new sun with her lips
And with her slim arms bring it down from its heights
NOTE ON A MAIDEN
Beleška o devojčici
Maiden, your body is the sea your arms the waves
Eyes, color of water emitting rays of innocence
All of May sleeps in your hair of floral curls
The freshness of your breath makes me dizzy
I see: gulls flying from the palms of your hands
The struck down sun daydreams in your muscles
Fawns are serene in the meadows of your words
After you the locust-trees are in blossom
Maiden, your body is the sea and within your stature
A small doe from some faraway regions breathes
Something of your footsteps is in the sand
Something of your restlessness is in the wave
And now, my little one, you suddenly want to be
As ripe as tropical fruit, as ripe as an orange tree
THE EYES OF MY BELOVED AS SHE SEES ME OFF
Oči moje drage dok me ispraća
My beloved has eyes like raindrops in a rose
As she sees me off from the threshold of our home
A dark sun dances under the roof of our years
Lightnings of despair flash through our veins
A warm sunset oozes over the purple hills
And enters my beloved like a perfume thief
My beloved puts her ear to a shell and hears nothing
But the striking of sea waves
She waves her hands like a swallow waves its wings
I don’t see anything anymore but I kiss the dear eye of my beloved
As I anticipate the bitter years of absence
Everything barren. Only a broken heart remains
A QUINCE OR A WOMAN
Dunja ili žena
Why aren’t you a quince, its smell, mark of freshness
Color that seduces the eye and leads the mind astray
Bare flesh clothed in mist of desire, those
Hips under the dress in the folds of the wind
I wondered, how to draw you unreal
As you run across the surface of the sea to disappear
Far away into a point of white flesh like a seagull
I ripped myself away from my soul as I fled
And I spelled out the color of your iris in my thoughts
I went into the unknown to explore your little heart
I kept my eyes peeled on the quinces on my table
Their voluptuous form like the pink skin of your body
THE MAIDEN DRAWS HER KNEES TOGETHER
Devojčica skuplja svoja kolena
The maiden draws her white knees together
Two nuggets of brightness, two drops of tenderness
Flowers that break up into petals
Modestly, she loves the touch of my palms on them.
My blood brings her out into the miraculous light
But the firm padlocks of love do not open
Even the kisses and little flames that in secrecy
Burn deep down in her eyes are of no help
Her whiteness spreads through the April of her young body
I learned nothing from that first kiss and see
That the hunger grows greater with the years
As we await morning’s arrival and the light in the distance.
Translated from Serbian into English bi Slobodan Drenovac
JOVICA DJURDJIC (born October 3, 1949 in Glogovica near Doboj, Republic Srpska), prose-writer and poet. Received academic degree upon completion of studies at the Teachers College of the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka. Member of the Writers Association of Serbia and Writers Society of Republika Srpska.
The author of thirteen books of poetry and prose for children and adults, his writing has been published in numerous newspapers and periodicals. Some works have been translated into foreign languages such as English, Russian, Italian, Polish, Czech, Turkish, Slovenian, Macedonian, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Ruthenian, Danish, Norwegian, Esperanto, Chinese etc.
THE DORMANT MAIDEN (Usnula devojka), poems, Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1974;
LARISSA (Larisa), poems, Riječko književno društvo, Rijeka, 1974;
THE PURPLE MOUNTAINS (Ljubičasto gorje), poems, Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1976;
SLEEPYHEAD’S DREAM (Sanak Sklopiočić), children’s stories, Izdavački centar Rijeka, Rijeka, 1983;
HOW I LOVE ANNA (Kako volim Anu), children’s poems, Otokar Keršovani, Opatija, 1983;
HANDS OF EVENING LOVERS (Ruke večernjih ljubavnika), poems, Izdavački centar Rijeka, Rijeka, 1984;
A GRACEFUL FIGURE (Ljupko telo), poems, Partizanska knjiga, Ljubljana, 1985;
THE ROE AND WATER LILIES (Košuta i lopoči), bilingual book of poems, Vikend knjiga, Belgrade, 2000;
THE WRESTED SCRIPT (Istrgnuti rukopis), poems, Interpress, Belgrade, 2004;
HER EYES THE SEA (Njene oči more), a bibliophilic edition of poems (21 copies), Književni atelje Art, Malinska, 2004;
GERALDINE THE GIRAFFE (Žirafa Žeraldina), children’s poems, first edition, Ars Poetica, Belgrade, 2005, second edition Ars Poetica, Belgrade, 2006;
SIMONE’S EYES (Simonine oči), children’s stories, first edition, Bookland, Belgrade, 2006, second edition Ars Poetica, Belgrade, 2006;
IT’S SWELL TO BE AT HOME (Lepo je biti kod kuće), children’s poems, first edition, Bookland, Belgrade, 2008, second edition Ars Poetica, Belgrade, 2008;
STARS ON A PILLOW, (Zvezde na uzglavlju), twelve poems in twenty foreign languages enriched by the paintings of Olja Ivanjicki, Ars Poetica, Belgrade 2009;
KALINA AND THE SEAHORSE, (Kalina i morski konjic), children’s stories , Aes Poetica, Belgrade, 2010;
A SUMMER WITHOUT VERONICA, (Leto bez Veronike), children’s stories, Bookland, Belgrade 2011;
RAIN AND BLADES OF GRASS, (Kiša i vlati), a selection of old and new poems, bilingual in Serbian and Polish, Ofocyna Wydawnicza, Warsaw, 2012;
THE INTOXICATING SCENT OF SIN, (Opojni miris greha), stories, Prometej, Novi Sad, 2012;
A TASTE OF FIRST KISSES, (Ukus prvih poljubaca), a novel for children, Bookland, Belgrade, 2014;
APRICOTS FOR HANNAH, (Kajsije za Hanu), a novel for children, Bookland, Belgrade 2015;
TENDER YEARS, (Nežne godine), children’s stories, Bookland, Belgrade 2016.
The author is a double winner of the „Drago Gervais“ Award and the Gold Badge of the Cultural & Educational Community of Serbia, as well as of other prizes in literary competitions. He is represented in numerous anthologies and many poetry selections.