Denisa Kondić, SERBIA


I am not one for village fairs.
Do not bargain
For me, with me
You will be left without
Even with that which you think you have.

I am not to be weighted down,
All or nothing.
Open your palms,
Unbind the belt from your soul,
Inhale me whole,
Since, I tell you, I’m not to be weighed down.

I can’t stand merchants,
Nor those who are always appraising,
Nitpicker souls,
That view everything through a coin.
Get off, my darling,
Since you are not ready
To pay the price.


I don’t give myself
Outside of myself
I won’t be taken.
On burnt ruins of the past
I take the ash
And mix it with tears
Making lye
To wash away all the pain
And clear the way to a new beginning.

I am made of firm yarn
Sprouted on a soil
Of Balkan ancestors.
The blood of migrants runs through my veins
And of those who never beg for mercy.
Dormant conscious awakens,
You are not alone! You are not alone!

I draw strength from you,
From imagined dialogues,
Dreamt and real settings,
In the world of my forefathers,
Hidden from oblivion
Since your memories are in my blood written.


Like a Scheherazade,
I am saving my soul
78 nights.

Wrapped in thoughts
I am coloring hours
in musty shelters.

I am dancing with sentences,
seducing questions,
becoming deaf to exclamation marks.

I am mocking media statements,
languishing in an inner self,
attacking with a Slavic antithesis:

Where you are sowing hate
Love will certainly sprout.

Where you are spreading fire
Water will take it away.

Where you are putting chains on
Freedom will be growing.

Where you are throwing bombs
Pride will begin to boil.

And then, before dawning,
I light a candle inside myself,
looking for a thought for the next night.

(This poem is written as a retrospective journey of NATO bombing Serbia 20 years ago /March 24, 1999 and June 10, 1999/ and will be a part of the poet’s upcoming book. It is about a young woman forced to be in a shelter during the bombing. It was her pride that was speaking; she will not give up her dreams and integrity even if she  had to spent time in a dank shelter)

Denisa Kondić is a Serbian poet living in Belgrade (Serbia). A graduate from the University of Novi Sad. She has over 20 years of experience as an English translator. In 2015, she published a collection of poems in 3 languages (Serbian, English and Gypsy). Her next book of poems is coming up soon (spring 2019). She is also widely published in collections with other authors and has participated in many international poetry festivals.

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