Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Snake, Again

I end at the beginning.
Perfectly round, I eat my tail
over and over.
The day we met for the first time
I told you
there was no way to trick me.
So, here we are,
right where we started.
It was a long journey.
The mirrors were there
to confuse you.
The mirrors lie, you know.
They reflect only
what you wish to see.
Some would say that I too
am a liar.
Believe what you will,
but there’s really only one way
to get to Level two.
Are you ready

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 30

Saturday, November 29, 2014


under the ice
life still exists.
Below the ground,
in total secrecy,
plans are being made.
Armies are recuperating.
Some are sleeping,
some are waiting to be born.
When spring comes,
the ground will open
and let them out.
the world will be recreated,
new and green.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 29

Friday, November 28, 2014

Old News

You knew the rains would come,
so why these tears?
They always dismantle the wheel
after the fair.
The clowns leave
and the singing stops.
After that, people stay inside.
Rivers become foul and muddy.
Nights never end.
This is old news.
The snakes have left
And the leaves are all dead by now.
So, why these tears?
You know this happens every year.
Don’t act surprised.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 28

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Chores

I suppose I am grateful
for these chores,
though I don’t know why.
I don’t even remember how
I ended up here
behind a locked door.
Every single day
I labour
at these chores.
No one tells me
why they have to be done
Or why I am the one
who needs to do them.
They don’t seem
to have a point
or a purpose.
There is no payment
or holidays.
These chores have isolated me
from others.
Yet, here I am,
rolling my sleeves
in anticipation.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 27

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An Atavism

The exercise takes time.
The muscles hurt
and the monotony
is hard to bear.
Still, it is necessary
to exercise these muscles.
Otherwise, there will be problems,
sudden outbursts of anger and sadness,
loss of clarity,
the pain.
Then soon, too soon,
the muscles will lose their strength.
They will become stiff and numb.
Then atrophy will set.
Three generations from now
no one will use those muscles.
They will become an atavism,
seen only in circus freaks,
who will have no clue
what the muscles are for.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 26

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


"Bookworm damage on Errata page" by Ragesoss - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.

They have eaten from my book again.
They have left it
unfinished and torn.
Some chapters are missing.
Some letters have been devoured.
Pages are falling apart
and everyone can see through
that hole in the cover.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 25

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Promise

I’ll be here
when I’m gone.
I'll be
rummaging on your attic,
breaking your china,
stealing your cheese.
You’ll hear me
in the floorboards.
I’ll hoot at night
and keep you awake.
I’ll do everything to remind you
how annoying I was.
I’ll come back
as something.
I won’t leave you alone.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 24

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Alone in my den
I sleep.
When I wake up,
the world will be new again.
My dreams are those
of summer and solitude.
That’s why I have never been able
to believe
in winter.
The continual darkness,
the winds and the cold,
those must be
somebody else’s nightmare.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 23

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Release the Dogs

Release the dogs.
You know you want to.
You can always say
it was an accident.
You forgot to lock the gate.
They escaped.
You never trusted them, anyway.
They were supposed to make you feel safe,
yet they never did.
All that howling at night.
Now’s the time.
Let’s see how useful
they are.
That thing in the back garden
looks dangerous.
Its teeth are sharp,
its eyes shine in the dark.
Still, your dogs are angry
and they haven't been fed for a while.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 22

Friday, November 21, 2014


South is a place on the map,
a promised land,
a dream.
North is in the past.
There’s no use dwelling
on memories,
no matter how bittersweet
they are.
is a pair of strong wings,
right here,
right now.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 21

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Bull

I will never admit
that I am colour-blind.
Red obviously means something
to you,
and who am I to disappoint?
your antics with that cape
are too good to miss.
As we dance together
one more time,
I will find your heart.
I know your blood is red,
even though
I am not quite sure
what “red” means.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 20

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Tiger

I never meant for any of this to happen.
I walked alone.
I always do.
The wind changed direction.
It brought me your scent.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 19

