Cerberus, picture by William Blake (18th cent.)

Image via Wikipedia

These are selected poems from my new book, re-sung* into English by Steve Mangan!

*re-sung means that Steve has breathed life into my (literally translated from Montenegrin) poems and, by doing so, gave them life in English too

Darkness and I

“Goodbye”, he said, tight lipped.

I was gazing into the dense night of Sofia,

through the open window of a hotel room.

Darkness, uninvited, crept into the room

and stepped into the place of my departed lover.

She entered my pores, suffused with sticky grief,

and casually asked “Do we know each other?

I caught her heavy scent and saw myself reflected

in her midst,’We know each other very well’, I replied.

She recognized the me from inside of herself,

ritually laid her hands upon me, and opened her arms.

I dissolved in her embrace, a familiar feeling,

until we trembled and shimmered as one.

She polished away the plaque of pointless words

washed away the filth of vain gesture,

swept away the remnants of poisonous flattery

and vindicated, once again, one more dead-end road.

Tonight, again, she replaced profanity with sorrow.

Tonight, again, she became my dark Bulgarian mikveh.

She said: “You know it doesn’t matter.”

She said: “It’s not the right moment.”

She said: “It’s not the right place.”

She said: “This is not your city.”

She said: “This is not your life.”

She said: “He’s just another weary hero,

it’s just one more farewell.”


The Devil 

(An autobiography) 

Do you not know me?

I am your adversary in this tale:

that arrogant voice born of doubt

and fostered by fear.

I dwell in the constant storm

of your uncertainty,

sprouting in darkness,

fed by your fury

and drinking up your pain

until you stumble and fall.

Still you dismiss me with a smile,

denying my existence

as I bury you alive.


Moon in Cancer

Throughout the month of Tammuz

my dreams are turbulent,

infused by ephemeral loves,

echoing with the names of unborn children

and rivals thirsting for blood.

Crazed by the blaze of moonlight the crab,

cold and cunning, tears at my guts;

each slash of its steely pincers making gelatine

of intestines, bowels and womb.

Scoop by twitching scoop of me

it sets before Cerberus,

which sinks its fangs avidly

into my mangled innards.

While they feed upon the blood soaked

memories of a former me,

a pale woman with thin lips spins a distaff

and reads Kadish for my unborn children.

copyright © 2011 Lena Ruth Stefanovic