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Queen Bee

Walled in,
fed on royal jelly,
she is the mother of them all.
one day,
she gives birth
to a new queen.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 18

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Mole

I keep waiting and waiting,
but you don’t come.
It is so silent here.
I haven’t seen daylight
in weeks.
I exiled myself to this place
so that I could hear you
when you come.
You are not coming, are you?
There is nothing down here for me
and you are a liar.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 17

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Praying Mantis

She is the mistress
of understatement.
Maybe it was in a poetry workshop,
she is not sure,
but she remembers clearly
the lesson.
Though it is not easy,
you have to kill them:
the vague adverbs,
the boring descriptions,
the passives,
every single word
that doesn't tell the story.
And what did you think I meant?

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 16.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Holy Cat of Egypt

Egypte louvre 058.jpg
"Egypte louvre 058" by Guillaume Blanchard - Guillaume Blanchard. Licensed under CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

"You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; you are indeed the Great Cat."
an inscription in the Valley of the Kings

When I walked into your city
and freed your barns of mice,
I never expected you
to build me temples
or mummify my children.
The mice tasted good
and afterwards
my belly was full.
That's  all.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 15

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hide and Seek

I pick your scent
in the woods.
I follow your trail.
You leave me presents
along the path:
delicious morsels
and riddles
carved in trees.
How did you know I love riddles?
I follow your trail
all night.
At dawn
your trail leads me back
to your place.
Dinner is on the table
and the fire has been lit.
That’s not fair.
You know I can’t be tamed.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 14.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How Silk is Made

Inside the silk dome
the moth is safe.
It sleeps.
It grows.
In order to prevent damage
to the silk fibers,
it is necessary
to boil the cocoon
before the adult emerges.
This process
kills the moth
and helps the cocoon
That way
the quality
of the final product
is preserved.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 13.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It Lives

At the bottom of the well
something lives.
There are noises,
especially at night,
and occasionally
the chain rattles
and the bucket shakes.
No need to panic.
I am sure everybody's safe
as long as the weather's dry.
The only thing to fear
are the rains.

2014 November PAD challenge, Day 12.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Termites

I blame it on the termites.
I can hear them rustling at night.
In the morning I can’t find my stuff.
My thoughts, so coherent the evening before,
lose all structure.
Things I scribbled in my notebook
during those dark hours
turn to gibberish.
Some letters are missing
and I can’t read
my handwriting.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 11

Monday, November 10, 2014

Am I in Trouble Now?

I am beginning to grow a tail.
It hurts.
When I touch that place, I can feel
the stub, getting bigger and bigger.
My arms are changing too.
I try to convince myself that
those are wings,
but I know I am hoping in vain.
My claws are sharp already.
My hind legs will hold me no more.
The pain is so strong.
Soon it will all be over
and I will finally know
who I am.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 10.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In the News

Photo Credit: Property#1 via Compfight cc

A gray wolf spotted in Grand Canyon
for the first time
in decades.
Possessed by a parasite,
the orb spider builds a strange web,
unlike anything it has built before.
It dies inside the web,
when the eggs hatch
and the enemy is born.
The birds in the yard
may look very different
by 2075.
What is your dog
trying to tell you?

Day 9 of the 2014 November PAD Challenge.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Olm

"P anguinus-head1" by Arne Hodalič - Author's own work. Uploaded with permission.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

You have probably
never heard of me.
Some call me
the human fish,
but I am not one of you.
My ancestors are dragons
and my cousins salamanders.
I am different from both.
I live in a cave
and there is no fire
in caves.
I have no use for eyes.
I live in a dark place,
but I am never lonely.
My people are with me.
Some say
we are baby dragons
hiding in the darkness,
waiting for our time to come.
Then our sight will be restored
and we will walk the Earth

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 8. More about the olm here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lab Rats

Addiction is a human disease.
Why experiment with animals?
Only people normally have sufficient access to drugs.
Strict ethical guidelines to minimize animals' discomfort,
to answer questions.
Craving a substance
in controlled settings.
How strongly does the substance motivate continued use?
Will they undergo a withdrawal syndrome?
The pace of the lever-pressing,
liquid ecstasy.
Tremors, loss of appetite, and agitation.
Will they push a lever to obtain more?

Day 7 of the 2014 November PAD Challenge. This is a found poem. The article I used is here

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Bear

Photo Credit: ebertek via Compfight cc

I devour life.
It is sweet to my tongue,
juicy and delicious.
There are many sweet things
in this world,
but nothing
as sweet as their secret.
They will never give it to you.
You must steal it.
It is not easy to steal their secret.
Few will even try.
There is pain involved
and danger to your life.
Once you try and succeed,
nothing will ever be the way it was.
You will want more.
You will come back every day
and risk everything
just for this one moment
when the honey is melting on your tongue
and you feel happy

Day 6 of the 2014 November PAD challenge.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Oyster

Keep this a secret.
Never talk about what happened.
Never admit, even to yourself,
how much it hurts.
Don’t cry.
sit there
and wait.
Time will not heal the wound.
That’s a myth.
It will never get
any easier.
Still, there’s hope that one day
you’ll be able to look
at the fruit of your labour
and see it
as something almost separate
from yourself.

2014 November PAD Challenge, Day 5

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tawny Owl

Strix alucoCC BY 3.0

There might be birds with a song
sweeter than mine.
Many say I sing out of tune.
Still, only my call can help him
find his way home
and only my lullaby
can disperse the horrors
of daytime.

Day 4 of the 2014 November PAD challenge.

This poem is devoted to a couple of owls that lived in my yard last summer. Their love song was not beautiful, but it was somehow reassuring. Apparently owls are monogamous and they mate for life. One evening I managed to make this photo:

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Budgie

Photo Credit: alf07 °,° via Compfight cc

The world is blanketed out.
The structure is gone,
the walls melt.
I am free.
My wings are strong
and my flock is with me.
I can now pretend
that this is my real life.
The only price to pay
is my voice.

This is my Day 3 November PAD poem.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Spider

Photo Credit: young_einstein via Compfight cc

So you are back?
Your absence
left a tear
in my fabric.
Do not do that again
if you want your story to be heard.
Do you think
my job is easy?
Do you think
others can weave a tale
as beautiful as mine?
Your story is interesting
and worth my time,
But it is my masonry
that keeps everything together.

Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc

This is my Day 2 poem for the 2014 November PAD challenge.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Animals - The Snake

I begin at the end.
Perfectly round, I eat my tail
over and over.
My words can kill you, yet
there is truth in them.
My form is something
to be jealous of.
I am the keeper of the door to
Level Two.
Forget what they told you:
You can’t kill me,
or trick me.
There is only one way to pass.
If you really want to learn
how to play this game,
you will need to travel light
from now on.

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

 This is my 2014 November PAD Day 1 poem.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Window

I am broken.
Where a stone hit many years ago,
a hole, a beginning of a sun.
Only three rays.
The bittersweet memory
of that one encounter.
I am not shattered.
The largest part of my body is unmarred,
except for that scar
on my belly.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Going Home

It is Day 30 of NaPoWriMo. NaPoWriMo and April PAD offered very similar prompts today. It is a logical way to end the challenge, we are "going home". I'll be away for a couple of days, but when I come back, I'll write another post where I'll try to reflect on the experience. I am also looking forward to reading more poetry by other participants now that I have a bit more time. And let's keep writing.

By the way, I am very pleased with myself. Just like last year, I managed to post every single day and there are days when I wrote more than one poem. It was a great experience.

It is time to leave.
No point lingering in the forest
now that the party is over.
It is downhill from here and
I can see the village in the distance.
I am grateful to the night creatures
and to that pack of wolves that adopted me.
I will miss you all.
Now I have to go home.
Hopefully I will know how to behave
when I get there.
I'll have to remember
that I am supposed to be afraid
of the dark.
I will need a new hobby.
Knitting or gardening
might be a good choice.
I haven't looked at myself in the mirror
for a month,
but I am sure it's nothing
that can't be fixed
with an elegant dress and
some make-up.


He woke up one day.
He was bored and lonely.
He started talking
and saw it was good.
His words were poetry,
so he wrote them down.
He added a melody to his poem
and sang himself to sleep.
Later, he took a blank canvas
and drew a line.
He saw it was good,
so he drew another one.
He added some colour
and saw that was
even better.
Then he mashed everything
into a movie.
He thought it was a good idea
to add some people,
just to get things
going faster.
He released
perfumes into the air,
the dance of winds and rains,
shadow and light,
fire and ice,
then he added more colours
and more action.
He mashed it all together.
He saw it was good
and decided
that was
what he wanted to keep doing
until the end of time.

It is Day 29 of NaPoWriMo. Today I used the April PAD prompt

Monday, April 28, 2014

I Wouldn't Have Settled for Anything Less

                                     Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

Tight-rope walking
can become routine
if you practice every day.
There is comfort in
the familiar movements,
the wind on your face
the view.
The perfect balance
and the walk
from point A
to point B.
You see the whole picture
and you are grateful
for that moment
of complete stillness
when nothing is happening.
It is OK to
look back
and enjoy the memories.
Try not to think too much
about the future.
Spread your arms wide
and be completely still.
The beauty of repetition.
The same jokes,
still funny after all those years,
the crazy belief
that nothing will ever change.
Call us lucky,
but I wouldn't have settled
for anything less.

                                    Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

It is Day 28 of NaPoWriMo. When I publish this, I will have only two more poems to write. That makes me sad, though I am really, really tired and I need more sleep. This is a love poem. I used the Day 28 April PAD prompt, which was to write a settled poem..

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Locked Door

                                     Photo Credit: Fortimbras via Compfight cc

The door is locked and
there is no way to get in.
Still, I can hear her.
She whispers.
I sneak out every night,
pen and paper in my hand.
I listen for hours.
She scares me, of course.
The night air is cold on my skin
and I am so sleepy.
But it is worth it.
She gives me what I want,
every time,
and I pretend that I love her
just the way she is.

                                                Photo Credit: Pensiero via Compfight cc

It is Day 27 of NaPoWriMo. Today I used the Day 27 April PAD prompt, which was to write a monster poem. It seemed appropriate. After yesterday's binge writing, I feel I must be possessed.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Three Water Poems

                                   Photo Credit: Broo_am (Andy B) via Compfight cc

The Floods

The floods changed everything.
They weakened our willpower.
They erased our memory.
They watered us down.
They entered our homes and left their
invisible fingertips everywhere.
We woke up the next day believing
we knew who we were,
but the landscape had changed overnight,
things were not where we had placed them.
Our field was gone and the river
had taken over.
Our world was there but
it didn't belong to us.

                                            Photo Credit: Adventures with my dogs via Compfight cc

The Scandal

I never knew you had it in you, girl.
You always looked so calm and controlled.
A modest little thing, a virgin river,
home to lazy snakes.
People were talking, but I
don't believe in gossip.
I had to see it for myself, how you
broke the dams and flooded the fields and
left us stranded on a hill.

Photo Credit: rogersmj via Compfight

Water into Wine

It was a warm summer evening
we were having dinner
there were a lot of people at our table.
We all listened to you,
though you didn't speak much.
You were handsome, in an ordinary way.
Later I couldn't recall your face,
though I tried.
I couldn't even describe you.
An ordinary face, though handsome.
We were drinking your wine and it was good.
I had never tasted better wine in my life.
I was so happy that I could just sit there and
look at you.
I knew you would eventually have to go.
I couldn't expect you to just
stay with us forever.
That would have been selfish.
It was strange to see how sorry you were to leave.
You said you'd had such a great time with us,
and I could see you meant it.
You never lie.
You said our stories were interesting
and we were lucky because
time passed so slowly in our world.
Our year, you said, would be
just a second in Heaven.
You couldn't promise that you'd visit
any time soon.
But you left the wine.
You could always make more, you said,
hadn't I read the story?
Do come again.
Nights are getting warmer and
we can sit outside.
We will slow the time for you and
let you have some rest.

                                     Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

It is Day 26 in NaPoWriMo. Today I used the April PAD prompt, which was to write a water poem. Something scary happened and I went binge writing and wrote three very different poems. We are having floods in Serbia at the moment, which reminded me of how I witnessed a flood once. As for the last poem... I am rereading the Brothers Karamazov and Dostoevsky is messing up with my brain. The poem itself accurately describes a dream I had several years ago. It was one of those dreams you never forget.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Sorceress

                                             Photo Credit: Sand Creation via Compfight cc

She is a sorceress.
She comes to you at night.
She touches your eyelids and calls your name.
She stands before you in her beauty.
She shows you her face, which
few have seen.
Gently, she scoops you up and carries you in her arms.
You go places.
She shows you everything.
Suddenly, you know.
You understand.
All night she sings to you
songs so beautiful you want to cry.
In your dream, she provides a pen
and a notebook.
She lets you write it all down.
She tells you that you have been chosen,
that your life has a purpose,
and your poetry is divine.
At dawn, she takes you back
and promises to return.
You wake up.
You search for the notebook, but it isn't there.
You try to remember the songs she taught you,
but they are gone too.
You sit at your desk, all day, trying to write
divine poetry.
Your words come back, lame and hollow.
You wait for her that night
and many more.
She never returns.
And now you will never know for sure
if this is the real purpose
of your life.

                                           Photo Credit: Sand Creation via Compfight cc

It is Day 24 of NaPoWriMo and the inspiration just wouldn't come. I almost gave up. Luckily, you can always write about how you can't write. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Secret Poems

                                                Photo Credit: Pensiero via Compfight cc

These secret poems
will not behave.
It is hard to keep them buried and hidden.
They scream all night.
They shout blasphemies.
They flirt and coax
and give false promises.
Their sisters, sleek and subdued,
heavily coded,
smart and demure,
they never ask for anything.
These abominations,
these first drafts,
lame and contorted,
they are the ones
that should be heard.
Or so they claim.
Sometimes they are quiet
for days
and I start hoping
that they have died,
eaten by bookworms,
turned into dust.
I even convince myself
they never existed,
that I dreamed them up.
Now that they are no more,
I keep thinking,
I'll finally get some sleep.
That's when I let my guard down.
That's when I forget to lock the dungeon.
They come out
and they bring with them
a new litter of
screaming brats.

                                    Photo Credit: garshna via Compfight cc

It is Day 24 of NaPoWriMo and today I didn't follow the prompt. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Underwater City

                                     Photo Credit: Helga Weber via Compfight cc

It is Day 23 of NaPoWriMo. Today's challenge was to find a poem in a language we don't know and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. What I did here was triple "translation". I chose poems in Russian, which I don't speak, but which happens to be very similar to Serbian (which is my mother tongue). I "translated" the poems into Serbian, then into English.

I chose three poems by Asya Schneiderman.

                                          Photo Credit: aussiegall via Compfight cc

The Hours

Nervously twitching,
quietly, silently the hours are walking.
I step over them
I step over the string of their numbers.
I am unfaithful to time.
Why wouldn't I be?
I reorder and simplify.
There is no time
(there is no time for me) -
time occupies huge spaces,
though time itself
is just hours walking.
I step over the string of their numbers -
and now I will live for ever -
I will live for ever.

                                      Photo Credit: faith goble via Compfight cc

The Stone Garden

A garden growing out of stone
mistress to the wind
his dwelling place.
There he is, walking inside,
created by me.
Just like his body.
Just like his soul.

                                     Photo Credit: chiaralily via Compfight cc

The City

An underwater city lay beneath us
With open domes, open, card domes -
jug-shaped domes made of playing cards -
a man and a woman -
the city built, desired.
Destroyed by this anger,
so much pain
between us,
between us and the sky.